90-Miler is a great tradition

To the editor:

I was honored to be a part of the 35th running of the “90,” the Adirondack Canoe Classic. The race began with a challenge from Bill Hulshoff (the current chief timer of the race) to run a “real” canoe race. He considered a real race to be 100 miles.

It has evolved from a race run by the Saranac Lake Chamber of Commerce, under of guidance of the dedicated chamber board members and staff Lori Beatty and Kathy Ivimey, and its many enthusiastic volunteers.

It was to become the featured water event of the Adirondack Park Centennial celebration. Today, under the leadership of Grace and Brian McDonnell, it continues to be the premier canoe race in the Northeast.

As I drove from Old Forge to Saranac Lake, it was gratifying to see every community along the route turned out to welcome participants, their pit crews, families and friends. Every town boasted hundreds of spectators, craft fairs and food concessions sponsored by Fire Departments, civic, social or fraternal organizations. They applauded and cheered their welcome to the participants who travel one of the most famous of the historic “Adirondack Highways.”

At the finish line, I was able to congratulate a woman who has participated in every race, missing only one in 35 years due to her service in Afghanistan.

This is only one of the many incredible stories in the 90!

While I was unable to participate in the 30th anniversary of the race, my children Chris Dyer and Kathy Dyer competed in the two-man guideboat class. I was able to be at the finish line this year to congratulate the second-place guideboat winners, my son Chris and his partner Joe Markowski. I watched and cheered for my granddaughter Rachael, a participant in the two-person recreational canoe category.

The “90” has a tradition of family participants that continue to insure its successful future.

This event is a special part of Saranac Lake history … Adirondack history. Congratulations to all,

Sue Dyer

Albuquerque, New Mexico