QUINCY — Rowers and paddlers of any type of vessel will be looking to be the first to cross the finish line at this year’s Quincy Five Miler on Sept. 19.
Whoever arrives at the South Side Boat Club first will receive the Allie Lymenstull Cup, which is named after a second-generation rower in Quincy who died before the first race in 2012.
Organizer Ray Thomas said he is curious to see which boat will be the fastest.
“Will the fastest boat be a row boat or a paddled boat?” he said. “That’s an interesting question because in years past, the fastest boat has been a row boat. But right now there is a new group of paddlers who race a type of kayak that is really fast, so we may be at the time where we’re going to find paddle boats are faster than row boats — particularly if (the river) is rough or there’s a big wind.”
About 50 people participate in the Quincy Five Miler and the 15-mile Bear Creek Grunt race on Sept. 20 that also is organized by the group.
The race is open to beginners and experienced rowers and paddlers.
“They can bring a canoe down or any type of boat they can row,” Thomas said. “It’s pretty easy to go 5 miles, particularly if there’s a north wind because we go with the current.”
The Quincy Five Miler starts at 11 a.m. Sept. 19 from Knapheide Landing. Participants will head through Quincy Bay, passing All America Park, Kesler Park and Clat Adams Bicentennial Park. They will finish at the South Side Boat Club, 640 S. Front.
This year, the Friends of the Trails’ Fun’d Ride will start and end at the club in conjunction with the Quincy Five Miler.
The club will offer food and drinks at the finish line.
“We’re just going to enjoy the day where people can get out on their bikes and boats,” Thomas said.
The 15-mile Bear Creek Grunt starts at 10 a.m. Sept. 20. Participants start at the Bear Creek landing area and run down the Canton Chute through a series of islands and the Illinois shoreline. The course heads into the main channel of the river below Hogback Island and turns through the cut into Quincy Bay before ending at the South Side Boat Club.
The entry fee is $25 for one race or $40 for both. Participants will receive a T-shirt and goody bag. Prizes are given to the winners of each class.
For more information or to register, visit quincy5miler.com or search for “Quincy 5 Miler” on Facebook. Registration is available on race day, though organizers ask people to register earlier, so they’re able to prepare race packets.