Saturday, October 01, 2011
We got up early. It was a little over an hour's drive from here. It was me and my friend Bob, Mrs. J and Bob's wife, Mrs. H.
The first thing that we did was to drop our kayaks off at the entry point, seven miles upstream from the main exchange point. We were actually there pretty early, which was good. They lined up the canoes and kayaks as they came in, and when we went into the water -- an hour and a half later -- we went in in that order. So we actually got to go in pretty quickly.
We drove back down to the exchange area and dropped off our bikes. We checked in, got our numbers, our timing chips, and our t-shirts. Mrs. J and Mrs. H took all the stuff that we didn't need, and Bob and I jumped on a shuttle bus back up to the entry point.
Things at the entry were pretty well organized. They had four or five people in waders in the water, and they helped us into our boats one at a time and floated us out to the official starting point. Every thirty seconds, someone blew a whistle, and the next boat was off. The guy behind me was some 25-year paddler with an ultra-lite kayak. I swear he passed me before the echo of his whistle died down.
Other people passed me, and I passed one or two. Mostly people were passing me. I'm just not that great of a paddler. My main concern was to keep on top of the boat, and to keep out of the way of the faster people as they zoomed past me. My arms aren't in great shape, and by the end of the kayaking leg, I was pretty tired. I was looking forward to getting out and giving them a rest.
The second leg was biking. I haven't biked that much this summer, but at least it was my legs that were carrying me. The bike route was quite a challenge. It's a big loop, which starts and ends down by the river, so of course the first bit is going to be mostly uphill. It started out pretty gradual, but once it had softened you up, it hit you with the Big Hill. I admit I got out and walked for a little bit. I didn't want to, but I did. The second half of the ride was mostly downhill, and it was kind of fun.
The run had a pretty good hill, too. I walked up that one, too. It was largely trail, which meant I had to be more careful where I put my feet. I didn't exactly tear up that three miles, but I finished, and I felt pretty good.
My overall time was 3:33:17, which I consider satisfactory. I didn't have any particular time goal in mind. Bob wanted to beat three hours, and he did, coming in at 2:50-something.
Mrs. J and Mrs. H tried at first to get out and see us in the water. They stopped at a couple of bridges, but they really had no idea when we were going to get in the water, so they didn't know if they had missed us or if they should wait, and if they did wait, they didn't know how long it might take. So they gave it up, and slipped off to a nearby town to get a bite and do a little shopping. They didn't quite get back in time to see our finishes. So no action shots, but Mrs. H took the shot above before we started out.