The International Canoe Federation is excited to be heading to the Oak Mountain State Park for the debut of canoe marathon at the World Games in Birmingham, Alabama, next year.

The World Games organisers revealed today Oak Mountain will host several water-based sports during next year’s event, which runs from July 7-17. The 9,940 acre park is Birmingham’s largest state park.

The acting chairman of the ICF’s canoe marathon committee, Ruud Heijselaar, said the course will provide many challenges for the athletes, which will make for an exciting event.

Mr Heijselaar said the 100 metre portage on a sandy beach will add an extra element to the racing.

“We are really pleased to be part of The World Games and then to start in such a wonderful environment, in a national park, clean water and peaceful surroundings, so a perfect place for a marathon course,” he said.  

 “Oak Mountain is a popular place for Birmingham inhabitants and the spectators are able to overview the whole course, a fantastic place to promote our sport.”

The lake is one kilometre long, with 10 laps and eight portages for the long distance race and three laps and two portages for the short distance.

“We are honored that Oak Mountain State Park will play a role in The World Games 2022 in Birmingham, and we are tremendously excited about hosting orienteering, canoe marathon, waterskiing and wakeboarding events at the park,” Park superintendent Kelly Ezell said.

“It’s going to be a truly exciting time for the competitors, the spectators and our park. We believe Oak Mountain is one of Alabama’s treasures, and we can’t wait for people from all over the globe to see amazing athletes compete in one of our state’s most scenic places during The World Games."

Canoe marathon was an invitational sport at the 2013 The World Games in Cali, Colombia, but will make its full debut as one of the event’s official sports next year.

Oak Mountain Park Birmingham Alabama canoe marathon venue

Canoe Marathon
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