Press Release – May 17, 2022

Multiple divisions support all paddlers

AURORA – Join paddlers of all ages and abilities as the Fox Valley Park District prepares to restore an early summer tradition that dates to the 1960s with the return of the Mid-American Canoe & Kayak Race.

Last run in 2017, the previous four Mid-Ams were canceled due to dangerous water levels and flow rates on the Fox River (2018, 2019) and pandemic-related concerns (2020, 2021).

“We’re determined to get these boats back in the water,” said JD Ostergaard, facility manager at Prisco Community Center and coordinator of the ’22 Mid-Am. “No matter the circumstance, canceling an event is always the last resort and it’s demoralizing for organizers, who understand the special meaning the Mid-Am holds for many families throughout the community and beyond.

“The tradition of the race and its importance to so many serve as natural motivators for us to deliver another day on the water.”

The 2022 Mid-Am will be held Sunday, June 5, with two race lengths offered. Paddlers can choose from start lines in St. Charles (10 miles) or Batavia (6 miles), both finishing with a post-race lunch celebration at Prisco Community Center/McCullough Park in Aurora.

Registration and canoe/kayak rental (if applicable) should be completed online. Pre-race packet pickup will be held from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, June 3, at Prisco Community Center.

With 10 canoe divisions, 8 kayak divisions, and a non-competitive recreational category, “there are options for anyone who wants to be a part of this community event,” Ostergaard said. The top three boats in each division receive an award.

“We’ve seen the full spectrum of racers,” Ostergaard said. “Certainly, we’ll get the super-competitive group that’s looking for those personal-best times, but we’ll also see families doing a themed paddle … all the way down to decorating their boats.

“It’s just a really fun way to spend an early-summer morning. The Mid-Am tradition spans generations.”