Dynamic mass starts, tactical wash hanging, co-ordinated portages and endurance are the ingredients of Canoe Marathon.
The traditional or Classic Canoe Marathon race starts in one place and finishes in another and involves all kinds of water; river, lakes, estuary and sea or combinations of these. The main objective is to challenge paddlers on calm or flowing water. The paddler has to negotiate currents, rapids or weirs encountered and where it is necessary to carry (or portage) the boat around an impassable obstacle.
From the late 1970s onwards, international events have been organised by the ICF with a Grand Prix-Series and a World Cup as the most important yearly events. Today the premier event is the bi-annual ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships, first held in 1988 in Nottingham. Canoe Marathon is not an Olympic event, but has been in the invitational programme of the World Games since 2013.
The minimum distances for international races are 20 kilometres (12 mi) for men, and 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) for women. The races may be divided in several parts and/or several days. World Cup and World Championship races normally are about 30 to 40 kilometres (19 to 25 mi) long.
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