As last years champions Lajoie, from Mirabel, Quebec and Triebold of Spring Arbor, Michigan completed the grueling 120 mile AuSable River course in just under fourteen hours and twenty minutes to successfully defend their title. Second place finishers Steve Corlew of Brighton, Michigan and Matt Streib of Bristol, Indiana finished eleven and a half minutes behind the leaders and less than six minute ahead of third place Matthew Ashton and Mo Harwood both of Grayling.
More than a thousand fans cheered wildly at the end of the ¼ mile foot race to the river entry point as Corlew and Streib in the number 89 boat entered the river just steps behind Lajoie and Triebold’s number 01 canoe but by the first check point at Burtons Landing the 01 held a one minute, forty one second lead. Corlew and Streib manged to keep with in seven minutes of the lead closing to it to just four minutes at the number ten, Alcona Damn checkpoint but as the sun came up the leaders picked up their pace opening and maintaining the lead at more than ten minutes by the time they reached checkpoint number 12 at Five Channels Damn.
Seventy five of the record ninety teams that started the race in Grayling Saturday night managed to make the finish line in Oscoda on Sunday including the team of the oldest participant in the marathon 84 year old Al Widing Jr. who crossed the line in 45th.
The first woman competitor to finish was Connie Cannon of East Lansing who, along with partner Bruce Barton of Homer, Michigan finished 13th.
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