Olympians, stand up paddlers, marathon, ocean and sprint paddlers are among the early entries for the International Canoe Federation’s 5k paddle challenge, which is aiming to get everyday paddlers active again during the coronavirus crisis.

The ICF has been overwhelmed by the early response, but there will always be room for many more.

The 5k challenge was launched on Friday, and already entries have come in from all over the globe.
Paddlers are encouraged to each week undertake at least one five kilometre paddle, either on the water or on an ergo, and to record their times on the official event page.

The 5k challenge is also raising money and awareness for Doctors Without Borders (MSF), who are on the frontline of the fight against covid-19 around the world. All entrants are being asked to make a donation if possible. All donors will be entered in a weekly prize draw.

2016 Rio silver medalist Maxime Beaumont of France and fellow Olympians Alyce Wood of Australia and Manfredi Rizza were some of the first entrants. World-class stand-up paddlers Susak Molinero and Paolo Marconi have signed on, as has Russian canoe marathon athlete Larisa Antonova and canoe sprinter Lasma Liepa.

The 5k challenge is open to paddlers of any level all over the world. The ICF is urging all participants to follow local safety instructions and to paddle only where it is legal to do so.

The diversity of the international canoeing community has been reflected in the variety of craft in which entrants have indicated they will complete the challenge, and the location of the paddle.

There will be paddlers on rivers, lakes, oceans, creeks and in indoor ergos all over the world, including Brazil, USA, Bermuda, the Canary Islands, Australia, Europe and South Africa.

Each week an updated leaderboard will be published, and prizes will be given away. All the competition rules and the entry form can be found here, and more information about the work being carried out by Doctors Without Borders can be found here.

Find more information about entering our 5k challenge here, and about the work Doctors without Borders (MSF) is doing around the world here.

You can find all the rules here.