Houston Canoe & Kayak Racing Club
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Course Description for the 2019 ACA Marathon National Championship
Brooks Lake is 1.5-miles in length. Its shape resembles a boomerang, meaning wind will impact racers from all directions on each lap.

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 9-10 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 500-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 near the last 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.  

There are two portages that can be utilized for the race. Portage A is a beach style dismount and remount, located approximately 1000-meters from the start. Portage B contours the lake at fountains, and is a dock style dismount and remount. The portage to be used for the marathon team trials is dependent on weather (e.g., wind speed and direction), and the availability of Portage B (e.g., permits). Each portage is approximately 120-meters in length.  

Approximately 800-meters from the pedestrian bridge, racers will traverse under the Fluor Street Bridge. This bridge is low to the water, but there is sufficient clearance for a normal paddle stroke. Still, racers in wash-riding situations should anticipate a lowered paddle trajectory under the bridge to avoid collisions with other boats and/or paddles.  

The outbound buoy turn is about 400-meters past the Fluor Bridge, just before the lake begins to narrow toward Oyster Creek.  

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 paddle under the fountains to cool off, but must stay on their side of the fountain, and must not obstruct fellow racers.  

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.