Bolton Sunset Canoe & Kayak Race

Paddling the ~6 mile Bolton Sunset Canoe & Kayak Race has become a bit of a tradition for me. Bolton Lake in Bolton, Connecticut, is my “home court” when it comes to kayaking. Of course, I don’t kayak as much as I would like, so there is no real home court advantage. This past Wednesday night, the weather was fabulous for paddling. Unfortunately, I floundered as I fatigued over the course of the hour long event, and my typing has been impacted ever since!

Yeah, I know. Good paddling stroke/form means that you use your core and not your arms, but I don’t paddle enough to know what good form is. However, I am familiar with muscle pain and DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness), that aching feeling you get two days later…

A good crowd of canoers and kayakers (do we have a rivalry?) showed up to spend time on the water together. Many of them are regulars on the NECKRA circuit. There were singles and there were tandems. I saw some nice boats. The racing class kayaks are like daggers and the racing canoes are like Kevlar/carbon fiber egg shells that seem to float across the water. Just amazing technology goes into the sleek designs. I’m every bit as impressed with them as I am with a great bicycle frame. Composites and hydrodynamics have really brought new technology to these designs. My boat (twice the weight) is pretty good, but geared more towards the ocean with bulkheads and storage for endurance events, so I was at a distinct disadvantage, especially when it came time to portage between the upper and lower ponds.

Whatever. I had also registered for the 4 mile race course, but paddled the 6, just for the fun of it. I was just enjoying being on the water. I had some fans, so that made the race go by a little quicker. They saw me once every 20 minutes. Not that exciting for them, but there was other stuff to see and do. My only regret is that I don’t get to paddle as much as I would like. It is a great upper body workout that balances all of the running and cycling. I likely won’t defend my Ironman title at the Great Josh Billings RunAground Triathlon this year, so I don’t have any water-sports to train for right now. Still, I plan to get out on Bolton Lake again soon. Just like the race, it is always best at sunset.

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