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Urban Portage Race Kicks Off First Year With Chilly Start

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Saturday started off a little chilly in the metro -- it was only 37 degrees at 9 a.m., which is right about the time people put their canoes into Cedar Lake and started the Red Bull Urban Portage Race.

It's a paddling and portaging race through the Chain of Lakes in Minneapolis. Racers can paddle a canoe, kayak or paddleboard the course on a lake, and then pick it up and move to the next lake.

Overall, it's about 6 miles of paddling and 4 miles of portaging.

Don and Nancy Giacchetti were on the beaches, watching the race.

"To me, it embraces what we are all about in the state of Minnesota," Nancy said. "Especially today, with the weather being the way that it is. We like to do sports in all different types of weather, and that it involves the lakes in the cities and portaging. It's going to be very tough work for them, but it is very representative of our state."

Her husband, Don, was very thankful to be on the banks of the lake rather than out on the water.

"We are glad that we are right here cheering them on," Don said. "Those guys are good athletes and they train hard and they are doing well."

This is the first year of the Urban Portage Race, and organizers are thinking of making it an annual event.

It's something Don said he hopes they can come out and watch year after year.

"I hope they have a good turnout today, and then next year they have double or triple," Don said.

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