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At 9:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 27, 2013, two-person teams will begin North America’s toughest, richest, non-stop canoe race, the AuSable River Canoe Marathon. At the sound of the gun, the teams carrying their canoes on their shoulders, race several blocks through the streets of Grayling, Michigan to the AuSable River in front of The Old AuSable Fly Shop. The fourteen to nineteen hour, 120 mile race runs throughout the night, finishing in Oscoda at Lake Huron. Considered to be the world’s toughest spectator sport, approximately 50,000 fans will cheer on the competitors at various points throughout the race.
The Michigan Army National Guard serves as the primary advertiser for the AuSable River Canoe Marathon, known simply as "The Marathon." "We are proud to salute the participants, volunteers and fans of this, the 66th Annual AuSable River Canoe Marathon", said SFC Mario Garnett. He continued, "This partnership also serves as a salute to the young men and women who step forward to serve in our armed services and thanks them for a job well done."
The Michigan National Guard’s history has been intertwined with that of Grayling and the AuSable River Canoe Marathon for many years. Since 1913, Camp Grayling, the largest National Guard training facility east of the Mississippi River at 147,000 acres, has provided training to the active and reserve components from Michigan, other Midwestern states and various other countries. Personnel assigned to Camp Grayling have participated as entrants and committee volunteers for many years, helping to make the annual AuSable River Canoe Marathon the success it is today.
The Michigan Army National Guard currently has ten recruiters throughout Northern Michigan and can be visited at Camp Grayling, Alpena, Gaylord, Traverse City, Cadillac, Manistee, Big Rapids, Midland, Ferris State University and Central Michigan University. They have an exclusive relationship with several Michigan universities which provide tuition grants to members of the Michigan Army National Guard that are seeking to further their education. This makes college assistance opportunities offered by the Army National Guard one of the best ways to pursue advanced college degrees.
Tuition assistance is available up to an additional $50,000.00 which offers all young people of Michigan an opportunity to get training and education in everything from becoming a musician to a mechanic. If you are between the ages of 17 and 35, the Michigan Army National Guard has opportunities for you. Just visit the recruiting office located at Camp Grayling or one of the other nine recruiting offices in northern Michigan. You can also visit the recruiters on Facebook at MIArmyNationalGuardRecruiting.
The Recruiters are planning to participate in some special activities during the AuSable River Festival. "We plan to be involved in Kids Day by providing special obstacle courses and other activities for the children, and the National Guard NASCAR vehicle will be in Grayling for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday and in Oscoda at the Finish Line of the race on Sunday. Special military equipment will also be on display throughout the Festival Week,” said SFC Mario Garnett.
The AuSable River Marathon Committee is pleased to partner with the Northern Michigan Recruiters and thanks them for their support of the 66th Marathon.