The Fort to Field 50 Paddle Battle is a 50-mile paddling race pitting kayakers and canoeists against all the wild, windy aspects of an amazingly stretch of South Dakota’s most scenic river. More than 100 racers took part in 2014’s inaugural race. It’s open to all paddled craft and we hope you’ll join us with registration opening on Feb. 1.
The course is set on a beautiful segment of the nation’s newest National Water Trail. The Missouri National Recreation River, especially along this 50 mile portion, is truly a gem lesser-known in the paddling community.
The amazing scenery on this National Wild and Scenic River and its at-times-challenging current make Paddle Battle both a test of determination and an enjoyable adventure outing. Here the river is truly rural, wild and much like it was before the Pick-Sloane Plan led to the dams and reservoirs of the modern Missouri River.
The Fort to Field 50 takes its name from its start, the Fort Randall Dam, and its finish, Springfield SD’s newly improved marina. We got off to a great start in 2014 and hope to thrive in 2015 – with you as part of our July 11 event.
Racers have 15 hours to complete the course and its three checkpoints. No time cut-offs at checkpoints, but all racers must be finished by 10 p.m. on July 11. Most paddlers should have no problem completing the 50-mile course since the river flows at a rate of approx. 3-5 mph in most stretches along the route.
As a team, our primary goal is safety. A wide range of agencies, both internal and external to our team, are on board to make sure everyone who takes part will be safe. This stimulating endurance paddling event allows us to share a unique portion of South Dakota and Nebraska with an audience that most likely is unfamiliar with it.
Our other goals include making the race approachable for competitors of any skill level, exposing more people to the grandeur and beauty of the Missouri National Recreational River and to increase awareness this Midwestern gem.