LaJoie, Blais Top AuSable River Marathon Time Trials

GRAYLING – With all three days of time trials now in the books, the 70th running of the AuSable River Canoe Marathon is inching closer.

The team of Steve LaJoie and Guillaume Blais have the first starting position for the Le Mans style foot race to the Au Sable River.

The race is one of three legs of the triple crown of canoe racing, and with 80 teams set to run to the river in Graying on Saturday, it’s a competitive field that brings out the best in the world of canoe racing.

“The thing that separates this race from almost every other canoe race in North America, is that these are the top paddlers in North America,” AuSable River Canoe Marathon communications director Steve Southard said. “The pace of this race, there are races that are longer, but there’s no other race this fast for as long, 120 miles. This is the ultimate test in marathon canoe racing.”

The race begins Saturday at 9 p.m. in Grayling.