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Kirtland Nursing Student Paddles with AuSable Canoe Marathon Legend Al Widing Sr.

Kirtland Nursing Student Teams Up With AuSable Canoe Legend

Kirtland Nursing Student Teams Up With AuSable Canoe Legend

Roscommon, MI Kirtland Community College nursing student Hailey McMahon joins forces with canoeing legend Al Widing Sr., to take on a vast field of paddlers in the 2012 AuSable River Canoe Marathon.

McMahon, 21, began canoeing last August when she first paddled with Widing to prepare for a short race in December.  After teaming up for a second race in February, 2012, McMahon and Widing agreed to partner for the 65th annual AuSable River Canoe Marathon, which is comprised of a variety events scheduled to take place beginning July 24.  The official marathon begins in Grayling, Mich., on July 28th and concludes in Oscoda on the 29th.   As of July 12, Canoe #9 is slated to take on a field of 68 other teams.

While this is McMahon’s first AuSable River Canoe Marathon, she has experience on her side as Widing is the race’s oldest competitor, having competed in 39 previous races and in every race from 1987 to 2012.  Not only does the 2012 marathon mark his 40th appearance in this local, iconic contest of strength, perseverance and determination, it also represents the first time Widing has participated with a female partner.

Hailey McMahon and Al Widing Sr. Paddling on the AuSable River

Hailey McMahon and Al Widing Sr. Paddling on the AuSable River

“I am looking forward to this new challenge of racing the marathon because I’m a very competitive athlete. I asked Al Widing Sr. to race with me for the 2012 marathon because there is no other person who has as much experience and knowledge of the AuSable River. I will also be the first female Al has ever raced the marathon with,” says McMahon.  Together, Canoe #9 spends hours on the river in preparation.  “This varies depending on what race is coming up and how long it is.  Right now, we’ve been doing a lot of night training since the marathon is only a few weeks away. Last week, we spent 15 hours on the river throughout the week,” added McMahon.

McMahon recently completed her licensed practical nursing (LPH) certification and is now pursuing her registered nursing (RN) degree with Kirtland as well.

For more information on McMahon’s participation in the 2012 AuSable River Canoe Marathon, contact 989-275-5000 ext. 242 or sarah.madonna@kirtland.edu.