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Tiadaghton Elm race report


We drove down to Jersey Shore, PA early Saturday morning. This race is cool because A. It's on the Western branch of the Susquehanna River (very pretty) and B. All the races are 6 miles, which is markedly shorter than any other pro races during the season C. They run an amateur race on Saturday and then Sunday's c2 and c1 pro races are back-to-back with 1 hour in between.

All these factors add up to make Tiadaghton Elm my third-favorite race of the season.. and my first-favorite race to spell.

For Saturday's amateur race, I raced c2 with Holly. We went just fast enough to take second-place... which meant chatting throughout the whole thing. Our "course preview," if you will. And we invented the game of "who can finish the course with the least total distance on their GPS" for which we had an extreme advantage because we switched it up and made Holly my stern guy [stern guy steers the boat] and me the big bow guy [flexes a lot and looks tough]. When we got back to the cabin [where we stay for this race weekend] Holly's dog started freaking out and we nearly had a run-in with two bears. Marc and Dylan followed them down the road but never got close enough to "wrastle them to the ground" like they wanted.

I am terrified of bears.

Sunday was the big day. I raced c2 pro with Matt. Our typical race strategy is to sprint off the line as hard as we can go until we die, and then just try to make it to the finish line. I don't really know why we do this every time. Maybe we like to? Anyway, we led the race for a few minutes and then like clockwork, died just before the first buoy turn so we could fight through the upstream shallows while watching the first two teams pull away. Funny how that works. We ended up third behind Steve and Jeff Rankinen and Marc and Holly. We broke away from the 4th place team at the top buoy turn around this small island in the shallows. We gained 45 seconds in a matter of a few minutes and it was easily the best part of all the racing.

One hour later we hopped in c1s for the C1 pro race. I ended up 9th overall, which was great for me. My c1 has improved a lot since last year, which I believe to be a result of paddling primarily c2 since I got back from California, and getting a lot stronger since last summer. And also, not having a broken hand.

After the c1 race- because you haven't had enough- there is a c4 race. It's about 750 meters with 3 buoy turns, and everybody comes equipped with squirt guns, pirate hats, and the like. More boats flipped than stayed afloat, though we were among the latter group. We even brought Bailey [Holly's dog] along with us!

Tiadaghton Elm also has cool prizes (I won a handmade seashell necklace which I really like) and delicious pizza. It was, as all the canoeing race weekends are, a fantastic weekend.