Great Iowa River Race 2018

Canoers, kayakers, and paddleboarders are welcome to compete in this fun 9.25-mile race on the Iowa River!  Community members looking mainly for a fun competition can enter into the recreational event, while serious racers (you know who you are) can enter into the competitive event. Many more helpful tips on registration are explained in the registration pages.

The race is $30/person. The registration window is open from March 1 to June 6. There is no day-of-registration. Anyone not registered after June 6 will be denied entry.  To be guaranteed a race t-shirt, racers must be registered by May 29 at 8:00 a.m. After that date, t-shirts will be available while supplies last.

Racing with kids? Contact for a youth coupon for those 14 years old and under. 

Along with an athletic-style t-shirt (with the logo shown above) the registration fee covers a hearty meal following the race. All profits help to expand the Johnson County Conservation's environmental education program.

Shuttles will be provided to help individual racers get between the start and finish. The first shuttle will leave from Hills Campground around 7:20 a.m. See more information about the shuttles on the schedule tab. 

Rental canoes and kayaks, are available for $10. The supply is limited, so reserve your rental early by emailing (we recommend checking before registration!) Include in the email your name, address, phone number, and number/type of rentals. Payments must be made in cash upon check-in. 

The above tabs with schedule, course, and directions give more logistical details. 

Weather Policy: In the case of thunderstorms the day of the race, a weather delay of 30 minutes to one hour may be set in place. We will not send racers onto the water if lightning persists. In the case of flooding or high and unsafe water levels, the race will be evaluated a week in advance, with the possibility of cancellation. In the event of cancellation, we cannot offer refunds. T-shirts will still be given out to all who registered in time to secure one. Following that deadline, t-shirts will be available while supplies last. 

Check-In: Opens at 8:00 a.m. at Sturgis Ferry Park  (Riverside Drive in Iowa City, Iowa) 

Race Start: 10:00 a.m.* 

Most participants will be able to finish the course in ~2 hrs. 

Awards and meal will follow race at Hills Campground and Access (4210 520th St. SE, Hills, IA). Meal is open to racers and is included in cost of entry. Meals can be purchased by spectators while extra tickets last. 

*A "second-run" option is available. Check in for this additional race opens at 7:00 a.m. at Sturgis Ferry Park. This race starts at 8:00 a.m. (Note: This option is typically only selected by serious racing competitors. Though it is called the "second-run," it takes place before the regular race)

Shuttles will be provided to help individual racers get between the start and finish. The first shuttle will leave from Hills Campground around 7:20 a.m. The priority of this shuttle is to transport those racing in the 'early run' at 8:00 a.m. Others wishing to secure vehicles at the finish line early can also take this shuttle. An additional shuttle will leave from Hills Campground at 8:45 a.m. Our goal is to have most participants shuttled before the race, but additional shuttles will run after the race as needed. 
This list is private.

Results Select an event to view results.

Note: All live times are unadjusted and unofficial.

Course: 9.25 miles on the easy-going Iowa River. The start is at Sturgis Ferry Park and the finish line is at Hills Access and Campground.
Sturgis Ferry Park
1700 S Riverside Drive
Iowa City, IA


Hills Access and Campground
4210 520th St. SE
Hills, IA



Jun 9, 2018


Iowa City, IA