wildwildwes

2015 Tsali Adventure Triathlon Report

wildwildwes wrote 736 days ago:


The Tsali Adventure Triathlon is a multi-sport race that is hosted in the Tsali Recreation Area near Bryson City, NC.  The race starts with a 3 mile paddle on Fontana Lake that begins at the Tsali Boat Ramp and then circumnavigates Bear Island and back to the Tsali Boat Ramp.  The next stage of the race is a 5 mile run on the Tsali Right Loop First Alternate single track trail.  The last stage of the race is a 13 mile mountain bike course on Tsali’s Mouse Branch and Thompson single track trails.  The race supports MedicForce.

This year the race was postponed in early October due to the hurricane that passed through the area the weekend the event was scheduled.  Race organizers rescheduled the race for Saturday, November 14, 2015.  The day turned out to be a nice mild, sunny day for the race!

My wife, Jennifer, and I decided to give this race a try for our first ever team triathlon together.  I did the paddle & bike stages and Jen did the running stage of the race. 

The race start was an exciting one for sure with the LeMons style 100 yard dash run down the boat ramp to our boats to launch for the paddle stage!  The race start was divided into two groups.  The individual triathletes started first and the teams started in the second heat.  The legendary Chris Hipgrave (Fellow BRO Teammate) was there racing with another team and we always share a good comradery with each other.  So naturally I had to give him a little smack talk when he started whining about the LeMons start format.  I threw down the gauntlet to say I would roast him in the dash to our boats; which I did with brilliant success [Because I knew I could not touch him on his EPIC surf ski boat with me in my Jackson Kayak Karma Unlimited when we got on the water].  I was the first person to get in my boat and start paddling.  Got to celebrate the small victories!

Once we were on the water racing Hipgrave smoked us all, as expected, before we even made it to the first buoy.  The 3 mile paddle went very well for me considering all the other much faster composite and longer boats I was racing against in this flat water race.  I kept a good pace and felt strong throughout the paddle around the island and back.  Once I hit land back at the boat ramp I had to run back up the hill to the transition zone to go through the finish gate to tag Jen to start the run stage.

Once I made the tag Jen was off to run her five miles and I was sucking wind from the run uphill.  I caught my breath and said a quick prayer for Jen to have a safe race run.  As Jen was running the Right Loop race course I headed to the car to load my boat and change from my paddling gear to my biking gear.  Jen said the run was one of the tougher trail runs she has done due to the heavy leaf cover and not being sure about footing on the uneven terrain.

I sat upon my Cannondale F-29 poised ready to start the bike stage when Jen came running down the hill to make the tag in the transition zone.  She came through the finish gate looking weary from the long run, but greeted me with some encouraging words to finish well.  Then I was off heading up the road to start Mouse Branch Loop with some cheers from fellow racers hanging out in the transition zone.

The bike race course was originally scheduled to be on the 12 mile Left Loop of the Tsali trails on the October date.  I trained on Left Loop on the Sunday of the NOC Guest Appreciation Festival in September while I was in the area and I was feeling good about the course.  However due to the race reschedule in November the bike race course had to be switched to the Mouse Branch and Thompson loops.  I had not ridden the Mouse Branch loop in years and I had never ridden the Thompson loop.  I was a little nervous going into this race course blind and having to ride the trails in heavy leaf cover made it rather slippery.

I turned onto the Mouse Branch loop to ride in the opposite direction of the typical suggested travel route as directed by race officials.  It turns out that riding Mouse Branch backwards is the hardest route you can ride at the Tsali trails!  This Mouse Branch route was not the typical Tsali flow I am use to on the Right and Left loops.  There seemed to be a lot of short steep climbs with not much relief in the downhill sections.  I was worn out by the time I finished Mouse Branch loop and I still had to ride Thompson loop!

I made the turn onto Thompson loop feeling drained and had to reassure myself I could get this done.  Thankfully Thompson was much flowier in the typical suggested travel route.  I had to stop and take a few short breaks during this loop after being gassed from the Mouse Branch loop.  The long climb up an old forest road toward the end was brutally tough in my worn down condition.  I made it to the top of that final climb to be rewarded with a long downhill single track trail back to the parking lot and to the finish line.    

Overall this race was a tough one for sure with trail conditions being leaf covered for the run and bike stages, but Jen and I gave it our best and we were happy to finish our first team triathlon together!

Here were our split times for each leg of the race:
3 mile paddle – 38:47
5 mile run – 59:54
13 mile mountain bike – 2:04:32

For a total time of 3:43:13 which placed us in 7th of the mixed team division and 12th overall in the team results.

Full race results can be found at:

http://tsalitriathlon.com/results/

For more photos check out my photos essay at:

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10153727802353205.1073741887.552848204&type=1&l=f18ad0a988



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natefry

Join Us at GAF River Church

natefry wrote 814 days ago:


River of Life has been established for 8 years now on the Nantahala River and will be hosting a special Guest Appreciation Festival service on Sunday morning at 8:30 A.M. on the porch of the Nantahala BBQ & Brew (Located on the river left bank adjacent from the NOC Outfitters Store on river right).  We want this Sunday’s River of Life service to be the biggest ever, so come join Rev. Wayner for this special time!

River of Life will also be working on a special mission project during GAF weekend.

This year our goal is Three Wells in a Weekend!

http://www.nantahalariveroflife.org/event-items/well-in-a-weekend/

If you would like to give a monetary or gear donation for this mission bring it by the River of Life tent during the festival.



Categorized as:Nantahala  •  Nantahala River  •  event-website  •  from-the-noc  •  gear-donation  •  huffington  •  special  •  special-mission  •  special-time  •  store-on-river  •  sunday  •  three-wellsNantahala  •  Nantahala River  •  event-website  •  from-the-noc  •  gear-donation  •  huffington  •  special  •  special-mission  •  special-time  •  store-on-river  •  sunday  •  three-wellsNantahala  •  Nantahala River  •  event-website  •  from-the-noc  •  gear-donation  •  huffington  •  special  •  special-mission  •  special-time  •  store-on-river  •  sunday  •  three-wellsNantahala  •  Nantahala River  •  event-website  •  from-the-noc  •  gear-donation  •  huffington  •  special  •  special-mission  •  special-time  •  store-on-river  •  sunday  •  three-wells

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tommygunn

Join Us at GAF River Church

tommygunn wrote 814 days ago:


River of Life has been established for 8 years now on the Nantahala River and will be hosting a special Guest Appreciation Festival service on Sunday morning at 8:30 A.M. on the porch of the Nantahala BBQ & Brew (Located on the river left bank adjacent from the NOC Outfitters Store on river right).  We want this Sunday’s River of Life service to be the biggest ever, so come join Rev. Wayner for this special time!

River of Life will also be working on a special mission project during GAF weekend.

This year our goal is Three Wells in a Weekend!

http://www.nantahalariveroflife.org/event-items/well-in-a-weekend/

If you would like to give a monetary or gear donation for this mission bring it by the River of Life tent during the festival.



Categorized as:Nantahala  •  Regional Events  •  appreciation  •  festival  •  from-the-noc  •  huffington  •  special-mission  •  store-on-river  •  sundayNantahala  •  Regional Events  •  appreciation  •  festival  •  from-the-noc  •  huffington  •  special-mission  •  store-on-river  •  sundayNantahala  •  Regional Events  •  appreciation  •  festival  •  from-the-noc  •  huffington  •  special-mission  •  store-on-river  •  sundayNantahala  •  Regional Events  •  appreciation  •  festival  •  from-the-noc  •  huffington  •  special-mission  •  store-on-river  •  sunday

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wildwildwes

Join Us at GAF River Church

wildwildwes wrote 815 days ago:


River of Life has been established for 8 years now on the Nantahala River and will be hosting a special Guest Appreciation Festival service on Sunday morning at 8:30 A.M. on the porch of the Nantahala BBQ & Brew (Located on the river left bank adjacent from the NOC Outfitters Store on river right).  We want this Sunday’s River of Life service to be the biggest ever, so come join Rev. Wayner for this special time!

River of Life will also be working on a special mission project during GAF weekend.

This year our goal is Three Wells in a Weekend!

http://www.nantahalariveroflife.org/event-items/well-in-a-weekend/

If you would like to give a monetary or gear donation for this mission bring it by the River of Life tent during the festival.

 

For more info about River of Life check out this article published in the Huffington Post:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/north-carolina-river-church_55e9e25be4b03784e275cd16



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natefry

APEs Intermediate/Advanced Whitewater Canoe Clinic with Eli Helbert

natefry wrote 962 days ago:


APE's Logo

(Registration Deadline—June 8, 2015)

Appalachian Paddling Enthusiasts (APEs) is pleased to announce the next of its Paddle with the Pros clinics, this time by hosting an Intermediate/Advanced Whitewater Canoe Clinic with Eli Helbert.  Eli has taken top honors at two World Championships, a World Cup, and a World Extreme Race, as well as numerous national and regional canoeing titles.  He has taught courses throughout the U.S and abroad, including for the Nantahala Outdoor Center, La Ola School of Paddling in Germany and Austria, and the Oxford Riverside Center in England.

The Intermediate/Advanced Whitewater Canoe Course is designed for experienced open boaters looking to up their game, and will include refinement of fundamentals, strokes and river running technique.  The course will take place in the normal APEs watershed, to be determined as we get closer to the date.  The class will be limited to 5 students.  If you’re an aspiring open-boater this is your chance!  Send in your registration form and payment to take advantage of this outstanding and rare opportunity to learn from one of the world’s best!



Categorized as:Nantahala  •  download  •  intermediate  •  online  •  outstanding  •  registration  •  river-running  •  take-advantageNantahala  •  download  •  intermediate  •  online  •  outstanding  •  registration  •  river-running  •  take-advantageNantahala  •  download  •  intermediate  •  online  •  outstanding  •  registration  •  river-running  •  take-advantageNantahala  •  download  •  intermediate  •  online  •  outstanding  •  registration  •  river-running  •  take-advantage

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tommygunn

APEs Intermediate/Advanced Whitewater Canoe Clinic with Eli Helbert

tommygunn wrote 963 days ago:


APE's Logo

(Registration Deadline—June 8, 2015)

Appalachian Paddling Enthusiasts (APEs) is pleased to announce the next of its Paddle with the Pros clinics, this time by hosting an Intermediate/Advanced Whitewater Canoe Clinic with Eli Helbert.  Eli has taken top honors at two World Championships, a World Cup, and a World Extreme Race, as well as numerous national and regional canoeing titles.  He has taught courses throughout the U.S and abroad, including for the Nantahala Outdoor Center, La Ola School of Paddling in Germany and Austria, and the Oxford Riverside Center in England.

The Intermediate/Advanced Whitewater Canoe Course is designed for experienced open boaters looking to up their game, and will include refinement of fundamentals, strokes and river running technique.  The course will take place in the normal APEs watershed, to be determined as we get closer to the date.  The class will be limited to 5 students.  If you’re an aspiring open-boater this is your chance!  Send in your registration form and payment to take advantage of this outstanding and rare opportunity to learn from one of the world’s best!



Categorized as:Nantahala  •  Regional Events  •  apes  •  austria  •  highland-gate  •  online  •  outstanding  •  payment  •  registration  •  world-extremeNantahala  •  Regional Events  •  apes  •  austria  •  highland-gate  •  online  •  outstanding  •  payment  •  registration  •  world-extremeNantahala  •  Regional Events  •  apes  •  austria  •  highland-gate  •  online  •  outstanding  •  payment  •  registration  •  world-extremeNantahala  •  Regional Events  •  apes  •  austria  •  highland-gate  •  online  •  outstanding  •  payment  •  registration  •  world-extreme

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james

APEs Intermediate/Advanced Whitewater Canoe Clinic with Eli Helbert

james wrote 963 days ago:


APE's Logo

(Registration Deadline—June 8, 2015)



Categorized as:Nantahala  •  Regional Events  •  apes  •  download  •  online  •  outstanding  •  payment  •  registrationNantahala  •  Regional Events  •  apes  •  download  •  online  •  outstanding  •  payment  •  registrationNantahala  •  Regional Events  •  apes  •  download  •  online  •  outstanding  •  payment  •  registrationNantahala  •  Regional Events  •  apes  •  download  •  online  •  outstanding  •  payment  •  registration

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tommygunn

APEs Beginner Whitewater Canoe Clinic with Eli Helbert

tommygunn wrote 963 days ago:


APE's Logo

(Registration Deadline—June 1, 2015)

Appalachian Paddling Enthusiasts (APEs) is pleased to announce the next of its Paddle with the Pros clinics, this time by hosting a Beginner Whitewater Canoe Clinic with Eli Helbert.  Eli has taken top honors at two World Championships, a World Cup, and a World Extreme Race, as well as numerous national and regional canoeing titles. He has taught courses throughout the U.S and abroad, including for the Nantahala Outdoor Center, La Ola School of Paddling in Germany and Austria, and the Oxford Riverside Center in England.

The Beginner Whitewater Canoe Course is designed for those interested in learning the fundamentals, strokes and river running techniques that will ensure a fun and safe time on the river.  No experience is necessary. Instruction will consist of both flat water and on river instruction. The course will take place in the normal APEs watershed, to be determined as we get closer to the date. The class will be limited to 5 students.  If you’re an aspiring open-boater this is your chance!  Send in your registration form and payment to take advantage of this outstanding and rare opportunity to learn from one of the world’s best!



Categorized as:Nantahala  •  Regional Events  •  apes  •  austria  •  download  •  highland-gate  •  online  •  outstanding  •  payment  •  registration  •  world-extremeNantahala  •  Regional Events  •  apes  •  austria  •  download  •  highland-gate  •  online  •  outstanding  •  payment  •  registration  •  world-extremeNantahala  •  Regional Events  •  apes  •  austria  •  download  •  highland-gate  •  online  •  outstanding  •  payment  •  registration  •  world-extremeNantahala  •  Regional Events  •  apes  •  austria  •  download  •  highland-gate  •  online  •  outstanding  •  payment  •  registration  •  world-extreme

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saskia

APEs Beginner Whitewater Canoe Clinic with Eli Helbert

saskia wrote 963 days ago:


APE's Logo

(Registration Deadline—June 1, 2015)

Appalachian Paddling Enthusiasts (APEs) is pleased to announce the next of its Paddle with the Pros clinics, this time by hosting a Beginner Whitewater Canoe Clinic with Eli Helbert.  Eli has taken top honors at two World Championships, a World Cup, and a World Extreme Race, as well as numerous national and regional canoeing titles. He has taught courses throughout the U.S and abroad, including for the Nantahala Outdoor Center, La Ola School of Paddling in Germany and Austria, and the Oxford Riverside Center in England.

The Beginner Whitewater Canoe Course is designed for those interested in learning the fundamentals, strokes and river running techniques that will ensure a fun and safe time on the river.  No experience is necessary. Instruction will consist of both flat water and on river instruction. The course will take place in the normal APEs watershed, to be determined as we get closer to the date. The class will be limited to 5 students.  If you’re an aspiring open-boater this is your chance!  Send in your registration form and payment to take advantage of this outstanding and rare opportunity to learn from one of the world’s best!



Categorized as:Nantahala  •  Regional Events  •  apes  •  austria  •  download  •  highland-gate  •  paymentNantahala  •  Regional Events  •  apes  •  austria  •  download  •  highland-gate  •  paymentNantahala  •  Regional Events  •  apes  •  austria  •  download  •  highland-gate  •  paymentNantahala  •  Regional Events  •  apes  •  austria  •  download  •  highland-gate  •  payment

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james

Visiting The NOC and Ocoee

james wrote 1212 days ago:


The plan was to meet at the Nantahala put-in at 10:00, and then after we do a run I was going to compete in the NOC canoe club challenge. My dad and I arrived a little bit early, so we decided to stay down at the NOC hole for the day. We ended up seeing Sage Donnelly, Corey Sheenan, and a few other friends. At 12:00 the race had begun. With a few flips and some missed gates, I wasn’t very thrilled with my two runs down the advanced course. While we waited for the results, we messed around in the NOC hole. We hadn’t been in our play-boats for a while, so we were feeling kind of shaky.  My dad and I got in some cartwheels and loops before deciding we should get out to find the rest of our crew. Soon after we got out of our boats, they pulled up to the take out. They told us all about Hailey’s combat roll at pyramid rock, and Dacey’s first time running the falls without flipping. After grabbing some food at Big Wesser BBQ, they went up for a couple of laps on the upper. We stayed back to get the results for the race. I ended up getting first place!!! It was my second slalom race that I had ever done. I also got first place in my first slalom race. I was super exited. We at a late dinner at Rivers End around 8:00. By the time we were finished, it was about 9:00. We walked outside to find that the river was still running! I sat by the river playing with my miniature kayak that I made, while my dad went to get the keys to our room. When he got back the water was higher than normal flow. It was brown like the Cascades, and we saw a few sticks and logs floating down the river. It was getting late so we decided to head up to the bunkhouses. After a few minutes of lying there in the heat, I finally fell asleep.

The next morning we went down to Rivers End for some breakfast. We watched the water rise, then we started our drive to Ocoee. We were supposed to meet up with Joe Grudger at noon for a class. We got there early, again, so we took a nap. Joe came knocking on our window at 12:00. We loaded up the boats on his truck, and headed up to the put-in. Joe showed us a few new lines down Grumpy’s, but dad wasn’t feeling to great in his Wavesport Recon 93. We both demoed some Jackson Karmas the weekend before and we loved them. We ended up deciding that we were just going to have a fun day on the Ocoee instead of doing attainments and crazy moves since dad wasn’t feeling it. But overall it was an awesome weekend. I cant wait for the world kayak Proams this weekend!

Written by Garrett Madlock



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