Race the River - Downtown Riverwalk


Sat Mar 18 2023 at 07:00 am to 11:00 am


107 Avenue A Parking | San Antonio, TX

Join the San Antonio River Authority at our first competitive paddling race of the year!
About this Event

The San Antonio River Authority (River Authority), together with the San Antonio River Foundation, is excited to launch the 2023 Race the River competitive paddling race series!

Canoe and Kayakers from all over are invited to the River Walk in Downtown San Antonio for the first race of the year. Racers can compete in the Pro class, with experienced paddlers who compete in endurance adventure races throughout Texas, or in the Amateur class, with beginner and intermediate paddlers that are ready for a challenge. 

This is 5 mile sprint on the water as you follow the San Antonio River through downtown San Antonio's iconic River Walk. Top finishers will be awarded prizes following the race.

Event Photos

Race the River: Downtown Riverwalk

LOCATION: 103 Avenue A, San Antonio, TX 78215 

(River access will be across Lexington Ave. near the Tobin Center)

PARKING INFO: Parking is available for registered participants at 103 Avenue A, San Antonio, TX 78215 Parking Lot across from the Tobin Center

Saturday, March 18, 2023
  • 7:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • Total distance: Approximately 5 miles
  • Starting and ending near the Tobin Center, this paddling race is an all-out sprint from start to finish and includes three (3) laps within the historic downtown river loop area of the San Antonio River Walk.
  • There will be a Pro and Amateur class race, details on each class and guidance on how to select which race to participate in can be found below
  • An awards ceremony with prizes for the top three finishers in each category will be held immediately following the race
  • Everyone is encouraged to stay downtown to enjoy the River Walk and the St. Patrick’s Day Festival and Parade

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Race Categories:

The morning of paddling will be split into two races with the PRO group kicking things off followed by the AMATEUR group.

Pro Category

If you participated in a River Authority race in 2022 or if you have competed with TCKRA in a paddle race, then the Pro Class is for you. Expect stiff competition from your fellow experienced racers as you push for a podium finish.

Amateur Category

If you are newer to paddle sports or an intermediate paddler looking to test your skills along a fun and quick course, then the Amateur class is for you. Get a taste of competitive paddle sports and slight competition as you paddle for a top spot on the podium.

Race Classes
Each Race Category will be split into 3 classes:
  • Men’s Unlimited: Single male racer. No restrictions on watercraft other than those specified below.
  • Women’s Unlimited: Single female racer. No restrictions on watercraft other than those specified below.
  • Tandem: Two racers (male or female). Both participants must travel together in the same craft for the entirety of the race. No restrictions on watercraft other than those specified below.

An awards ceremony with prizes for the top three finishers in each category will be held following the race. Every paddler that finishes the race will earn a commemorative item for completing the challenge.

Watercraft Specifications
  • This event is designated as a canoe/kayak race, however, each class is "unlimited" in regard to the craft a paddler brings to race

  • There are no specified measurements competitors must abide by regarding watercraft shape, size, weight, etc.

  • Each craft should be human powered and not interfere with other racers in an unfair way

  • Gas or battery powered motors will not be permitted and if used will result in disqualification

  • Race organizers retain the right to disqualify a craft that is deemed unsafe to participants, or outside the spirit of competition, at any time

  • Inflatable boats of any kind are not permitted

  • Please contact race organizers if you have questions or if you want to verify that a craft qualifies for this race

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Important Information

Please read thoroughly. It is the racer's responsibility to understand and accept the details below.

  • Timing: This is not a timed race, however, there are cutoff points along the route. If you do not begin a lap before the designated cutoff time, you will be directed to the finish line, having not completed the full race distance. These cutoff points are in place to ensure all racers are off the water by the required time.
  • St. Patrick's Day: As is tradition, the city of San Antonio will dye the river green for the holiday weekend. The dye used is non-toxic and safe to come into contact with, however, there is a risk of altering the color of your clothes and paddling gear.
  • Custom Race Bibs: To receive a custom race bib with your boat name and number, registration must be completed by 5:00 PM on March 12, 2023. Participants who register after the designated cutoff will be assigned a number and given a generic bib at check-in.

Required Equipment

At the start of the race, each participant MUST wear, as recommended by the manufacturer, a properly sized, Coast Guard approved, Personal Floatation Device (PFD) of Type, I, II, III, or V and in good serviceable condition. Participants without a PFD will not be permitted to compete.

  • All participants enter this race of the Race the River Paddling Race Series at their own risk. The San Antonio River Authority, its officers, directors, employees, agents, volunteers, licensees, successors, and assigns, as well as associated with the San Antonio River Foundation and any other race judges, officials, and sponsors, will be released and held harmless from and for any and all claims, demands, actions, and causes of action whatsoever and will not be liable for accidents to personnel or damage to any property or equipment.
  • All participants must register online and must check-in and sign a participation waiver before the start of each race. A parent or legal guardian must sign the waiver for participants under 18.
  • The minimum age for solo participants is 16 years of age. For tandem teams, the minimum is 10 years of age or older, and at least one of the two participants on a tandem team must be at least 18 years of age.
  • You will receive an email from the River Authority confirming your online registration. River Authority will provide all necessary information to participants through email after online registration is completed.
  • A $25 registration fee per person per race is required. The registration fees will be a donation to the San Antonio River Foundation, which is the nonprofit organization associated with the River Authority.
  • Entry fees are final and there are no refunds or deferments.
  • In the event this race is postponed by the San Antonio River Authority:

- Postponement dates will be published as soon as feasible.

- Postponements will not result in refunds or deferments

  • During online registration, participants can pick a custom boat number. Please provide three options, in order of preference. Boat numbers are up to four numerals long without leading zeros. If all their preferred choices are selected, a number will be assigned at random.
  • It is the responsibility of participants to affix the assigned boat number to each side of the bow of their boat. If a participant chooses to use their own numbers, the numbers must be at least 4" in height and be made of reflective material of a contrasting color from the boat. Boat numbers will be checked prior to the start of each race. If a boat finishes the race without numbers, the racer may be disqualified.
  • All race day information, including location, check-in details, race start time, and other pertinent information will be emailed to participants prior to the race.
  • It is not the responsibility of River Authority race officials to determine whether a race participant is able to safely continue, or pull out the race, due to health or other related issues. It is the sole responsibility of each race participant to make the determination to inform race officials if and when a solo participant or tandem team has a serious medical condition, if their location on the river is in doubt, or if their craft is damaged and unable to safely continue. Once contacted, race officials will determine if it is necessary to initiate a rescue effort. If any participant, at any time, feels that an emergency requires a rescue effort, he/she should immediately contact 911.
  • Relays in any form are prohibited.
  • All supplies, equipment, and items of repair must be in the possession of each solo participant or tandem team at the start of the race.
  • Solo participants and/or tandem teams may not receive help or assistance of any kind during any of the races associated with the San Antonio River Basin Race Series, except for the following:

Support crews may provide the participants food, ice, drink, or medical materials only at the designated checkpoints. Only re-usable mesh bags may be used to provide the participants food, ice, drink, or medical materials. Food Items may be individually waterproofed in seal-a-meal type bag or zip-lock bag;

  • Intentional interference with the progress of another participant during the race will be grounds for disqualification.
  • The use of pace boats or canoes (i.e., crafts that are paddled or powered that follow or lead participants for the purpose of providing any type of support, including wake riding, drafting, or accompanying participants to “keep them up”) is not permitted and may result in disqualification.
  • Deliberate littering of the river is grounds for disqualification. Participants should keep their trash in their craft and hand it over to persons at designated checkpoints and/or at the completion of the race.
  • Participants may be subject to spot checks at any time by race officials and failure to follow the rules as outlined in the terms and conditions section may result in disqualification.
  • Formal protests made by any participant must be submitted to the River Authority by no later than 12:00 p.m. on the Wednesday immediately following the race. Any protest by a participant must be accompanied by a $100 fee, which is refundable if the protest is upheld.
  • In formulating the rules that govern the San Antonio River Basin Race Series, every effort has been made to foresee all situations and problems that might arise; however, officials of the San Antonio River Authority retain the right to change or amend these rules at any time without liability or recourse from any party regardless of the circumstances. Should such changes or amendments be made, all entrants will receive notification of same.

Having read and agreed to the above terms and conditions, please continue with the registration process.

Event Photos
Event Photos

Where is it happening?

107 Avenue A Parking, 107 Avenue A, San Antonio, United States

Event Location & Nearby Stays:


USD 25.00 to USD 50.00

San Antonio River Authority and the San Antonio River Foundation

Host or Publisher San Antonio River Authority and the San Antonio River Foundation

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