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80 people finish 54 mile canoe race Submitted: 06/15/2013
Story By Shardaa Gray

Photos By Shardaa Gray

RHINELANDER - Imagine canoe racing for more than 14 hours non-stop at night.

A group of camp counselors did just that, at the finish line of the Hodag Challenge.

"We're set on track for victory and we're loving the hodag challenge."

A challenge that no one would ever dream of doing except these group of people.

"I knew it was a pretty big HoneyRock tradition," said canoe race participant, Beth Lutz.

"I've had friends who've done it before and they all encourage people to do it. Just thought it sounded like fun."

54 miles and more than 14 hours of non-stop canoeing along the rainbow flowage and Wisconsin River into Boom Lake.

This group started in Three lakes at Honey Rock and finished at Hodag Park.

They did it with only their strength, survival gear and words of encouragement to push each other on.

"A few years ago we just had the idea of let's see how fast we can do it and about seven canoes of people decided to do it. This weekend we had about 27 canoes, about 80 people do it." Honey Rock director, Rob Ribbie said.

But it wasn't an easy course.

"My canoe, we tipped over into the river. We lost one of our maps. All kinds of crazy things happened." said Lutz.

"It's an epic race. It really tests your body and definitely your mind," Canoe race participant, Aaron Devries said.

"Being out there you kind of have to encourage each other and keep pushing."

Encouraging each other was the key to success.

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