For those who love water sports, here's an event that you won't want to miss.

The City of Boca Raton Ocean Rescue is holding a seven-mile watercraft race Sunday, Feb. 2, at 7 a.m. at Spanish River Park, Boca Raton.

Anyone can join this first annual “Boca Raton Rat Race.” The object is to use some kind of watercraft—a stand-up paddle board, dory boat, surf ski, canoe or kayak—to make the seven-mile trek on water. Competitors must bring their own watercrafts.

The Rat Race will start at the South End of Spanish River Park.

“Depending on conditions, the race will start in the [Intracoastal] waterway, just south of the Spanish River bridge, then head south past Palmetto Bridge, across the Boca Lake, out the Boca Inlet,” says Ryan Klenke, a race organizer and local lifeguard. “Then, it will head north along the Boca beach, up to [lifeguard] tower 14, Spanish River Beach, to the finish.”

The cost to join the race is donation only.

The purpose of this event is to raise money to send the Boca Raton Ocean Rescue team to the Nautica 2014 Nationals Lifeguard Championship, Klenke says.

The National Lifeguard Championship is a three-day event, held this year Aug. 6-9 in Virginia Beach, Va. More than 1,000 lifeguards compete in events simulating real rescues.

Klenke says Team Boca has had many national championship winners, including Boca Raton firefighters, lifeguards and twin sisters Shelley and Sherry Griffith – the 14-time national champions in the doubles row.

For more information, contact Rian Klenke at or 561/2451536 (text only).  

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About Lisette
Lisette Hilton, president of Words Come Alive, has had the luxury of reporting on health, fitness and other hot topics for more than 23 years. The longtime Boca Raton resident, University of Florida graduate and fitness buff writes for local, regional and national publications and websites. Find out more on