One of Lupe's thread reminded me of this, so I dug out some pictures. As the title says, the race is 17 miles long in pretty calm waters. A few rocks and rapids, but hardly anything that could be considered whitewater. The falls were the biggest problem for folks, but it never was for me. We always paddled our guts out to get as much speed as possible, then at the last minute, both of us would scoot toward the back and get as low as possible.
I've done this race twice. The 1st time was a challenge because I was told that I couldn't build a canoe that would hold up to the race. So, I had to prove them wrong. I built a canoe out of 1/4" cdx plywood and finished 16th with it. It sat low in the water and was a speed demon in deep water. The problem was when we hit shallow stuff, had to get out and drag it alot. But it finished. Had we had deeper water, I think we could have won.
I don't have pics from the first, but these pics were from the second time and we walked away with a 2nd place trophy.
As you can see, the falls were nothing major. This is at the bottom of East Run hill for and the other Mannington folks. The bridge was at the finish line. I was the anchor man in back. My partner weighed in at 110 pounds, and I weighed in at, well, just a little but more at 220. Definately an endurance test!! Takes about 4 hrs, although it has been done in just a little over 2 when the water was higher.