When you run this many sprints, it might as well be a marathon.
On Thursday, United States Canoe Association Youth Sprints were held at Chapman State Park.
Kate Weinrich Kaiser, an adult paddler who was volunteering to help organize the races, noted they try to get the young paddlers in as many races as possible to gain experience.
It's possible to gain a lot of that, with the youngest participants eligible at age five. Up through age 12, they compete over 250 meters and from age 13 to 17 they cover 500 meters.
A variety of options allow for maximum participation, Weinrich Kaiser said, with participants able to compete in canoe, kayak and paddleboard disciplines. For canoes, there were even further divisions of solo and teams of two. If that weren't enough, there were separate competitions for teams of the same gender and mixed.
In all, there were 17 events held on Thursday. Any one competitor could have been in up to five of those.
Ron Kaiser, sprint chairman, noted the difference between a canoe and kayak comes down to the paddles used. Canoe paddles have only a single blade while kayaks paddles are double bladed.
Sometimes, competitors were racing in back-to-back competitions. Boats also saw little lag time in between uses.
"The logistics are tough," Kaiser said. "Sometimes you're coordinating on the spot."
Jerry Patton and Norm Ludwig serve on the competition committee. Without them, Kaiser said, the races couldn't have taken place.
He also thanked his wife, Weinrich Kaiser, for her help. Two other USCA members helped out, he said: Dale Glover and Brian Amon.
Jackie Stone came from Kalamazoo, Mich., to compete in the races. She took part in five of them Thursday, saying she wanted to have fun and challenge herself.
Although still in the youth division, she's already a veteran with six years of competition under her belt. Stone said she most enjoys the camaraderie she's developed with her fellow participants.
"I like the area," Stone said. "It's pretty and a nice river for a marathon."
Actual marathon events are scheduled for Friday. They will begin at Kinzua Dam tailwaters and finish at Betts Park.