SEA LEVEL FOR NOW
The H2O Overdrive SUP race in Park City, Utah was a lung burner. The course race was a little over 5-miles with 5 laps and 25 buoy turns. The field of stand up paddlers was one of the most competitive line-ups of the 2012 SUP race season. Immediately after the start the draft trains formed as we approached the first turn. I was feeling all 6,000 ft. of elevation as we raced at a fast pace around the course. The dry air was a nice break from Florida’s humidity but it did not do any help to our cotton mouths and dried lips. After 5 laps of tight racing I finished the race and nearly passed out as I ran up the beach. The second day of the event would be much more fun and less torturous.
I arrived to the Weber River located about an hour from Park City ready to tackle the rapids. G-form supplied all of the competitors with great pads for protection against the shallow river rocks. As I suited up, I began to question how good of an idea it was to participate in something that required full body armor. It took me about 30 minutes to put everything on so it was too late to turn back now. A few heats went by and I was feeling comfortable on my SUP in the rapids. The most fun part of the race was a small waterfall drop followed by a quick buoy turn at the end. The top two paddlers advanced from each heat and I made it a few rounds before being knocked out by river specialist, Michael Tavares. I still felt like I had won because I did not destroy my knees or head on exposed boulders. Running a river on a SUP is a fun and exciting new way to paddle. I enjoyed my time on the river but I think I’ll stick to the ocean. Sand is much softer than rock.
After a fun weekend of paddling we headed into the mountains for some relaxation and training with team Quickblade. Jim Terrell and Jamie Mitchell are great training partners to have. One of the best way to improve your paddling is to paddle with people who are faster or more knowledgeable than you might be. If you find that you are having trouble making performance gains, get with someone like these guys and you will be amazed at your improvement. Read my training page for information and insights on training.
After a few more days golfing, paddling and mountain biking we headed back to Newport Beach, California. For the next few days I will be staying here before we head to Lake Tahoe for the Tahoe Nalu race next weekend. Stay tuned for updates from the west coast!