For the second year in a row, I traveled to San Marcos, Texas, to train with the Alberta, Canada Jr. Slalom Team and I had a blast!
If you have never been to San Marcos, it’s worth the trip! The water is spring fred and runs about 72 degrees and the weather is anywhere form the mid 60 to the 80′s in February. The whitewater park consists of 3 features, the top one being the largest wave, followed by a smaller wave, and then a small hole. The water is very clear and full of turtles and other wildlife so it is really fun to paddle around on.
Everyday started with a run to a bunch of park benches where we did a series of pushups and box jumps, then run continued to a park playground where we did wall squats while coach Paul hid, and we had to find him without touching the ground. we then ran to a grassy field where we stretched and did core exercises followed by ultimate frisbee or soccer. When the game was over, we ran back to where we were staying, changed our clothes and went kayaking for our morning session. We also had an afternoon water session every day so we were pretty busy.
The coaches, Paul Manning-Hunter and Mike Holroyd, are really great to work with and made the workouts a lot of fun, and the Canadian kids were awesome! Hopefully they plan on doing this again next year because it is so fun! Please check out the video of 1 day at the park.
This year I had a very successful year in kayaking, and I just want to give a shout out to all of those who have helped me have a banner year..
Colin Kemp, World Kayak, for teaching me how to cartwheel, aiding in my loop, and helping in my all around boating skills.
The Jackson family, for always giving advice to make me a better boater.
Michelle Kvanli, Mark Poindexter, Chelsea Easley and Andre Sanborn of Red River Racing for excellent slalom and C1 training.
Ruth Gordan Ebens, for helping build my foundation and support.
The Gold Medal Camp Coaches, Joe Jacobi, Bob Campbell, Kenneth, Chad, Smiley, and Tom Long, for awesome instruction.
My dad, Matt Donnelly, and my mom, Stephanie Viselli, for ALWAYS being there with advice and support!
Thanks to all the kids and people who I have met and boated with throughout the years-you’re awesome!
Jackson Kayak, for making kid’s boats as well as adult boats, and believing in me all these years.
Kokatat, for making such incredible dry gear in small sizes that fit kids (women’s small) as well as adults.
Snapdragon, for making the most awesome, bombproof sprayskirts that my whole family wears.
Keen Footwear, who makes the best shoes for any condition, for both adults and kids.
Predator Helmets, for making a quality, comfortable ORANGE helmet.
American Whitewater, for making the rivers flow!
Red River Racing, for providing support and training.
Truckee River Foundation, teaching river safety to kids on the Truckee River
Outdoor Nation, supporting kids getting outside
Last week I was able to do a personal first decent, my first one for the year! It was E to P on the South Yuba River near Nevada City, Ca. It is a class 4 river and it was lots of fun and had a couple a really cool boofs. My favorite rapids were called Corner Pocket, and Door #3. The water was a little low but perfect for my first run, and the weather was perfect and sunny. The next day, we ran over to the NF of the American and ran Chamberlain Falls, a river that I had run for the first time last year. Once again we had beautiful weather and I had a great time. My favorite rapid on Chamberlain is called Bogus Thunder. It has a really fun ferry and a couple of holes you have to punch. Unfortunately, no one had a camera so I don’t have any pictures. It is starting to cool down in California and Nevada again, but there is always a river running somewhere. See you on the river, Sage