The Finger Lakes Museum & Aquarium will hold its second annual Paddle Keuka 5K canoe and kayak race Aug. 5. Last year’s inaugural event, which was sponsored by many prominent area wineries, restaurants, and businesses, was a splashing success with 60 paddlers from across the Finger Lakes Region taking part.
This year, a third category, Stand-up Paddling, is being added to attract even more diverse participants to the event. Contestants will compete in three divisions broken down by age and gender, and then into categories based on the type of craft being used.
The three age divisions are Open (18-39), Masters (40-59) and Seniors (60 and over). Categories will be broken down into Male, Female, and Pair/Team/Double. The type-of-craft categories included Single Canoe, Single Kayak, Double Canoe, Tandem Kayak, and Stand-up Paddle Board (SUP).
Last year, a total of 33 medals were awarded to winners in the various categories. The overall first-place winner was Dan Murn of Fairport, who finished the 3.1-mile course in 26 minutes/45 seconds, winning the Male, Senior, and Single Kayak categories in the process.
Contestants will paddle a marked course around the north end of Keuka Lake’s west branch beginning and ending at the museum’s Townsend-Grady Wildlife Preserve, in an event that will benefit the Finger Lakes Museum & Aquarium.
Registration for the event is required. Participants can sign up online at www.FingerLakesMuseum.org or www.facebook.com/FLMuseum, or by calling 315-295-2200. Onsite registration will also open at 8 a.m. at the museum’s Creekside Center on the morning of the race, which will then begin at 9 a.m. Businesses interested in sponsoring the race can find sponsorship levels on the same online sites.
Paddlers will launch their boats from the Creekside Center, located on Sugar Creek on the museum’s campus at 3369 Guyanoga Road in Branchport. Medals will be awarded to the top finishers in the Canoe, Kayak, and SUP divisions, and T-shirts were available to all participants who registered by Aug. 2.
Sponsorship fees and funds raised from this event will be used to build trails, boardwalks, viewing platforms, and interpretative signage within the museum’s 16-acre Townsend-Grady Wildlife Preserve. Home to a diverse wildlife habitat and diverse wetland ecosystem, the sanctuary is expected to fully open in 2018.
The Finger Lakes Museum & Aquarium’s executive director Natalie Payne said, “Come and join us in this fun-filled watery competition. Get out, get wet, and get on the water!”
The Finger Lakes Museum & Aquarium is a 501(c)(3), not-for-profit organization and is chartered by the New York State Education Department. See www.FingerLakesMuseum.org for more information or to contribute.