Minneapolis lakes, trails to host 'Urban Portage' race

Red Bull Urban Portage
Logo for the Red Bull Urban Portage race, taking place in Minneapolis on Saturday.
Image from www.redbull.com/us-en/events/urban-portage

Dozens of canoeists, kayakers and paddleboarders are set to compete in a race on and around the Chain of Lakes in Minneapolis on Saturday.

The Red Bull Urban Portage race will cover a 10-mile course that starts at 9 a.m. on Cedar Lake and includes seven portages, where competitors have to carry their boats Boundary Waters-style along trails between the lakes.

The course covers six miles on the water, and four miles on land. John Munger with the Loppet Foundation, which is helping organize the event, said it's the first race of its kind in the Twin Cities.

"We expect it to take about as long as it would take to do a marathon, to complete the whole course with your boat along with you," he said.

The race ends with a portage, as competitors will pull their boats or boards out of Bassett Creek in Golden Valley and carry them to the finish line at Theodore Wirth Park.

Munger said spectators will see a variety of watercraft on the lakes, with 80 to 100 competitors expected.

"You could use a one-person canoe or a two-person canoe. You could use a stand-up paddleboard. You can use what's called a surf ski or a kayak," he said. "There's going to be advantages and disadvantages to each vessel. Obviously heavier vessels are going to be harder to portage."

Race organizers said spectators are welcome along the course.

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