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California 100 - California's First Ultra Marathon Paddling Event 2013

By | 05/24/2013

California's first ultra-marathon paddling event will splash down the Sacramento River on May 25th. Now most everyone has heard of ultra marathons these days, but the real question is what do you know about paddle sport marathons? The popularization of paddle boarding has spawned a watery twist on ultra marathon events; instead of running try racing on a stand up paddle board, canoe, kayak or any other form of water craft. While popular on the east coast paddle sport marathons are just catching on out west. Be among the first Californians to join the newest form of ultra marathon. 

California's first ultra-marathon paddle race, the California 100, will churn down the Sacramento River, on May 25, from Redding to Chico. Expected to compete will be nearly 100 people on over 50 kayaks, surf skis and outrigger canoes. Race organizers predict the boats will cover the 100-mile distance in eight to 20 hours of hard paddling. 

"Cal 100 benefits Rivers for Change, a non-profit that promotes conservation through source to sea educational river adventures", said Race Director Haven Livingston, "Though it also will bring attention to the mighty Sacramento and its recreational qualities. California is one of the few states that can host an ultra-marathon paddle, because of this great river." 

With support from the California Paddle Sports Council, California 100 will include paddlers at all levels, including elite racers. The race is described by Rivers for Change as offering, adventure, competition and relay divisions, with many paddlers of intermediate ability out for the fun of it. 

Paddlers are required to stop at checkpoints at Reading Island, Red Bluff and Woodson Bridge and finish at Irvine Finch State River access in Chico. Failure to check out, if quitting, could mean the paddler is charged search and rescue costs. 

The race passes through four counties and multiple city jurisdictions. It is a distance so formidable, that the race organizer lists, on its website, four training sessions by world-class paddlers, including world-record-holding paddler Carter Johnson, to help participants prepare for the event.    

California 100 begins at 6 a.m. and continues to the following day at 2 a.m. After dark, bow lights and headlights are required. Registration information is found Entry fee is $200. 

Rivers for Change plans a Community Conservation Paddle Day on May 19 and a Memorial Day Sacramento River Cleanup on May 27. For more information, visit Travel information is found at

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