"The knowledge and skills of the DEC personnel has proved invaluable in the continuing success of the 90-Miler," McDonnell said.
The 90-Miler is organized and sponsored by the Adirondack Watershed Alliance. Other sponsors include Wenonah Canoes, the Central Adirondack Association, Byrne Dairy, Grand Union, Adirondack Bank, Forge Racing, Long Lake Recreation, Placid Boatworks, Lake Placid Pub and Brewery, Campmor, Adirondack Lakes and Trails, NYMCRA, Franklin County Tourism, Little Beaver Guideboats, GRB, Hyde Fuel, The Old Forge Camping Resort and MAC'S Canoe Livery.
More than 100 volunteers also help to shuttle boats, keep time and provide pit stops for paddlers. Amateur Ham radio operators led by Saranac Lake resident Roland Patnode also provide invaluable assistance.
This year, Region 5 Director Betsy Lowe presented the Terry Healy Award. In honor of the 25th year of DEC involvement, the Terry Healy Award went to all communication, safety and medical volunteers.
Those who received the award included members of the DEC, led by Mike Grove and Phil Johnstone; The Adirondack Amateur Radio Association, led by Roland and Jackie Patnode who provided radio communications to race officials; and the Search and Rescue of the Northern Adirondacks (SARNAK) that provided first aid along the route.
The 90-Miler began in 1983 by a group of Saranac Lake residents looking for an event that would celebrate the historical mode of transportation in the region: human-powered boats.
The original organizer, Sue Dyer, was looking for "something physically challenging, naturally gorgeous and positively memorable after the pain went away."
For the past three years the members of The New York Marathon Canoe Racing Association have voted the 90 - Miler its race of the year.