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Lifespan Team Takes The Gold in the 40th Great Race Auburn, NY

By Helen Littlejohn

The 40th annual “Great Race” put on by the YMCA took place the second Sunday of August at Emerson Park on Owasco Lake in Auburn, NY. 

The treacherous course consists of a 10K run, a 20 mile bike leg, and a 4 mile kayak race. Teams, made of a runner, a biker and two canoeists, can choose to compete in a long race or a short race. 

My husband’s family has been competing in this race since the inception of in it 1977.  A few years ago they opened the competition up to kayaks in addition to canoes.  At that time, my husband decided to make his own cedar-strip racing kayak in the tradition of his family who built a few cedar-strip canoes.  Now, several members of his family compete on various teams. 

This year, Lifespan Therapies sponsored my husband’s team, which included: Annie Dotzler, the runner, Kevin Bruton, the biker, and Mike Littlejohn, the kayaker.  In their division, “Mixed over 40 long course”, they won!  In the kayak leg of the race, Mike came in 6th place.  This is quite an undertaking considering the level of competition. 

To promote even more teams participating, they will be opening the race up to include paddle boarders. The variety of water sports and age brackets allowed for teams of every fitness level even more fun!  Even if you are not competing in your family, there are other fun acts happening while the race takes place. This year they had the band Destination playing to entertain everyone at the conclusion.  Mark your calendars for next year and start training for this family fun event.