Cedar River Races

The racing season is really getting going again.  It’s been a long winter, and hard in some ways.  January training was very good.  February training was terrible.  Someday I may learn not to try to extend myself too far, but it hasn’t happened just yet.  A Master’s program, work, and training just put me a bit over the edge. 

But, stress is reducing.  I got a new car after the Blue Ox finally suffered a fatal injury, and now I’m driving a much newer (’94) Volvo wagon.  It’s very comforting to trust that your car will start when you try to go to work in the morning.  If I can get this one to last another 16 years like the Blue Ox, I’ll be very happy.

Last weekend was the Cedar River Race just south of Seattle.  There’s been virtually no precipitation this year, and the river is at it’s minimum flow of 390 cfs (the dam upstream has to release for fish, or it might be worse).  The sprint course is technical, but clean.  The classic is now a long slog and has the potential for a lot of boat damage.  Too shallow to be really fun.

We had 25 people enter the downriver sprint, the most we’ve ever had, but only two were in wildwater boats.  I had the fastest times of the day, 72 and 74 seconds, and Jennie Goldberg was second, with 82 and 84 seconds for her two runs.  Last year, at 1,000 cfs, my times were 68+ seconds per run.

The classic didn’t draw many entrants.  The prospect of a 6 mile paddle down a shallow, rocky river, just wasn’t too appealing.  Three of us headed down the river, and I finished at 39:05, about 5 minutes slower than the usual time.  Jennie was 8.5% back, and the third competitor, Steve, was around 54 minutes total.  I was wasted, but it was good training and prep for team trials.

The slalom the next day was fun.  It’s been a year since I was in my slalom boat, but the low water made for an easier course.  I raced C-1 and plastic K-1, and managed to win in both.

THen, all I had to do was eat and recover in time for my trip to the Nantahala for Team Trials later in the week.

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