AuSable Marathon planning takes step forward
Tue, 05/04/2021 - 4:15pm caleb
Grayling City Council approves multi-use permits for time trials booth, running start of the race, and VIP area during meeting on Monday
Caleb Casey | Managing Editor
Planning for the 2021 AuSable River Canoe Marathon took another step forward on Monday, April 26, as the Grayling City Council approved multi-use permits for aspects of the race conducted in the city.
With three different 4-0 votes (one member was absent), the city council – during a regular meeting on April 26 – approved multi-use permits for the AuSable River Canoe Marathon’s race line-up (running start), the VIP area at the Old AuSable Fly Shop, and the time trials booth at the State Police Crime Lab.
Three members of the AuSable Marathon Committee were present for the meeting but there was very little discussion before approval of the permits.
Phil Weiler, one of the committee members present for the meeting, said on Tuesday, April 27, that the group knew it “had a lot of boxes to check off” before being able to finalize this year’s Marathon, and having the multi-use permits from the city approved were “huge boxes” to have checked off.
“Their support really means a lot to the race,” Weiler said.
Weiler said the AuSable River Canoe Marathon Committee has been working on insurance and waivers and safety considerations and coordinating with area law enforcement agencies. He said the group is optimistic about being able to conduct the race this year. The AuSable River Canoe Marathon was cancelled last year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“I think our paddle world may be back,” Weiler said. “Hopefully everybody’s been paddling.”
The AuSable Marathon Committee still needs to finalize a couple more permits before being cleared to conduct this year’s event.
Weiler said having to announce the cancellation of last year’s AuSable River Canoe Marathon was one of the most difficult things he’s ever done. He said he wanted to do everything he could to have the Marathon in 2021.
“This has been a personal thing for me,” Weiler said. “That hurt last year. That hurt bad. It’s time to get Grayling right again.”
Weiler said the committee has been working on gathering sponsorships and selling advertisements for the annual program book, and support from the community has been strong so far.
“Everybody’s been so supportive,” Weiler said.
The Marathon Committee committee is hoping to open online registration for this year’s race in early May, Weiler said.