The largest annual event in Irish marathon racing was once again upon us with over 800 paddlers over a variety of classes either battling it out for the win or purely their for the Craic. The morning of the race came and with it brought wet and miserable weather with lycra and neoprene being donned and numbers applied to the boats, last minute tactics and lines were being discussed.
I had already set up my boat.
I was to paddle the I-Canoe Exo Fastwave which with some light sticker application became the SpideyFastwave
This added to my Spidey mask made me invincible!! :-) (I hoped)
So with Zero Training and never paddled the boat before I made my way to the get on at the K-Club with hundreds of people around to fall in would be embarrassing (Lucky I didn't)
The start line was pushing and shoving with paddlers all fighting for the start line.
As the horn blew the group moved forward with great spirit. Boats and paddles being caught up on one another making their way towards the first weir at straffen.
The rescue were standing by waiting for the lemming like paddlers hitting the weir.
my race continued without much fuss, I quickly got used to the boat and found a rhythm that worked. I paddled on using the weirs as excitement as I paddled on down looking out for friends on the way.
As the race continued the flood caught us giving us an extra burst of speed propelling the boats through the water.
Once I reached Lexilip The lake was their a slow slog through open water this is where the wavehopper slowed with no water the boat seemed to drag. once through the portage at the dam I could relax being on my home straight, Between sluice and palmerstown I felt at home, Probably the trickier of weirs but I took it in my stride with no real problems a quick eddy out and chat at Sluice and leant the wrong way at Lucan but quickly recovered and carried on paddling.
Once past the home turf came a couple more weirs and another flat section towards the finish. As I approached the finish line I could feel the buzz and excitement of paddlers already finished and waiting for friends.
I finished 19 in a time of 2:52 which I was very happy with and will definitely try and beat in the future.
A special mention to the rest of my team with colm and wai har completing with No swims, Mark Coleman powering into 2nd in C1 and John and Lynda the last canoe home after suffering a large crack in the hull and taking on water well done for still completing the race!!
Well maybe Colm took a quick dip!