Monday, July 21, 2014

Eppie's Great Race 41

Four days before Eppie's Great Race, I got an email from Tom saying that he needed a last minute bow paddler for the last leg of the race, a 6.35 mile downriver paddle in a tandem open canoe.  As luck would have it for me, his paddling partner had a change of plans and couldn't make it back to Sacramento in time for the race, so I was in.

I don't know Tom very well, but I have tons of respect for him and it's awesome to see a great canoeist paddling in California.  He's fun to paddle with, he's a really positive ambassador for California paddling and is just a pleasure to be around.  I knew we'd paddle well together and was looking forward to canoeing downriver with him.

This was the 41st year of Eppie's and the country's oldest triathalon, but the first year for me.  It was great to see a well-organized race getting so many paddlers onto the Lower American river for some fun and exercise and to raise money for Sacramento County Therapeutic Recreation Services.  Tom had assembled a pretty great team and when Scott and I made the handoff from cycling to paddling, we were around tenth place overall, the second canoe team to hit the water.  The first team of canoeists got about a 3-4 minute start on us and were within sight for the first half of the race.  They were paddling a faster canoe, but we held ground the whole way.

Our run was almost flawless as we held speed, hit all of the whitewater right on our lines and finished in a pretty good time of 48:47 averaging about 7.6mph.  Nice race!

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