During the 2010 MR340 I paddled along with a guy who said he’d been stationed in Japan and heard a quote that “A wise man climbs Mt. Fuji once, a fool does it twice.” I said then that a repeat of that kind of race wasn’t part of my plan. You know the rest – 2011 was the Tour du Teche and this year another MR340. Interestingly, I met the same guy this year on the Missouri River! I guess I’m not the only fool out there.
But, these races take a tremendous toll. Three or four days dedicated to only one thing, asking friends and family to wait at boat ramps at all hours; the time required to get ready – working out, preparing all the gear and food, planning the other logistics. I’ve managed three races in four years. That’s not nearly up to the number other people do, but more than I’m prepared to continue doing.
So, this is it. Captain Ned is officially retiring from ultra-marathon kayaking. Now it’s time to use the kayak in the way I originally planned. I’ll take it out on the local lakes, maybe out on some rivers for some weekend floating. The only racing I’m planning will be one day events.
Thanks to all of you for the cheering I’ve heard over the last four years. I really did hear it at 1:00 am out there on the Missouri River and while I was paddling down that bayou in Louisiana. And, it kept me going when my body and mind were telling me to stop. I couldn’t have done it without you. I owe all of you some seat time in my kayak. Let me know when you’re ready to play around in it a bit – you’ll enjoy yourself.
And thanks to my fellow racers. We only met for a short time when you passed me during that races but I’m a better person for meeting all of you. If you’re ever in the Dallas area let me know. I’d like to spend some time with you on dry land.
Captain Ned, WRN Retired.