"3 -2 -1" "Bang" ...and we're off!
Quite the fan fair. Local radio and TV stations on hand, helicopters and a flurry of paddles. A crowd of spectators lined the shoreline. There were even fireworks as we departed Kaw Point. The funniest thing was embarrassment of Alan by the race director. I am sworn to secrecy, you must here it from Alan, well, I can be bought... an amber bock please...
We hit it with a moderate pace and fell into our cruise pace shortly after. It is a very long race and there was no sense killing yourself early on. There would be plenty of time for that later in the race.
Mark and I joked around most of the day, eating and drinking our way down the Missouri River. We hit the first two checkpoints rather quickly never getting out of the boat. We had packed heavy and planned to go non-stop. I think we had a total stop time of 15 seconds.
My biggest worry was my stomach. I had cramps all day and it was taking its toll. It was hot, Africa hot and it working its black magic. I was feeling less then perfect.
We saw one team pack it in as a chase boat pulled them from the river. I think one of the paddlers' tore a muscle? Shortly there after we saw Merek on the shore catching a wonderful sunset with his camera. We stopped briefly, said our hellos and pushed on.
Darkness was our friend and very much welcomed. The cooler temps and light breeze made the paddle enjoyable. I tried to catch a nap in the boat, but the motion just made me a bit ill. Mark made the call about 3:00am that we needed to pull over and catch a nap. I wasn't arguing at that point. No plan is a good plan unless it can be changed rather quickly.
The nap was rejuvenating. We were up before dawn feeling refreshed and ready to go. I activated a chemically heating coffee and grabbed a snack... I was feeling much better and the diarrhea seemed to have subsided.
We took a long look at our days accomplishment. 138 miles in 24 miles. A personal best. We were in the zone and loving it. But how to keep it going? We agreed that our biggest hurdle was the heat. We pulled over in the small town of Boonesville and got our first load of ice and a sandwich. Wow... it really helped. Though it was hard watching canoes and kayaks paddle by as we set idle.
Some great photos of the pre-start by Merek. My camera has seen the bottom of the river too many times...
more to follow... - The Capt'n