For 2017 Big Ole SUP-Athon click the link below:
The Big Ole SUP-athon is unique among Midwestern SUP events because of its extreme length and relaxed attitude. We stage the start of each course to advantage those traveling the fastest and the farthest. Competitive paddlers begin each course one minute before recreational paddlers for a less crowded and more relaxing start. SUPers, canoeists and kayakers of all skill levels will enjoy themselves while navigating the scenic waterways of Douglas County.
The Big Ole SUP-athon is a two-day Stand Up Paddleboarding event designed to strengthen the connection between the people and the lakes of West-Central Minnesota while raising funds for local 501(c) charities. The Big Ole SUP-athon (BOS) offers courses of 2, 6, 10 and 26 miles to be enjoyed by paddlers of all skill levels. The event officially begins at 5PM on Thursday, July 7th at Bugaboo Bay with the Faction SUP Promo / BOS Check-In & Packet Pick-Up / Last-Minute Registration for Friday's events. At 7PM the Little Lena "Aquatic Parade" across Lake L'Homme Dieu begins at Rotary Beach. Feel free to paddle the 1.8 miles back to Bugaboo Bay on your favorite non-motorized watercraft, wearing a costume, with your spouse, friend or well-behaved dog.
On Friday, July 8th, our signature event, the 26 mi Big Ole SUP-athon, begins at 7AM at the East Lake Miltona Public Access and spans 13 lakes and ends at the Lake Victoria Public Access. All three courses of the BOS are fully-supported by BOS organizers and volunteers with food and water stationed every 2-5 miles along the course. The 10 mi Sven 10 begins at 10AM at the North Lake Louise culverts, spans 8 lakes and ends at Bugaboo Bay's beach in the West Bay of Lake L'Homme Dieu. The 6 mi Sven 6 begins at 11AM at the Lake Cowdry Public Access and also ends at Bugaboo Bay. Medals will be awarded to the top 3 Men's & Women's finishers for each course at 5:30PM at Bugaboo Bay, followed by a celebratory post-race dinner and libations.
SAFETY IS OUR HIGHEST PRIORITY
Safety must be the highest priority if the Big Ole SUP-athon is to be sustained as an annual event. BOS organizers are required to permit the event with the City of Alexandria and the Douglas Co. Sheriff's Office's Water Patrol Unit. BOS organizers and local governments and law enforcement agencies recognize that heavy weekend boat traffic on the Chain of Lakes makes it untenable to safely hold the BOS on a Saturday or Sunday. We really appreciate you taking a Friday off and spending it with us! Although BOS organizers and staff attempt to make the event as safe as possible with stringent rules, regular supervision and abundant water and food along the course, we still need BOS participants to make the best and safest decisions for them. Our BOS safety strategy begins with participants reading the rules, regulations, advice and safety tips and studying the course maps and registering for the course that suits their abilities. Our BOS safety strategy must extend beyond the water to include participants and spectators using seat belts, tightly securing their SUPs to their vehicles, parking in safe places and safely crossing busy roadways before, during and after the event.
BOS RULES (Failure to follow those denoted by asterisk (*) violates the terms of the BOS's event insurance policy)
1* ALL PARTICIPANTS must be 15 or older and sign the waiver. Minors age 15-17 must have their parent or legal guardian sign the waiver and be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian registered to paddle the same course.
3* ALL PARTICIPANTS of Friday's Sven 6, Sven 10 or Big Ole SUP-athon must employ a quick release safety leash on their ankle, calf or waist if they venture 500 m (1640 ft) or farther from shore. This rule applies to all paddlers directly crossing lakes Miltona, Ida, Darling, L'Homme Dieu and Geneva.
4* ALL PARTICIPANTS of Friday's Sven 6, Sven 10 or Big Ole SUP-athon must wear their PFD if they venture 500 m (1640 ft) or farther from shore. This rule applies to all paddlers directly crossing lakes Miltona, Ida, Darling, L'Homme Dieu and Geneva.
5* ALL PARTICIPANTS must possess a sounding device to use in an emergency. A complimentary whistle will be provided to all participants and staff.
6. ALL PARTICIPANTS of Friday's Sven 6, Sven 10 or Big Ole SUP-athon must meet or exceed an average pace of 1.5 mph, 2 mph and 2.6 mph, respectively, including all rest breaks, to be permitted to complete their course.
7. Participants' emergency contact cannot be another participant. An emergency contact should be aware of the event and the participant's pertinent medical information.
8. Participants must be punctual for their event. Participants will not be supported by BOS staff if they start their course after the recreational group departs. Tardy participants can start a later, shorter course, if possible.
9. Participants exiting their course prior to finishing must notify BOS staff.
10. Participants must display their race bib and identify themselves to BOS staff, if asked.
11. BOS staff can end a participants' race if staff feels it is unsafe for them to continue.
12. Participants are required to possess at least one large water bottle. Participants of the Big Ole SUP-athon are suggested to carry 2 bottles, a dry bag and a mobile phone.
13. Participants are required to pass through culverts with low ceilings while lying face down on their SUP or crouched in their paddlecraft. IF a participant falls from their watercraft while in a culvert, they must continue onward and swim to the end and then gather their belongings.
14. Participants must check-in with BOS staff at Rotary Beach on north L'Homme Dieu for a mandatory 2-minute rest & observation break before continuing onward.
15. Participants attempting the 26 mi Big Ole SUP-athon are not allowed to rent paddlecraft from BOS organizers.
16. Participants must be courteous and patient when navigating the narrow stream channels and short culverts between lakes. Recreational paddlers should yield to competitive paddlers, letting them pass on river left, only if it is safe and convenient to do so. Restrictive waterways make up approximately 12%, 5% and 4% of the BOS, Sven 10 and Sven 6 courses, respectively. The current will increase your speed so "relax and go with the flow!"
17. Competitive paddlers will start each course before recreational paddlers.
18. Competitive paddlers can use only one paddlecraft for the entire course.
19. Competitive paddlers are not allowed to draft on open water.
20. Registration is capped at 50 SUPers for Friday's Sven 6, Sven 10 & Big Ole SUP-athon. Thurday's Little Lena is capped at 200 registered paddlers.
DOUGLAS CO & MN DNR REGULATIONS
2. Zebra Mussels infest all waterbodies which comprise the BOS course. It is critical that all out-of-town participants decontaminate their watercraft once they have finished.
3. Lake Le Homme Dieu is infested with Eurasian Water Milfoil. Big Ole SUP-athoners must inspect and remove vegetation from their SUP before entering Lake Geneva.
5. Consumption of alcohol and/or drugs by participants or volunteers during the event and at public accesses is prohibited.
BOS ADVICE & SAFETY TIPS
1. Proper attire and equipment are critical as temps, weather and the sun's intensity will change throughout the day. BOS organizers strongly recommend participants wear nonrestrictive, synthetic fabrics, sun-shielding hats, wind-breakers, running shoes & light socks, sunglasses, sunscreen, and light, smooth gloves to prevent blisters.
2. SNACK & REHYDRATE OFTEN (ESPECIALLY IF IT'S HOT)! BOS SUPers should drink ~5 L (170 oz.) of fluids and eat ~2500 kCal in snacks. Sven 10 SUPers = 3 L (100 oz.) & 1000 kCal, Sven 6 SUPers = 2 L (68 oz.) & 500 kCal.
3. Interlake channels and culverts will have currents, eddies and small wave trains.
4. Participants are paddling on public waters and must remain aware of their surroundings, especially around boaters. If a boat is too close for comfort, stand tall, shout, raise your arms and wave your arm(s) and/or paddle. Participants can take a less direct route along the shoreline if boat traffic is too high for their comfort.
5. Keep an eye on the sky and check with BOS staff about weather-related issues.
6. A longer route better sheltered from the wind and waves may be faster.
7. Participants should wear their PFD if paddling in adverse weather conditions.
8. Participants too fatigued to enjoy themselves are encouraged to exit the race.
9. Participants should bring a towel, fresh clothes and shoes to wear afterwards.
10. Fins longer than 1 foot may occasionally touch the bottom of sandy streams.
EXITING THE RACE BEFORE FINISHING
Participants may not be able to complete their course because of fatigue, equipment issues or inclement weather. Although BOS organizers will have vehicles and boats to support SUPers, a participant that has exited may not want to wait an hour or more until a volunteer can leave their station and give them a ride. The following is a list of addresses of all exit points along the Big Ole SUP-athon, Sven 10 & Sven 6 routes.
# Location Address - Alexandria (56308) Comment
1. CR 5 Portage 1350 CR 5 NW
2. CR 61 2250 CR 61 NW
3. W. Lk Charley 5100 Sunset Strip NW
4. N. Lk Louise 3700 Sunset Strip NW START - SVEN 10(**)
5. Louise - N. Union 3000 CR 22 NW**
6. SW Lk Cowdry 650 W Lk Cowdry Rd**
7. Cowdry Access 899 E. Lk Cowdry Rd** START - SVEN 6(#)
8. S. Lk Darling 2101 CR 22 NW**#
9. Carlos-Darling Bridge 251 Carlos-Darling Dr NE**#
10. Rotary Beach 4701 CR 42 NE**#
11. Bugaboo Bay 2800 N. Nokomis NE FINISH - SVEN 6 & 10
12. N. Lk Geneva Access 2218 Geneva Rd NE
13. Geneva-Victoria Bridge 3295 CR 82 SE
CURRENT WEATHER & WEATHER POLICY
The Big Ole SUP-athon is a charitable event that takes months of planning to execute. BOS organizers must "throw a dart" at the calendar, select a far-off Friday and then wish, hope and pray for a calm, sunny day. The BOS has significant expenses like event insurance, t-shirts, dry bags, food and water, so organizers can offer only a partial refund if unsafe weather conditions (high winds, severe thunderstorms & lightning) require organizers to deviate from the schedule or cancel the event. Organizers also reserve the right to postpone start times, suspend the event, or prematurely end the event if severe weather poses a threat to SUPer safety. Decisions to deviate from the schedule because of weather will NOT be taken lightly or made hastily.
The great extent of the course, multiple races with different start times and the varying speeds of SUPers makes the Big Ole SUP-athon a complicated dance to choreograph. THE BOS MUST BE SAFE FOR ALL PARTICIPANTS if it is to become an annual event. The BOS needs serious, concerned adults to volunteer about 5-6 hours of their time to ensure the event is a safe and enjoyable one for SUPers of all skill levels. Volunteers will get a free t-shirt, love from SUPers and the thanks and admiration of BOS coordinators. We're seeking volunteers with reliable vehicles (preferably ones that can haul a SUP or two), moblie phones w/ car chargers and large, clean coolers. Volunteers are required to attend a mandatory 30-minute meeting at 6pm on Thursday at Bugaboo Bay where they will receive their instruction packet, assigned station & schedule and ice, food and water. We're also very interested in finding volunteers with pontoons. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in being a BOS volunteer.
1. Promote Stand Up Paddleboarding and all paddlesports in West-Central Minnesota.
3. The Big Ole SUP-athon is a "choose your favorite 501(c)" event, encouraging participants to raise funds for their charity of choice. The BOS also donates all profits to local 501(c) non-profits. The United Way of Douglas & Pope Counties is the beneficiary for 2016.
The Big Ole
SUP-athon is the brainchild of Scott Larson and Jason Lybeck. Scott, a former
Alexandrian, purchased a SUP from Jason & Faction Boardshop in the Spring of '14. While planning a trip back to Alexandria, Scott wondered: “How far can a person
paddle through the Chain of Lakes?” A quick review in Google Earth revealed
that a 26 mile, marathon-length course through 13 lakes was very feasible, requiring
just a few minor portages. Scott told Jason of his plan and Jason lent him a SurfTech Flowmaster for the attempt. On August 8th, 2014,
Scott completed the 26 mile course in about 12 hours, leisurely paddling and
frequently stopping to snack, rehydrate, post status updates and savor
the experience. Scott had mettle tested and battled white caps and 20 MPH southerly headwinds on the final 3 lakes......the Big Ole SUP-athon was
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