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Petaluma Paddle Marathon
Sunday 05 September 2021

Since 2004, the Petaluma River Marathon has served as the West Coast flat-water marathon/half marathon championship. It is one of the most beautiful and fun races on the west coast. Participants have ranged in age from 13 to near 80, in experience from ocean rowers, Olympians, and super paddlers to enthusiastic beginners, and joie de vivre as demonstrated by two Frenchmen with a fully stocked picnic hamper aboard their canoe. Bring plenty of water and food to get you through the race, then we’ll relax together afterwards on the adjacent Foundry Wharf green with a potluck feast. The race takes advantage of:

● Excellent conditions: Typically cool with flat water at the start, and minimal interference with motorboat wakes.

● Beautiful venue: The picture above of the bends near the halfway point does not exaggerate the unique character of the river. For most of its course, the river flows through a nature preserve that conveys an impression of early California. In the foreground, competitors are amidst native plants and wildlife of a large wetland, and in the background the California coastal range rises to define the horizon.

● Fortunate coincidence: The river stretches 13.1 miles from the NBRC dock near downtown Petaluma to the 100+ year-old railroad bridge near the entrance to San Pablo Bay. Accordingly, those navigating from the NBRC dock to this bridge and back will cover the standard marathon distance of 26.2 miles. Half Marathon participants, lacking such a stolid turning point, will reverse their course around an orange buoy anchored that morning in the center of the river at the halfway point.

Celebration: As always, we’ll recover together over shared our potluck feast and

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