Congratulations to all participants!

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Celebrating 62 Years of
Mother's Day Whitewater Races

The Mother’s Day Races were founded in the 1950’s by Los Alamos paddle boater and LANL employee, Jim “Stretch” Fretwell.  After competing at Colorado’s FiBark for many years, Stretch decided to start a paddle race closer to home on the Rio Grande, now known as the Pilar Racecourse.  The races were supported by Los Alamos’s Explorers: Post 20, The Atomic City Citizens Band Radio Club, The Los Alamos Fire Department to name a few.  By the late 1960’s, an estimated 2000 spectators leap frogged their way downstream on Highway 68 to watch rafts and kayaks twist and turn through the whitewater.

Stretch eventually handed it over to the Adobe Whitewater Club who valiantly ran the races for over thirty years until they handed it over to NMROA in 2008.  This year, NMROA and the Adobe Whitewater Club are working together to expand the races and welcomes spectator, racer and sponsor enthusiasm and support!


Thank you to all of the sponsors below for their continued support of the Mother’s Day Whitewater Races!


(all photos by Britt Runyon)


Friday May 10

4:00pm | Campground Opens

7:00pm | Dutch Oven Cook Off (Dishes Ready at 7pm!)


Saturday May 11

8:30am | Volunteer Meeting

9:00-9:45am | Day-Of Registration

10:00am | Downriver Races Start (Long/Short Kayak, SUP, Canoe)

11:30am | Slalom Races Start (Kayak, Canoe, SUP)

1:00pm | Downriver Rodeo/Freestyle (location TBD based on flows)

3:00pm | Family Race

5:00pm | Downriver Race Start (R4/R6)

7:30pm | Awards and After Party

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Sunday May 12

9:00am | Community Racecourse/Taos Box/Other Runs Paddle (Self-Organized)

Informal Raft Clinic, 9:00am Taos Junction Bridge Put-In

The 2018 Mother’s Day Racers persevered through low-water conditions and tough competition in all categories.