Posted by: Ashley | October 15, 2008

Hello world! Wausau Whitewater begins to blog!

John McConville at Midwest Freestyle

John McConville at Midwest Freestyle

This is a beginning! Wausau Whitewater Flows.

Thanks to Joe Jacobi who told me this morning, “start a blog sooner than later”, I am jumping in and getting wet!

What does Wausau Whitewater do? Wausau Whitewater provides the opportunity to play, train, and compete on the whitewater course in downtown Wausau. The official non-profit that runs Wausau Whitewater is Wausau Kayak / Canoe Corporation. Somehow, paddlers and organizers alike are more likely to think Wausau Whitewater. The website was named several years ago. The annual publication has always been called Wausau Whitewater. Everything happens in Wausau Whitewater Park… so Wausau Whitewater it is!

Now, might as well as address where Wausau is… Seems like it would be the next logical question. Wausau is a city in Central Wisconsin. Pretty much central, too! About 2 1/2 hours from the state capital, Madison. About 4 hours from Minneapolis / St. Paul. About 4 hours from Milwaukee. Halfway between Eau Claire and Green Bay. Land-locked for the most part, Wausau is surrounded by other villages and cities, making the metropolitan area population over 100,000.

The history of Wausau Whitewater could cover another post completely but briefly, it was begun as an effort to take a resource, the Wisconsin River, and turn it from a dirty, polluted spot to the beautiful natural river whitewater course that it is today. Early organizers saw it as a place for people to kayak and that it is. Along the way though, the course evolved into a location selected for many local, regional, national, and international competitions. The international aspect is probably most remembered but as you will learn if you follow this blog, it is only part of what happens at the course and only part of what Wausau Whitewater does.

Who am I? I am Wausau Whitewater’s Operations Coordinator, Julie Walraven. In 1997, I knew where the river was! I had watched a competition or two. But I really had no clue when I was asked to take the contract to help manage the non-profit, that it would a choice that would literally change my life! The paddlers on the river have become my friend base. We’ll talk about that another day.

For now, thanks to Joe, there is a beginning to a blog for Wausau Whitewater!



  1. Great to see the blog up, Julie – nice! Look forward to seeing where the blog goes and following along. All the best, JJ

  2. Thanks, Joe! Such inspiration! Must be what makes you a great coach!

  3. Way to go Julie – Good to see the blog up!

  4. Looks great Julie! I’m looking forward to more posts!

  5. Bryan and Nora, thank you for your support! I learn from others and I have visited each of your blogs many times… I can’t say often enought how I appreciate your support of Wausau Whitewater especially since you are both from Minnesota.

  6. Well Julie…I was born in Milwaukee so I definatley have Wisconsin roots. Most importantly I am and always have been a Packer fan 🙂

  7. Blog. What a strange word. Did it even exist 10 years ago? I always look forward to finding something new on the wausauwhitewter website. But, I enjoy racing at Wausau even more. I commend Julie on all she has done to help propel our sport forward.
    John Kazimierczyk

  8. Kaz! Stay tuned and check out my other blog at Both blogs will have my tone since I am the primary writer for both. Since I own Design Resumes, I can say anything I want on that blog — within reason… so you will get to know what I’m thinking more there. But you will have a heads up with Wausau Whitewater Flows on schedules and more.

  9. Beautiful website great blog! Well done Wausau.
    I just received the disc from the 2008 “Rip Snortin’ fun” Junior Olympics at Wausau created by J.P. Griffith, Denver, CO (many film credits to his Mom, Emma & dad, Bill). I will send it soon.
    Aloha Wausau!
    Jean Buckley

  10. Thanks, Jean! I look forward to getting it. Mike could pick it up. He’s closer… We checked out one of JP’s on YouTube! I’ll e-mail too!

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