Marathon racing in London

The start of a marathon kayak race

Marathon racing: Kayakers at the start of a marathon race.

Long distance Marathon Racing, also known as Marathon Canoeing, takes place throughout the year. This competitive sport builds endurance and fitness – over racing distances that can be much shorter, and longer, than genuine marathon length.

There are several Marathon Racing clubs based on the Thames in west London. Most clubs hold a stock of boats and paddles for their members, and all will welcome beginners.

The highest performance racing boats are designed for speed – they are long, thin and very wobbly if you are not used to them. Many people will take a few swims when they learn to paddle a marathon kayak or canoe, but once you have the hang of it, you will be impressed by the speeds you can reach.

Marathon Racing includes kayaking (using a paddle with two blades) and canoeing (using a single blade). As with other competitive canoe sports, races will often be divided into races for single paddlers (classified as K1 and C1), and doubles (K2 and C2).

Races are organised across the country, with most falling into the warmer months between March and October. Training continues through the winter months and is a great way to keep fit.

There are several famous Marathon Race events, including the 125 mile Devizes to Westminster race, the longest non-stop canoe race in the world. The race finishes in the centre of London. Many paddlers take three days to complete the race, but the fastest kayakers are likely to complete the race in under 18 hours.

If you like the idea of Marathon, check out the following links.

Marathon Racing links


The Devizes Westminster race

Royal Canoe Club

Richmond Canoe Club

Ealing Canoe Club

Image courtesy of BritishCanoeing