Bolton Sunset Canoe & Kayak Race

I was so happy that the thunderstorms rolled through in time for us to squeeze in the Bolton Sunset Canoe & Kayak Race tonight. The 6:30 P.M. start was pushed back 40 minutes while we sat in our cars and watched the storm rage outside. I tuned into the weather band on my radio and listened to the emergency warning system report about the thunderstorm warning and tornado watch. Endurance athletes are crazy. Despite the advice to stay inside and away from windows, we watched the show in anticipation that the storm would pass so that we could go play.

My kayak was firmly lashed down to the roof of my vehicle while the rain filled it up with water and the wind whipped normally calm Bolton Lake into a frothing body of water. We lucked out as the brunt of the storm passed north of the lake. The lightning never got close enough for us to be fearful, but we did wait for it to move off into the distance before hitting the water.

These guys took shelter with their 12 pack of Schlitz.

Race Directors Kathy Manizza and Ken Larson were wise to keep the boats out of the lake until the storm passed. Sometimes, race directing skills benefit from luck! Instead of the figure eight with portage (long course), everyone did the short course which is two loops of the lower lake. I was very pleased with my time of 39:3o for the four mile race. My GPS captured the data including my heart rate, which continued to rise throughout the race, a sign that I was pushing and indication that I am fairly recovered from Ironman Lake Placid. It was only my second time in my kayak in 2009. I paddled 2o minutes in Bolton Lake last Saturday afternoon as part of my “lengthy” training program for tonight’s race. Now, if the timing works out, I’m going to consider the Josh Billings Runaground Triathlon which is bike/kayak/run. I want to beat my time in the Ironman division from two years ago.

Tonight, I was really just happy that we raced. I needed to burn some adrenaline after a very hectic week. I did battle with some faster boats and held my own. I was out-sprinted by a racer in a Van Dusen Racing Kayak. She was able to pull away when the water got shallow. It felt like I was pushing a barge, and I’ve got a decent boat, but it all comes down to shape and weight. Mine is designed for rough water. I would have certainly had an advantage if we raced during the t-storm instead of after. When we finished, she was kind enough to let me try her boat. It was super twitchy. I’m not used to that. About 50 meters from shore, I dumped it and had to swim in. It would take some practice to paddle that thing with any proficiency. Darkness fell upon us and everyone gathered for some informal rewards and watermelon. It was a great way to end the work week.

My Prize and RD Kathy Manizza (background)

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