Twenty-one of the fiercest paddlers from across North America and Europe will converge on Alabama next month for the 5th edition of a state-wide race that tests the will of even the most extreme athletes. Racers face whitewater, battle tidewater currents, and traverse around nine dams in this 650-mile, adventure-style paddle race called the Great Alabama 650. It kicks off in Northeast Alabama at Weiss Lake on Sept 30, and spectators can cheer for racers on river banks in Gadsden, Pell City, Wetumpka, Montgomery, Selma, Fairhope, and more. The racecourse is the core section of the Alabama Scenic River Trail, which as an organization (ASRT), now has 6,500-plus miles of river trail network across the state. The 650-mile core section of the ASRT extends from the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in Northeast Alabama through alligator country to the Gulf of Mexico. Racers will have up to ten days to finish the race going all out for a first-place win in one of three divisions– male solo, female solo, and two-person team. Participants can use kayaks, canoes, or stand-up paddleboards interchangeably throughout the event. Spectators can follow the event virtually at AL650.com, where race organizers will post a live map reporting up-to-the-minute updates on each racer's progress. Staff will also share live race information through Facebook and Instagram posts, which spectators can find by following official race accounts (@GreatAlabama650) or using the hashtag #AL650. Who: 21 Racers What: The Great Alabama 650: 5th Edition of a 650 Mile Alabama Professional Paddle Race When: September 30, 2023 - October 10, 2023 Where: Alabama Scenic River Trail Core- Weiss Lake to Fort Morgan Website: AL650.com Social Media: @GreatAlabama650 and #AL650 The Alabama Scenic River Trail (ASRT) uses a network of members and outfitters to create, improve, and promote more than 6,500 miles of river trails. ASRT connects adventurers with opportunities to explore and appreciate Alabama's great waterways through unique experiences. Working primarily through community partnerships, ASRT promotes safe, fun, and welcoming paddling experiences across the state for people of all skill levels. The Alabama Scenic River Trail, for which we are named, is the longest (650 miles) and most experience-diverse river trail in America, covering mountain streams and multi-class whitewater to river delta and the salty waves of the Gulf of Mexico. Today we continue to grow our network and share the state's unparalleled water recreation opportunities. To learn more, please visit alabamascenicrivertrail.com.