Big Ole SUP-athon 2018

Paddleboarders, canoeists and kayakers of all skill levels will enjoy paddling the scenic, connected waterways of the Big Ole SUPathon. 

     The Big Ole SUPathon is a 2-day festival to promote the recreational paddling of Alexandria's Chain of Lakes and the Long Prairie River. The Big Ole SUPathon (BOS) offers something for everyone, with connected lake courses of 6, 12 or 26 miles, and river courses of 8 & 10 mi. The BOS kicks off at 7AM on Friday, July 13th at the East Lake Miltona Public Access with our signature event - the 26 mi Big Ole SUPathon! The 12 mi SVEN begins at 10AM and the 6 mi LENA begins at 12PM, both at the Lake Charlie Access. The BOS, SVEN & LENA courses are supported by staff with snacks and water. Medals are awarded to the top 3 Men's & Women's finishers for each course at 4:30PM at Bugaboo Bay, followed by a celebratory post-race dinner and promo gear giveaway. The Long Prairie River Cruise is on Saturday, July 14th with the 10 mi option starting at 9AM at the Lake Carlos Marina and the 8 mi option at 10AM at the Hwy 29 LPR access in Carlos.

     Safety must be everyone's highest priority to sustain this event. The BOS is insured and regulated through the US Canoe Association. It is also fully permitted by the Douglas Co. Sheriff's Office's Water Patrol Unit and the City of Alexandria. BOS organizers and the DCSO's WPU recognize that heavy boat traffic on Darling, Carlos & L'Homme Dieu makes it unsafe to hold Chain of Lakes events on weekends. Although BOS organizers and volunteers attempt to make the event as safe as possible with rules, supervision and water & snacks, paddlers still must make good decisions for themselves. Our safety strategy begins with participants reading the rules & regs, advice and safety tips, reviewing the courses and registering for the course that suits their abilities. Our safety strategy extends beyond the water to include minimizing distracted driving, wearing seat belts, tightly securing paddlecraft to vehicles, parking in safe places and using caution when crossing busy roadways.

     Registered paddlers get an event t-shirt, a post-event meal, $5 raffle ticket, whistle, stickers, water, and snacks ($30+ value). Friday paddlers also get pocket-size maps. Registration fees are $39/person for the LENA, Long Prairie River Cruise and all Relays. SVEN and 26 mi BOS courses are $49 and $59, respectively. BOS organizers keep reg. and rental fees as low as possible to get people out on the water!

2018 Big Ole SUPathon RULES

1. PARTICIPANTS must be 12 or older and complete the waiver form. Minors age 12-17 must have their parent sign their waiver and follow additional safety rules. 


2. PARTICIPANTS must possess a U.S. Coast Guard approved Personal Flotation Device (PFD) in serviceable condition and suited for their height and weight.

3. PARTICIPANTS must possess the provided clip-on safety whistle.

4. PARTICIPANTS MUST EMPLOY A SAFETY LEASH and wear their PFD if they are greater than 500 m (1640 ft) from shore. Applies on Lakes Miltona, Ida, Darling, Carlos, L'Homme Dieu and Geneva.

5. PARTICIPANTS exiting their course prior to finishing must go directly to Lake Cowdry Access or Bugaboo Bay to notify BOS staff.

6. Staff can end or curtail a participants' race if staff feels it’s unsafe for them to continue.

7. PARTICIPANTS must pass through low culverts while lying face down on their SUP, or crouched low in their paddlecraft. IF a participant falls while in a culvert, they must continue onward to the outlet and then gather their personal belongings.


8. PARTICIPANTS must carry a water bottle or hydration pack. 

9. Inexperienced paddlers cannot to rent paddlecraft to attempt the 26 mi Big Ole SUPathon.

10. SVEN & Big Ole SUPathon paddlers must check-in with BOS staff at Rotary Beach on Lake L'Homme Dieu for water, snacks & guidance.

11. Paddlers attempting the 26 mi Big Ole SUPathon must average 3 mph, including all rest breaks, to continue on the BOS course from the Rotary Beach check-in (Cutoff time - 1:30 PM).

12. Minors age 12-13 must be in same craft as parent or guardian and wear PFD & safety leash. Minors 14-15 must paddle same course as parent or guardian and wear PFD & safety leash. Each minor 16-17 must be accompanied by an adult. Minors 12-15 cannot register for the 26 mi Big Ole SUPathon.

DOUGLAS CO & MN Dept. of Natural Resources Regs.

1. Nonmotorized watercraft over 10 ft in length must be registered with the MN DNR (p. 41), if kept in MN for more than 90 consecutive days, and display a valid registration decal. You can register your SUP in Alexandria.

2.  Zebra Mussels infest all waterbodies of the BOS courses. Paddlers should have their craft decontaminated by Douglas Co. Land & Resource Mgmt at Bugaboo Bay immediately after their race.

3. Lake Le Homme Dieu is infested with Eurasian watermilfoil. BOS paddlers must inspect their craft before entering Lake Geneva.

4. Participants are on public waters and must obey MN's boating laws and rules.

5. Consumption of alcohol at public accesses is prohibited.


1. Participants are recommended to wear loose, synthetic fabrics, hats, wind-breakers, sunglasses, sunscreen & shoes or sandals. It’s advised that 26 mi BOS paddlers wear gloves and carry a hydration pack, dry bag & phone.

2. Hazards in channels include currents, wave trains, rocks & woody debris.

3. 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 arms or paddle. Participants can follow the shoreline if boat traffic is too high for their comfort.

4. Keep an eye on the sky and ask BOS staff about the weather, if needed.

5. Participants should wear their PFD if paddling in adverse weather conditions.

6. Participants too fatigued to enjoy themselves are encouraged to exit the race.

7. Participants should bring a towel, fresh clothes and shoes to wear afterwards. 

     The Big Ole SUPathon takes months of planning and about ten volunteers. BOS organizers must select a far-off Friday and hope for a calm, sunny day. If unsafe weather conditions such as high winds, thunderstorms & lightning require BOS organizers to deviate from the schedule, postponing start times is the first option. If conditions force the cancellation of Chain of Lake events, alternative events of similar distances will be held on the Long Prairie River. Decisions to deviate from the schedule because of weather will NOT be taken lightly or made hastily.  

     The Big Ole SUPathon utilizes about 10 volunteers for 5 to 6 hours to ensure the event is a safe and enjoyable one. Volunteers need a reliable vehicle or boat, mobile phone and a large, clean cooler. Volunteers receive instructions & schedule via email weeks before the event, and their ice, food & water at 9AM on Fri. 7/13 at Bugaboo Bay. Interested? us at

1. Promote recreational paddling and tourism in the Alexandria Lakes Area.
2. Increase public awareness of local environmental concerns like zebra mussels, eurasian water milfoil, shoreline erosion / alteration, and the water quality of our lakes.
3. Support great local non-profits, like the United Way of Douglas & Pope Counties.   


     The Big Ole SUPathon donates all profits to the United Way of Douglas & Pope Counties (UWDP). Organizers keep registration fees as low as possible, so profit margins are pretty slim. Any business or individual that donates $300 or more to the UWDP can be a "sponsor" and have their logo or name on the 2018 BOS T-shirt! We also shamelessly promote and gratuitously thank our sponsors on social media! Just send us the name or logo by July 1st!

     The UWDP charity raffle is happening at Bugaboo at ~5:30 PM on Friday and prizes will include a SUP, paddle, clothing and other awesome stuff. Tickets are $5/each and ticket holders need not be present to win!

Additional Questions or Comments? Contact us at 
Schedule of Events

Friday, July 13th - Chain of Lake Events

6:00 - 6:15 AM     26 mi Big Ole SUPathon Pre-Race Carpool (optional)
Location: Lake Victoria Public Access, 2301 Hazel Hill Rd SE, 56308
26 mi Big Ole SUPathon paddlers can rendezvous at their finish line and carpool to the start.  

7:00 AM               The 26 mi Big Ole SUPathon 
Location: East Lake Miltona Access - 2470 N. Lake Miltona Dr NE, Miltona, MN 56354

9:00 - 9:15 AM     SVEN Pre-Race Carpool (optional) 
Location: Bugaboo Bay - 2800 N. Nokomis NE, 56308
12 mi SVEN paddlers can rendezvous at their finish line and carpool to the start. 

10:00 AM               The SVEN
Location: West Lake Charlie Access - 5100 Sunset Strip NW, 56308

11:00 - 11:15 AM     LENA Pre-Race Carpool (optional) 
Location: Lake Cowdry Public Access - 898 East Lake Cowdry Rd NW, 56308
6 mi LENA  paddlers rendezvous at their finish line and carpool to the start. 

12:00 AM              The LENA
Location: West Lake Charlie Access - 5100 Sunset Strip NW, 56308

4:30 - 6:00 PM    Post-Race Dinner, Awards & UWDP Charity Raffle
Location: Bugaboo Bay - 2800 N. Nokomis NE, 56308
Registered paddlers get a free post-event meal at Bugaboo Bay. Photos taken and medals awarded to the top 3 male and female finishers of each course! Paddlers get a $5 ticket to the United Way of Douglas & Pope Counties Charity Raffle, but are encouraged to buy more to boost their odds! Prizes include a SUP, paddle, clothing, and other awesome stuff!

Saturday, July 14th - Long Prairie River Cruise

8:00 AM    10 mi LPRC - Welcome & Paddlecraft Drop-off (optional) 
Location: Lake Carlos Marina - 9490 S Park Dr NE, Carlos, MN 56319
10 mi LPRC paddlers drop off their craft at LCM and drive vehicles to finish near Belle River.

9:00 AM    10 mi Long Prairie River Cruise 
Location: Lake Carlos Marina - 9490 S Park Dr NE, Carlos, MN 56319
10 mi LPRC paddlers will begin on Lake Carlos, hop over or portage the small Lake Carlos dam and paddle through Lake Carlos State Park and a couple culverts.
10:00 AM    8 mi Long Prairie River Cruise 
Location: Hwy 29 LPR Access - 4451 S Riverview Dr NE Carlos, MN 56319
8 mi LPRC paddlers will park at the access and be shuttled from the finish back to LPR access. 

1:30 - 3:00 PM    Post-Race Lunch, Awards, Celebration
Location: Lot due East of Hwy 29 LPR Access
Photos taken and medals awarded to the top 3 male and female finishers of the LPRC!

Additional Questions or Comments? Contact us at 

Event Entries Click on an event to see who entered.

Roy Lubbers6KayakAllAll
Anne Lubbers7KayakAllAll
Tim Grundei9SUP (All)AllAll
Mitchell Hop1SUP (All)AllAll
Tom Ernst4SUP (All)AllAll
Kirsta Anderson5SUP (All)AllAll
Trevor Petersen8SUP (All)AllAll
Daniel Lee10SUP (All)AllAll
Mitchell Hop1SUP (All)AllAll
Scott Larson2SUP (All)AllAll
Kathryn Carlson3SUP (All)AllAll
Tom Ernst4SUP (All)AllAll
Tim Grundei9SUP (All)AllAll
Terri Gerdes11SUP (All)AllAll
Mimi Seykora12SUP (All)AllAll

Results Select an event to view results.

Note: All live times are unadjusted and unofficial.

Google Maps of Courses

     We know everyone's first question is "How will I know where to go?" Buoys mark the 6 miles of the LENA course and staff will keep you on the right path. Unless you're the leader, you'll likely have someone to follow. BOS, SVEN & LENA paddlers also receive pocket-size waterproof maps. We recommend paddlers review their course map!

Addresses, Lodging & Camping

Since everyone uses their phones for driving directions, here are the key addresses you'll need!

NEED A ROOM FOR A NIGHT OR TWO? Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce - Lodging

NEED A FREE, CONVENIENT CAMPSITE? We have a spot for you!

Bugaboo Bay - Big Ole SUPathon Headquarters 
2800 N. Nokomis NE, Alexandria, MN 56308
Special Parking Note: Please park in the far ends of Bugaboo Bay's lot.

BIG OLE SUPathon START - 2470 N. Lake Miltona Dr NE, Miltona, MN 56354
BIG OLE SUPathon END - 2301 Hazel Hill Rd, Alexandria, MN 56308

Do you want to follow your Big Ole SUP-athoner as they paddle their guts out?!? Use the BIG OLE SUP-ATHON SPECTATOR MAP! 

SVEN START - 5100 Sunset Strip NW, Alexandria, MN 56308
SVEN END - 2800 N. Nokomis NE, Alexandria, MN 56308

Do you want to follow your SVEN paddler? Use the SVEN SPECTATOR MAP!

LENA START - 5100 Sunset Strip NW, Alexandria, MN 56308
LENA END - 899 E. Lake Cowdry Rd NW, Alexandria, MN 56308

Do you want to follow your LENA paddler? Use the LENA SPECTATOR MAP!

10 mi LPRC START - 9490 S Park Dr NE, Carlos, MN 56319
10 mi LPRC END - 10400 Co Rd 3 NE, Carlos, MN 56319

8 mi LPRC START - 4451 S Riverview Dr NE Carlos, MN 56319
8 mi LPRC END - 10400 Co Rd 3 NE, Carlos, MN 56319

Additional Questions or Comments? Contact us at 


Jul 13 to Jul 14, 2018


Alexandria, MN