Traditional Marathon Racing competitions, like ICF World Cup and World Championships, involve a fixed flatwater course with regular portages, where the paddler must carry the canoe or kayak.
Each race lasts approximately three hours.
Many popular marathons are raced down sections of river, where the paddler must negotiate the currents, rapids or weirs, or else portage around these obstacles.
Some of these events attract over 2000 athletes each year and are often run in several stages over several days.
Marathon Racing involves paddling sleek racing craft over long distances, on either the flatwater of lakes, and dams, or the flowing water of a river.
Canoe Racing NZ runs an annual Canoe Marathon Championship hosted by one of its member clubs usually in April. This is open to all competitors across all age groups with different distances for each age group usually between 8km (U14 competitors) and 28km (open competitors).