Outdoors Inc. Canoe and Kayak Race has been a Memphis tradition for 45 years, attracting around a thousand recreational boating enthusiasts wishing to be the first to make it to the 5,000-meter mark on the Mississippi River each year.
According to Joe Royer, co-owner and president of Outdoors Inc., participants have come from near and far to be a part of the race, including well-known figures like double Olympic gold medalist and sprint kayaker Greg Barton, actress and former model Cybill Shepherd, and Pan Am gold medalist and sprint canoer Mike Herbert.
- Joe Royer
- Outdoors Inc.’s annual Canoe and Kayak Race goes virtual.
"[In past years], you got to line up beside Olympic and world champions in your recreational boat," says Royer.
This year, although participants can't gather in one spot due to COVID-19, they can still race alongside renowned athletes and public figures virtually. According to Royer, racers will be participating from as close as Hyde Lake and Wolf River Harbor in Memphis to as far as bodies of water in Chattanooga, Seattle, and more.
Royer says he's proud of the broad participant base that the annual race has built, but more than that, he's thrilled to continue the tradition of celebrating our riverfront with fellow Memphians.
"We just want to keep the tradition of the Outdoors Inc. Canoe and Kayak Race," says Royer. "We're on the largest river in the North American continent. When it rains in Yellowstone National Park, it flows through Memphis. And we're just very proud of our canoe and kayak event and of our river."
Outdoors Inc. Virtual Canoe and Kayak Race, participate from your favorite body of water, June 12th-14th, free to register, $20 for T-shirt, visit outdoorsinc.com for registration information.