“Community proud,” that’s certainly what comes to personal mind in gratitude to a couple of classy events again proven to area recreation this recent spring. A tenderfoot spring celebration to foot racing in the North Country now joining alongside the annual historically and pioneering canoe and kayak racing event of any kind, anywhere around. Community based recreational opportunities witnessed at their local best in organizational creation and participation offering. Canton the personal beneficiary of each event organizer’s selfless efforts. As such, a moment of genuine thanks here.
Firstly, congratulations and thanks to second year event organizer Kara McLuckie (as well, fond thanks to previous event founder/organizer Amanda Stopa Goldstein starting in 2017) for the 2023 edition of the Maple Run Half-Marathon and 5K race success on Saturday, April 15. Congratulations with thanks also to foot-traveling everyone who came out and participated in the beautiful sunny morning challenge that day hosted out of its new course starting and finishing at Canton’s Bend In the River Park and quietly puttering along the back roads of the community. Some 141 participants in total for both events. That list a grand make up of hearty athletic souls locally, from across all over New York State, and areas beyond; including Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, North Carolina, Ohio, Michigan, Colorado, Florida, and Quebec and Ontario, Canada. Folks in age ranging from 9 year old Wesley, to 72 year old Lyn in attendance. Very cool and evolving recreational opportunity to our Canton community. One I’m glad is in my backyard of play too. An event perhaps to take the lingering path of long term fun and greatness in Canton as each the over 40-year-old Stillman Foote Running Club’s Frozen Foote and Summer Sunset race series have, or maybe even longer if blessed in grand example to this next event.
In skipping ahead - This past weekend May 5-7 witnessed the 61st year offering of the Rushton Memorial Races - Canton Canoe Weekend. Can you imagine? 61 years of dipping paddles in organized paddlesport racing in one of the greatest rivers in the world! Sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly they say…..the finish line always crossed with those willing and determined. Some in attendance on the weekend, noted individuals there in the earliest beginning! Perhaps no longer fountains of youth, but certainly springs of inspiration without doubt. The course, the boats, the technology and most everyone’s training have changed, but the generational experience always the near same. I recall in memory experiencing as a youth from Miner Street bridge with Mom and Dad, the thrills of boats swiftly coming down the section of rapids there (quite a gathering place for the community to watch from then….more than a few paddling weekend warriors getting swamped in the heavy spring, whitewater flows just before reaching the old finish line downtown). Much of those years still offered in present day reminisce to old 8mm video collection thanks to the parent’s own efforts to historic preservation of their community happenings. Certainly teaching us kids the importance of such in having fun opportunity to neat look back now. Happy also to have experienced a few entered races over the years myself. Including this year in sentimental pride with my Dad’s historic ‘Bart Hathaway’ 1974 built, 10 ½ foot, 18lb. fiberglass pack canoe based in original design to J. Henry Rushton’s own like crafted creation. A humbling self-aging honor in historic relation to so many these wonderful characters from times past in aimed dedication to the love they had for the paddlesport life. A hunched over 59 year North Country native paddling in a nimble 50 year old beautifully handcrafted boat in celebration to a wonderfully charismatic 61 year old race event. Who’d a thought it?!
This year’s Rushton Memorial events with combined near couple hundred paddlers from all over the planet earth, besides our most enchanting locals, included participants from across NY State and away yet to at least ten other states and a couple Canadian provinces. The Canton based St. Lawrence Valley Paddlers group led another beautifully promoted and executed weekend of fun and competition. Thanks so much to that entire group of wonderful neighbor folks for the privileged offered. Without wanting to insult anyone in potentially leaving specific names out in thy own’s common ignorance, and knowingly sensing you folks work best as a team to this event, I instead offer that the whole of you are respectfully acknowledged to “best thanks” in your active volunteering efforts to bring such great events like Rushton to life year after year. It may not always be spoken of such publicly, but know it is always humbly felt by the many of us you kindly serve.
Final contributing thanks to all the generously funding sponsors of both the Maple Runs and Rushton boat races, to the hometown St. Lawrence Plaindealer for some sweet press coverage to both events, and in quiet opportunity if I could, to rectify some poor manners in not acknowledging such as a neighbor previously – simple thanks in kind ovation to Canton’s Mark McKenna for initiating (and far beyond) efforts to the entire adaptive kayak/canoe launch of 2022 now a center piece of Taylor Park overall, and the Rushton Memorial Race Weekend seemingly in particular (it was a beautiful thing to see its numerous safe and practical uses on event days by so many grateful users).
Next up – Summer Sunset 5k on June 13 followed by the ever enchanting, Morley Library Association 50k Bike for Books event June 17th. Happy trails until then.
Dan Dominie (not the outlaw one)
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Welcome to the discussion.
Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.