Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Jerrys Baddle 2013

Direct Sunshine at 200%. That is FAST!!
Photo by:Shane Benedict
 Welcome to my blog about Jerrys Baddle! This was my fourth year doing the Baddle, the third time doing it all on my own, the 5 mile paddle down the whole Green River and the 26 mile road bike ride climbing over 4000 feet. The race is a fundraiser for the research of ALS and over the last six years has raised over $50,000 for ALS research. Not only is it a very painful race, but at the end I feel great about what I have done with my entry fee. 
Hammer Factor 200%
Photo by:Christine Boush
 This year, it rained the day before the race and no one was sure what the level would be on the Green. Everyone had to play it by feel the whole race and only three people ended up running Gorilla and I was not one of them! This was the first year that I have ever taken the time to walk around Gorilla and put my foot on the Jerry plaque, I felt it very fitting.

This year, I also got the joy of riding the road ride with Shannon Christy before the race and she was killing it!! I was borrowing a bike from Anna Levesque, what is the saying.... "it takes a village"? Its true with regards to me. 

Finally done with the 26 miles.
Photo by Christine Boush
 The paddle for me was great and it went by without a glitch, I even passed some people on the river. The bike was a different story. It started with the switchbacks and I stayed in my first gear for over three miles. I was already hurting trying to push up the hill. I got to Saluda and got passed by three people on the Saluda loop, that was rough. I was crashing. Coming down into Holbert Cove road I was almost out of water and I almost threw up the one Shock Block that I had eaten. I caught up with a guy from the Asheville Ale Trail and was on his butt for the next 12 miles, we switched places multiple times and I was hurting so bad but I am way to stubborn to back down. 

So happy its over
Photo by Shane Benedict
I passed another 4 people before the end of the road ride and I started hauling butt to the finish. The last three miles I averaged over 20 miles an hour. I was pushing hard. I had dropped the guy from the Asheville Ale Trail and I had passed a kid from Clemson who is a really good downhill mountain bike racer. At the end of the race I was stoked for it to be over and I knew that I had gone really fast. My back seized up and I ended up spending the next 45 minutes stretching on my yoga mat in the grass, tanning. All in all, my race was great. 
My best friend Shannon Christy
Shannon Christy took second in the race right behind me, on my coat tails!! We were both so happy to have the race done with and it was time to celebrate!!!

Here are the results for the solo times, I ended up 12th overall and I was super happy with that standing. I had my best time by over 5 minutes! 

I went play boating at the NOC the day after the race to train for US Team Trials in freestyle, then headed home and worked 48 hours at Greenville County EMS just to head back to the NOC today (wednesday AM). It has been a big week and I am more than ecstatic to be here with everyone getting ready for Team Trials. 

Wish me luck!! Check back in very soon for Team Trials results!! 

Also if you get the chance; don't forget about the fundraiser I am doing for First Descents, I will be shaving my head in Vail Colorado and donating the 20 inches to Locks of Love. 
Check it out!!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Slaloming- The Beginning

2nd place in my first ever slalom event!

So, even though I'm relatively well known for "extreme" kayaking, I have wanted to do something different for years. I have never had the time, money, or ability to do anything different than the stuff right in my backyard. This year is different. I have a job, some money, and a little bit more "free" time. 
Whee!!! Probably my favorite move on the USNWC course.
 I have now done three different slalom races. The NOC Glacier Breaker (2nd), the NOC Bank of America Open (5th), and the Spring Race at the USNWC (3rd). Slalom is very different than anything that I have done in a kayak. Yes, its in a kayak, yes, there are two blades, yes, its on a river (kind of). But pretty much everything else is different. The edging is backwards, there are poles you have to go around and make sure you dont hit your paddle (or head), and its very serious! 

Be very careful!!!
I have been very lucky with my "transition" into slalom with the US Team members (and others), who train at the USNWC. Most of them already knew who I was because of my other endeavors and I always have a big smile on my face. It's hard for them to not laugh at some of the things that I do. On the other hand, they see how much I want to do well in this sport and my affinity for learning very quickly, this could help me very much in the future. I am also very blessed to have the boyfriend that I have and the support of my family behind me, for the opening of this new chapter. 
Trying to go faster
So far in my slalom fun; I have flipped in class 2, almost swam at the USNWC, head butted more than 1 gate, and learned loads!! I need to thank Pablo McCandless at the USNWC for not only letting me borrow his slalom boat and skirt, but for coaching me and pushing me to always be better. For the time being, I have Pablo helping me out loads, and a lot of learning on my own to do. 
Snowy and I taking the time between races to explore the other  super fun activities that the USNWC has to offer!
Redefining what slalom kayakers should wear!!
So here's to the beginning of another chapter of my kayaking experience. For anyone who does not know, I am also doing a fundraiser to raise money for a foundation called First Descents. It is easy to donate, wether its 5$ or 500$ all donations go towards funding someone who has either beat cancer or is actively fighting cancer to camp to learn how to whitewater kayak. In June, I will be shaving my head (20 inches of hair) and donating it to a cause that will help out people who are losing, or can't grow, their own hair. Just push the click the link below and go for it, every cent counts. 

Huge thanks to all of my sponsors; Jen-ai apparel (best quick dry and cute skirts around), Werner Paddles, Liquid Logic kayaks, Kokatat, Shred Ready, and Smith Optics