MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Paddleboards are generally used on Bde Maka Ska as a way to soak up the summer sun, but next month they’ll be part of a paddle-and-portage race through the Chain of Lakes.
Red Bull is hosting a 10-mile “Urban Portage” race in collaboration with the Loppet Foundation. The competition is slated for Oct. 13 and open to paddleboarders, canoers and kayakers.
The race (6 miles on water, 4 on land) will feature five categories: men (solo), women (solo), men (tandem), women (tandem), and coed (tandem). Registration is open now.
The competition’s course will start with racers paddling through Bde Maka Ska in Minneapolis and moving north through Lake of the Isles, Cedar Lake and Brownie Lake before a long portage section through Theodore Wirth Park.
The paddling will resume through Wirth Lake in Golden Valley, followed by brief portage sections along Basset Creek.
The end of the route will take racers south on Twin Lake before cutting east with the finish line at Theodore Wirth Park.
The first to cross the finish line in each category will be named Red Bull Urban Portage champion.
Organizers say that racers must navigate the most direct route through the Chain of Lakes, as the only markers on waterways will be the portages.
And competitors shouldn’t expect to see many swimmers or casual paddleboards on the lakes or beaches. Average temperatures for mid-October are around 60 degrees.