Kate and I have been training for the Clearwater marathon in Clearwater Florida on January 22nd 2017. We are on week 16 of a 19 week training program and this is the hardest week of the whole shebang. By the end of this week we will have run 40 miles for the week and have done 385 miles total since starting the training. If that sounds like a lot it is. If that doesn’t then congrats of being a badass.
Today the training prescribed a 10 mile run. We got up at 6am, which if you know us at all is remarkable by itself, and the hit the road at 7. We took what appears to be the old road for the Jonathan Dickenson State Park, mainly cause that’s the pale we are also camped at, but also because it’s nicer than running on the current park road with traffic.
Sunrise was around 7:10am and we were able to stop long enough to snap the photo above before plodding along and finishing the run.
We have a short 5 mile run tomorrow and then the massive 20 mile longest run of the training on Saturday.
All boards will be measured during check in. All boards must have stock, fixed rudders and mono-hulled(except for UNLIMITED class). Rudder(s) and foil(s) are not allowed(except for UNLIMITED class). Board classes are: SUP UNLIMITED CLASS SUP 12’6” CLASS (SPRINT & KIDS RACE only) Must stand on board when making strokes and forward progress If you fall you will have 5 strokes to get back on your feet and stand up. This rule is in effect so a paddler does not achieve an advantage by not standing up. You must complete the course standing upon your board. The stand up rule is not in effect in the area from shore to the first turning buoys from the startline during the Open Race. Racers have 20 strokes to stand up after the start of the distance race.
This was the Inaugural Race and was very well organized and operated. We would definitely return and do it again. THere were three events total:
Beautiful and sunny Saturday Started at 9am or so and took the winner just over 2 hours to finish. Roger took a bit longer.
Why was there a Battle of the Broad?
How do you race on a river?
As you can see in the video SUP racing on the river is a challenging situation. We started facing upstream and had to turn 180 degrees at the starting horn. Then it was just paddle as hard and fast as you can for 15 miles. Notice that Roger was left behind by most of the racers pretty quickly. Granted they had some really nice and fast boards but more importantly these guys, and one gal, are athletes. They have paddled a lot and are in solid shape. Roger edited the video with a number of falls that he endured throughout the day. Even with a shorter and more flexible fin on the board it still caught a lot of rocks and sent him flying. The river was over one foot lower than normal so there were a lot of rocks. Some guys had their hard SUP boards and those things are amazing. Very long and fast in the water. A hard board allows you to paddle straighter and with a longer stroke. Roger and a few others were on inflatable SUP boards. Those are nice on a river when hitting rocks as they absorb the blows much better. The trade off is that they have very little shape and don’t cut thorugh the water as well as a hard board.
Who would do this?
Of the 12 racers 11 were men and Caroline Duncan was the only woman to compete. Age ranges went from 20’s up to 60+ and the winner, Rand Perkins, was the oldest racer of the day. Pretty impressive stuff.
We have wanted Stand Up Paddle(SUP) boards for at least 5 years but there was always an excuse or road block preventing us from getting them. Recently we decided that having an inflatable setup would make the most sense for our current situation. Have hard boards would require purchasing additional equipment to carry them around, while inflatables could easily be stored in either our truck bed or the trailer when travelling. We started researching and learned there are a lot of options for inflatable stand up paddle boards.
Kate saw that a fellow full time RVer, the Snowmads, were using Fisher boards and were very happy with them. After looking into their options we decided that they made sense from a quality and price perspective. So we ordered two Fisher Blowfish boards, picked them up at the FedEx facility near Atlanta and took them to Asheville for their maiden voyage.
Here is a short video of our first voyage on the boards at Lake Julian near Asheville, NC.