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Race recap, well for let's say non-racers.. (Read 930 times)
08/27/17 at 14:10:13

GloryDaze   Offline
MR340 Veteran
Overland Park

Posts: 33
This was a 340 mile and 79 hour social expirement that required alot of paddling.

Here are a couple key metrics: out of the 79 hours: I was physically in my boat 57, spent 13 hours on the bank being social and 9 hours sleeping.

If you are a competitive racer and still reading.... I am shocked, well maybe not because you may read to see all the fun you missed. My goal was to finish in 77 hours, so not too bad of pacing for my 1st time.

My memories are all based off experiences- frankly, I didn't care about how many strokes/minute, average speed, etc..... rather here are my memorable experiences:

Day 1)
- the playing of the national anthem at the start line
- my 1st ever stop at Napoleon.. nothing memorable other than it meant I was really doing this thing
- the awful screaching of the train in Waverly, especially since I had a headache
- being surprised how the river kind of looked the same, alllllll dayyyyyy
- the orange moon and string of boat lights underneath it
- the cozy confines of sleeping on the ground in Miami
- hint of pee smell in my boat, cannot be mine and must be coming from boats around me

Day 2)
- 1st run in with a barge... totally uneventful. Had higher expectations
- Glasgow, just liked the feel of that stop. Great view of the river, breakfast burrito and coffee
- meeting the 2 guys I paddled the rest of the way with, super fun
- arriving at Franklin Island and being so bummed out... not because it was only 1/2 way, but because it was not an island at all
- paddling under the I-70 bridge, people yelling at us from a winery in Rocheport. The bats swarming our kayaks eating bugs by our lights
- it was dark that night.... dark
- a canoe passing me with the radio tuned to the Cardinals and Royals game on, just sounded like it belonged
- coopers landing pulling into the boat ramp at midnight: 1 volunteer yelling at me to paddle and the other telling me to not paddle
- stronger odor of pee smell in my boat, maybe it is mine that smells

Day 3)
- paddling through a series of super weird boils in the river
- seeing my wife and parents in Jeff City
- the stretch from Jeff City to the Gasconade river being rather brutal... slow, hot, wind in face
- paddling with 2 SUP guys, Kirk and Ekuzo from Japan all the way to New Haven and laughing the entire way.
- the Hermann stop, drinking beer and wine and then leaving while the sun was setting
- camping at New Haven, sleeping in some historic gondola and getting a taste of what it is like being homeless.
- unforgiving pee smell in my boat, yep it is me

Day 4)
- wind in face the entire last 60+ miles
- wind in face last 60+ miles
- wind in face last 60 miles
- guess I really remember the wind, lol
- last 4 miles really stood out to me for some reason
- the volunteers holding my boat at the end.
- family and friends hollering and screaming when I finished
- what pee smell?

Overall I had an absolute blast. Not once did I ever consider quitting or even worry about not making the cutoff times. I could have gone faster, could have spent less time on the bank, could have slept less and could have head my head buried in an app the whole time worrying about staying in the channel. I chose not to do any of those- it just wasn't for me.

I learned there are 400 ways to complete the race and respect everyone's personal approach. I learned there are some really great people out there. I learned your boat # is the number 1 ice breaker when beginning a conversation with other paddlers. Hell, I learned quite a bit over those 79 hours and am already planning for next year.

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Reply #1 - 08/27/17 at 16:07:52

DeniseD   Offline
3X MR340 Veteran
4X Ground Crew Veteran
St. Louis

Posts: 102
Paddle your own race! My time was similar, slept every night. Made some decisions that I knew would slow me down but made sense at the time.

People who finish faster just want to "get the misery over" but if you don't push so hard, it's not so miserable. Seems like I remember wind every single day  but not quite as bad on day 3.

I always think I'm not going to sleep in Miami, but every time I get there I think about getting stuck on some mud bank in the fog, and decide to get some sleep. Similarly I thought about paddling through Night 3, but there was a storm brewing and a barge coming up river. I was tucked under my sleeping bag and drifting off when it started to rain.

I do wish I could make my transitions a bit quicker as it seems to take me an hour to get back on the water nearly every time I stop. There's certainly room for improvement there.
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Reply #2 - 08/27/17 at 18:53:11

Jaybee   Offline
2X MR340 Veteran
Knoxville, TN

Posts: 393
If you are happy with your results, then you had a successful race no matter how fast or less fast you did it. 

And you know that you are truly a veteran if you are paddling your boat somewhere and you feel that something is just. not. right.  So you pee in it and all is good again.

Boat # 3489
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Reply #3 - 09/22/17 at 12:13:03

SalliOD   Offline
MR340 Veteran

Posts: 10
Love it, thanks for sharing!
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