9 friends brought together through the common thread of adventure. 7 acts of self propulsion brought together by the race organizers. 1 day that brought us a little closer together.
It went a little something like this. Our first racer skips his practice run for some quality Facebook time and a bowl of granola… Then after a sprint gaining 500m of elevation he gets to his equipment and is off. Off to our X-country skiier. All you need to know about this man is he’s a never nude in his denim and “don’t hassle the Hoff” shirt.
This is where I’m not sure what’s exactly happening, and I’m riddled with anticipation as a result.
I’m down meeting our road cyclist to give him his bib and wish him luck. Then ask for some luck in getting to a gas station and then the canoe unloading zone before the briefing.
We arrive around the same time our second skier passes to our first runner. Who then passes to our second runner.
I know what you’re thinking, and they are. Very fast.
Around this time we get my seat and backrest secured into the canoe. The canoe which our inspector compliments, or scoffs at. The canoe, not our recent handy work. Hard to tell with all the excitement.
Regardless our second runner has probably transitioned to our downhill biker at this point. The point at which Peter, my canoeing partner and I are informed, our transition zone is a kilometer away. One of us has to be there and receive the bracelet from our road biker. Peter in his skate shoes and carharts volunteers…?? He decides to throw some shorts on to cut some time and increase some comfort.
As our down hill biker passes off to our kayaker I’ve made my way into a dry suit, mostly because I actually haven’t been in a double canoe since my injury. We did an afternoon of dry land training. Which we figured should be good enough for the final leg, a 5km paddle… on the ocean. But just as you trust in god yet tie up your camel, I was wearing a dry suit.
I’m now on the waters edge anticipating Peters arrival. Many teams have breezed through. Some with two left feet, some with three. Nobody has fallen in yet, but there’s been some close…
“57!… 57! Your runner is coming, prepare your canoe!”
Crap! That’s me! We put the final pieces of my dry suit slash life jacket together and before we’re done, Peters arrived! Guys fast!
Quick flip of me into the front and we’re off! Into a solid head wind…
I’ve got my feet up on the bow and my legs bent back towards me. This worked for and against me. It gave me limited room between my chest and knees limiting my optimum stroke, yet they offered me something to leverage off when I needed.
Now I’m sure you’ve played, or seen someone play leapfrog. After we got into our stride, or stroke, we started to get ourselves into this game very similar to leapfrog. Only we didn’t jump, pass or over take anyone. Ok that’s not true either, there was one boat that managed to capsize once we were in a little more exposed of an area. I remember seeing them flip their canoe, but now that I mention it I don’t remember passing them. I just assumed we would. Maybe we did? Maybe they were able to get back in? Either way we shed a good… Ahh you don’t need to know how many place we dropped. Let’s just say we had a lot of encouragement from continually passing boats.
All in all we had good conditions, no rain and fairly calm. We ended up going straight through some 2-3 foot waves that had me on a tightrope, practicing my balance. Nothin we weren’t able to manage though.
When we got to the finish line, most of our team was there to cheer us in.
Blow horn and everything. Along with the countless boats that snuck past us cheering aswell. As we got our canoe up on the boat launch I was hoisted out of it and run up to the top. All of which was a surprise to me, so much so that when we got to the bell I missed! A couple more teams snuck past and… Just kidding, I managed to give it a good ring on my second swing! We made it! A day later and I still don’t know where we placed and I still don’t care. Such a great adventure with amazing people.
Huge Thanks to, in order of what I understood the appearance to be…
Cody Haggard – downhill skier,
Matt Cecill – x-country skier, Kathryn Mullis – road runner,
Dave Melanson – trail runner,
Amy Cooper – downhill mountain biker and the glue that kept us together!
Jen – kayaker,
Tom Bailey – road biker,
Peter Greene – canoe
All of the event organizers at the Snow to Surf that made it such an amazing experience!