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