For the safety of all participants and volunteers, the Fox Valley Park District has canceled the
2019 Mid-American Canoe & Kayak Race, which was scheduled for Sunday, June 2.
Historically fast water flow rates on the Fox River were measured in excess of 5,500 cubic feet per second on Tuesday, May 28. Acceptable, safe race conditions call for measurements of 2,100 cubic feet per second or less. Additionally, a river flood warning currently remains in effect for the Fox River until Monday, June 3.
The FVPD monitors water levels annually to ensure safety, and we’ve been forced to cancel three times in the last 16 years, including 2018, due to similar conditions.
“Despite possible drops in levels by Sunday, we can’t assume a safe range will be reached,” said Dan Leahy, the FVPD’s director of marketing and communications. “Two years in a row, we’re as disappointed as the race participants, but safety is paramount to every decision we make.
“We do have a number of experienced, competitive paddlers, but the majority of participants enjoy a more leisurely pace with friends and family, many of whom are children. A swollen, fast river is nothing to mess around with.”
A full refund will be issued to all pre-registered participants. Staff are working through phones, email, social media, website and media outlets to notify all parties, including vendors and volunteers. No action is required on the part of participants. Refunds will be processed within seven to 15 days. If you paid via debit or credit card, your refund will be processed sooner; those paid by cash or check will require an extra few days.
Registrants may also purchase race T-shirts at the Prisco Community Center (150 W. Illinois Ave., Aurora) for $5.
“Canceling an event, especially one as popular as the Mid-Am, is never a fun exercise,” said Krista Mulready, race director and Prisco Center facility manager at the FVPD. “Hopefully, Mother Nature won’t be so harsh on us next year. We simply had no choice but to cancel this race.”