Jun 27, 2010
Race Report Kalamalka Classic!
I am back from the rockies and have a lot to write about. First though, I would like to write about my first big SUP race experience.
Traveling, and going back to school within the same year has drained me financially and so the sport I fell in love with for a couple of years (adventure racing) has been put on hold for a little bit (I'm not done with it just yet...) due to its high expense, finding myself without a team, and other life things, etc etc..... no biggy: always looking on the bright side of things and always searching for new ways to test my abilities and limits it has forced me to look for other opportunities locally in the same sport, related sports and new sports.
Along came Stand Up Paddleboarding.... I am not too sure where it all started but I believe in November 2008 at Santa Claus Beach in CA with old Camp Olson friends.... a little play in the surf and trial with the boards ( Andrew paddled with dolphins...super cool) I instantly fell in love but was off to travel South America so forgot about it for awhile...
Then upon my return last summer and my keen interest in kayaking I found that Deep Cove Canoe and kayaks had started renting a couple of boards.. I went out a handful of times last summer and my interest in the sport peaked again but they were expensive and I didn't know much about the sport...
This summer I got hired with Deep Cove Canoe and Kayaks as a kayak guide and found myself even more "obsessed" with stand up paddleboards and with more opportunities to try them out. I now check websites, race reports, fitness and lesson ideas and it is becoming part of my daily life without actually owning a board or anything to do with SUP.... but it all has to start somewhere and usually it starts with being motivated, inspired, and keen to learn the history about what you are getting into.
I raced my first SUP race in May at the Tour de Indian Ar, which is primarily a kayak race but this year they added a SUP category as well. It was tough but I loved it.
While reading about the sport on the web I came across a posting for a race in vernon the Kalamalka Classic. Well, Kalavida Surf Shop did a good job of convinving me I wanted to go this "festival" that incorporated two races and a little dinner with festivities. Andrew and Kala came along and we brought bikes as we knew there was good trails in the area.
Deep Cove Canoe and Kayaks lent me a rental Starboard 12'6 Cruiser for the race. I had no idea if this was a good board or what? but was so happy that I could borrow it and have a board for the race that I didn't care.
The first race was Saturday morning, a 3.5 mile loop with a 200m portage run with the boards through a park. On the start line there were about 8 male and 8 females. They played a cheesy song and tried to use the conch as the start horn (you can watch this on the video at the top of the page) and then I managed to have the most horrible start EVER... I got squished between folks and then a girl fell off her board right in front of me, but being a rookie I just tried my best to paddle around her and catch the people in the front. I managed to catch the two girls in front just after crossing the Riviera channel... and then eventually pulled passed Jen Segger. My eyes were on the guys infront of me and the bouys we were to paddle around off in the distance. I kept a good pace and managed to pass the guy in fourth place before the portage. The portage was a greta little addition but with these huge boards tough to run with. I had to stop once to re adjust my fingers that had managed to loose grip... After the short run and back on the boards my chest could feel the sprint and I was breathing hard (I definitely need to do more sprint work outs... but I love the enduro stuff)... I never quite managed to catch the guy in third and had no idea how far infront I was from second place for the females so just kept paddling away as best as I knew how... I rolled around the corner to hear on the microphone that I was 1st female.... it was a great feeling to finish so well. After cooling off in the lake with Andrew and Kala we all headed for lunch and a ride around Kalamalka Provincial Park and Cosens Bay. It was a great ride on smoother trails than we normally ride! We managed to escape the thunder and rain, had another dip in the lake and some slacklining on the beach.... I love lakes as they make you feel so clean and refreshed!
Saturday night we headed to Gatzke Farm Market for a buffet dinner, music by some local ex surfer/musician dude.... he even wrote a song for the race! I managed to score a surftech paddle for my win and a bunch of nicely vibrant trucker hats and stickers for the crew....
Sunday morning, I forced the crew up nice and early (sorry! but thanks for being good sport about it) so I could get to the race start and find out which direction the race would be heading. We had to paddle the length of the Kalamalka Lake from Oyama to Vernon... Andrew and Kala dropped me off and met up with some friends and they hit up some more biking trails while I put my arms and back to the test in a 20km or so paddle across the lake. Only three brave ladies showed up for the big race.... we started off first and 10 minutes later the men took off... they wanted us all to finish in and around similar times and so decided to stagger the start... I thought the guys would catch up a lot quicker than they actually did and so the stagger actually worked out perfectly.... well calculated! We took off and the three of us stayed somewhat close together for the first quarter but I slowly pulled away and then didn't look back and didn't know how far behind anyone was at any point in the race... I figured it didn't really matter anyways cause I wasn't going to really push much harder so early in the race... I didn't want to fade or just not make it to the end... It was kind of neat to be in front for such a large part of the race... a little worrisome at points as I began doubting myself if I was heading in the direction (hard to get it wrong really but it happens when you get tired and think people should have come passed you already).... eventually the first two guys Beau and kelvin paddled past me. I was glad when they did as I was loosing my motivation a little with a wandering mind and seeing them sail past me got my mojo going again and I had someone to follow and try to catch! As I neared closer to the fnish a couple more guys paddled past but no girls.... I was starting to feel soreness in my arms and the heat was starting to get to me in the last third of the race but I paddled on as I knew if I stopped for anything I might have trouble starting again.... I managed to paddle into 1st place again and get crowned the Queen of Kalamalka...
There were some great athletes out there and this sport is something I can see myself really getting into... I enjoy this sort of pain and mental battle. I met some great folks, paddlers and volunteers. The volunteers were grand by the way and kudos to the organizers Kevin and michelle! Please do it again next year...
You will find me in more SUP races..... its the beginning of something big.... I can feel it!
live, love, laugh,...DREAM!