Magazine August 16, 2021, Issue

Tough Spectator Race in Michigan

Au Sable River (Amy Hudechek/Getty Images)
Fans, too, participate in the Au Sable River Canoe Marathon

Grayling, Mich.

The first time Jorden Wakeley raced in the Au Sable River Canoe Marathon, he crashed into a support that holds up the Parmalee Bridge: “My partner wanted to go one way and I wanted to go the other,” he says. The impact tossed him and his gear from the boat and into the water. Wakeley recovered and continued to race, but he learned how much can go wrong when paddling at high speeds and in the blackness of night.

Wakeley recalled this story shortly before the start of this year’s event on July 24, when he and Matt Meersman joined

To Read the Full Story

This article appears as “Tough Spectator Race” in the August 16, 2021, print edition of National Review.

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John J. Miller, the national correspondent for National Review and host of its Great Books podcast, is the director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College. He is the author of A Gift of Freedom: How the John M. Olin Foundation Changed America.

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