In two weeks I will be pushing off from shore on the Yukon River for the longest endurance event of my life (OK, that sounded dramatic, but it is long!).
Last September an article describing the Yukon River Quest (www.yukonriverquest.com) in the Globe and Mail got my attention and within weeks I had convinced long-time compatriot Greig Gjerdalen to chip in. The two and a half day race starts in Whitehorse and winds its way North through Lake Laberge (“…there are strange things done in the midnight sun…”), scrubby pine forest, and scattered river camps for 740km to the shores of Dawson City. Through the night 74 teams from 10 countries in all manner of canoe and kayak will compete with no-doubt all manner of preparation.
Our team “What would Dan Do?” (in loving memory of late-brother Dan) had all of three (count ‘em, three) training sessions together. Given that we live 500 kms apart it’s all we could muster. To make up for lack of boat-time together we have piled on the solo surfski paddles and just cranked off an epic 14 hour length of the lake paddle from Vernon to Penticton (that’s another story).
The race has two mandatory lay-overs (7 hours in Carmack and 3 hours further down stream). In between we are looking at three verrrrrry long legs of about 21 hours, 13 hours, and 18 hours (don’t quote me on that) to finish somewhere around 52 hours total time in the boat.
We’re down to the last two weeks and I’m spending more time thinking about what we are in for. Here’s what’s coming up: excitement, dread, and a little guilt.
I’m definitely excited about cranking for that many hours and seeing how the mind and body hang in there. A little dread of sore muscles, numb butt, and the monotony of thousands of strokes are coming up. And I’m feeling a little guilty of being away from my gals for a week and indulging in such a selfish endeavour (at least it’s green, sort of).
If I get a chance I’ll send an update as we get closer.Tagged with: commitment • culver • drive • freedom • goals • happiness • health • motivation • travel