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Marathon

In marathon, athletes are required to travel a given distance or a certain number of laps around a circuit as quickly as possible. It is also known as water ski racing and success in it is highly dependent on cooperation and communication between all members of a team

Marathon, also known as water ski racing, is a fast paced, adrenaline pumping sport. A marathon team consists of a boat driver, an observer and a skier. The driver will tow the skier, varying the speed as different water conditions are encountered. The driver makes judgments according to their knowledge of the skier and the signals relayed by the observer.

There are two types of events: distance "marathon" and closed circuit. The first type involves a one-way or a return run. These runs require two teams, one to ensure a smooth start and the other to control the finish. A control boat for officials is required at the end of the course to radio in times. Events are divided into two categories and age groups similar to classical and barefoot.

The driver, observer and skier share the tasks evenly. The driver follows the speed indications provided by the skier or indicated by the observer who can foresee lack of control or intense fatigue and act to avoid a fall and the resulting waste of time.

As in all sports, some countries have taken to marathon more than others. Australia certainly has the largest number of marathon ski racers. A race called "The Southern 80" held on the Murray River in Victoria has close to 1000 skiers participating in this annual event with each boat towing 2 skiers at a time.

Although the best skiers can reach speeds of 175 km/h in men's events and 160 km/h in women's events, the most important thing to keep in mind is to maintain a speed that the skier can control. In Québec, it took five years for skiers to reach 140 km/h; just a few achieve this task. The athlete must feel safe at all times. This is not a boat race. We do hope that the interest will spread across Canada.

Guinness World Record: Longest Water Skiing Marathon 
WHO: David Phillips 
WHEN: June 12, 1994 
WHERE: British Columbia, Canada 
WHAT: 56 hrs, 35 min., 3 sec. 
Ralph Hildebrand and Dave Phillips (both from Canada) water-skied for 56 hrs, 35 min., and 3 sec. around Indian Arm, Rocky Point, Canada. The feat was completed on June 12, 1994 and covered 2,152.3 km (1,337.46 miles). Infrared binoculars and spotlights were used while the two were skiing at night.