Houston Canoe & Kayak Club
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Course Description for the 2017 USACK Marathon National Championship
Brooks Lake is shaped like a horseshoe or boomerang. From the start, the outbound lap contours the inside bend, while the return lap contours the wider outer bend. The return/outer bend portion of the lap is slightly longer.  

The lake is 10 feet deep for the entirety of the course.  

The lake’s width is 60 meters at the start, widening to 120 meters near the center, and about 60 meters again at the outbound buoy turn.  

For the first 400 meters from the start to the pedestrian bridge, the large fountains in the center of the lake serve as the dividing line for outbound and return traffic. Large marker buoys will designate the turn between the 3rd & 4th fountain.  

After passing under the pedestrian bridge adjacent to the Hyatt, outbound paddlers will gradually turn right, contouring the shore but staying to the left of the marker buoys. This will keep the racers away from the shallow water near shore, as well as line them up for the pending portage dismount.  

Two 7-foot tall red banner flags mark the portage dismount. Paddlers must dismount between the two flags. The approach to the shoreline has been carpeted. The portage run is approximately 100 meters along the shoreline on manicured grass. There will be an aid station near the center of the portage. Support crews should stay closer to the sidewalk, leaving the inside lane closest to the lake open for those not needing to stop for assistance. The portage remount also is clearly marked and carpeted.  

From the end of the portage, the Fluor Bridge is approximately 150 meters. This bridge is low to the water, but there is sufficient clearance. Although not necessary, paddlers tend to lower the trajectory of their stroke under the bridge, so those wake-riding should be prepared to move slightly further away from the lead boat to avoid hitting his/her paddle.  

The outbound buoy turn is about 250 meters past the Fluor Bridge, just before the lake begins to narrow toward Oyster Creek (note this is a change from the 2013 course, where the turn buoys were some 400-meters further downstream).  

On the return following the buoy turn, paddlers should remain between the yellow marker buoys and the shore, which are placed approximately 100-meters apart all the way from the turn back to the pedestrian bridge.  

Once past the pedestrian bridge, racers may traverse under the fountains to cool off, but must stay on their side of the fountain. Be aware that doing this will require a few extra meters of paddling to re-align with the pending turn buoys.  

After the final buoy turn at the fountains, racers will continue back to the finish line, marked by two large red buoys near the shore adjacent to Hyatt Place.