Riverthon℠ began as a single event in 2013 as the Louisville 50 , and was the brainchild of Dr. David Wicks. He wanted to bring a long distance paddling race like he had been running in other states to his home of Louisville. The 50 mile course was chosen to showcase the varied paddling environments on the Ohio River in the Louisville area from rural to urban.

The Mayor’s Cup was originally a set of separate paddling races that was held in July. It was merged in with the Louisville 50 in 2014 and changed to be held with the Louisville 50’s October date as a 22 mile race.

In 2015, the Louisville 50 Steering Committee formed River City Paddlesports, Inc., 501(c)3 corporation and expanded the race program to four events under the Riverthon℠ name. River City Paddlesports has the primary objective to hold its events as fundraisers for charity and plans to coordinate other paddling events in the Louisville, Kentucky  region throughout the year. Online registration and fees have been added so that the events can be great experiences, raising money for worthy causes.  As Riverthon℠ evolves, races and other events will be added and revised to meet the needs of paddlers and the charities we select.