I’m still planning on heading south in a few weeks. My son has been working hard to get ready for this thing and I can’t imagine missing his first ultra-marathon canoe race. However, the employment situation dictates an adjustment.
I’ll have to cut out a few expenses – like my ground crew. Sharon will have to cheer me on from Shreveport this time. Going unsupported means packing pretty much everything I need for the three day race in the boat. It will be heavier, and I’ll have to set up camp every night but, heck, it’s part of the challenge. Remember the picture I took before the MR340 when I was testing how much I might pack in the boat? Well, I really will have to stuff all this gear in it for this one.
So, who’s headed south? First off it’s Christian Flottman. His boat’s old and his equipment is pretty basic, but he’s fearless and strong. Because his boat has a rudder and he’s using a kayak paddle he’ll be in the unlimited class. This is bad because he’s facing the toughest competition. It’s good, though, because right now there are only three other boats entered. His girlfriend, Kristi, is coming along as his coureur du bois. I hope she knows what she’s getting in to!
John Markaverich is a guy I’ve been working out with. He and his friend Jim Faler are headed south with us. I’ve never met Jim but John’s really improved since we first started training. He’s pushed me to get better too. And he’s been a great paddling buddy out there on the lake. Both these guys will bepiloting kayaks – they’re my competition. And they’ll be supported by their lovely wives.
And I’ll be out there in my touring kayak. It’s not a racer but it’s great for covering long distances. Including John and Jim I’ll have 13 other people in my division. My odds of finishing in the top three? Probably pretty slim but you never know.
So that’s it. My friends from St. Louis decided to drop out at the last minute. Maybe they’ll join us somewhere next year. Maybe you’ll join us next year? Think about it.