The Green Race Part 2: Race Day Saturday!

From Green Race Saturday

Once again the Green Race comes and once again I am blown away by how cool it is. Just think, a thousand people walked in more than an hour to watch a 130 or so paddlers giver a go for almost no prizes, no money, no chics, and very very little fame. Its all about a perfect weekend giving it everything you got, hanging with friends, and enjoying the whole thing. The weekend began with folks rolling in for the race. My house was full. Old friends, new friends, some spoke english some didn’t, but everyone enjoyed a perfect November weekend in the mountains of North Carolina.

From Green Race Saturday

This event is actually becoming a full on real life tradition. Someday soon there is going to be someone that races on the Green that is younger than the race itself and in extreme racing thats a very big statement. In the photo above you see Polk Dieters (Green Race Vet) with his son Scout checking out his lines for the future.

This year we had all the action and still hardly any injuries (knock on wood). We had the classic nightmares of paddlers of the Green… Numero uno, Swimming over the drop. We also had nightmare numero dos going over upside down. Throw in a couple backwards runs and a few swims, and pitons and you have an action packed day of whitewater racing. The most severe injuries were imparted by the rocks on shore to the asses of folks trying to navigate the throngs watching the festivities, and the punishing blows to the egos of a few of us racers. Nothing a little ice, ibu, and alcohol won’t take care of, as far as I know.

From Green Race Saturday

From Green Race Saturday

From Green Race Saturday

For me race day is a blurr of organizing friends and racers, making sure my spray skirt is in the van and remembering that I am actually racing. We all line up for the photo and then all of the sudden its all about you and the river. Everybody else is focused on their runs and you are left with your thoughts while you gear up and walk down to the river. The thoughts for each of us range from hopes to realities and hopes to fears. The walk to the river is quiet and a little lonely. The paddle down to the start line is focused. We are all feeling ourselves out, warming up, and trying to quiet the nerves. The funny thing is that once I got near the start line my butterflies started to go away. There were 50 paddlers fluttering around the starting rocks so the banter was quick and excited. Its a good feeling. We are all ready to go.

From Green Race Saturday

Little did we know that it would be the “Speed Trap” that would be dishing out the punishment.
It may not have been as scary or dreaded but spinning around caught in the corner of the Trap was a nightmare for all of us racers and this year it was in high form. It created a couple swims, crushed a few race dreams, and sapped the will out of a few that had to deal with its grip I know I watched several paddlers go from slight disappointment, to focus, to desperation as their attempts to exit the “trap” failed. Ross Herr even celebrated after getting past this obstacle.

From Green Race Saturday

Once you have finished your race run there is an amazing rush that goes through you. It takes a minute or two to get past the exhaustion of the race but soon the adrenaline pushes past and everyone is smiling and patting you on the back as you walk up through the crowd to Gorilla. Folks are offering you beers and all your buds are just as jacked as you are. Its a awesome feeling.

The paddle out from the race is something that is hard to explain. If you are doing the hike its like that except we are all pretty psyched to be paddling together. The loneness of paddling the race on your own is gone and everyone is just having a good time. A new tradition has been born in the last few years and thats the Southern Cross at Sunshine rapid. Pick a buddy and cross paths. One goes left and one goes right.

From there on out its all smiles, jokes, and happiness. And then theres a party.
The photos may just speak for themselves.

From Green Race Saturday
From Green Race Saturday
From Green Race Saturday
From Green Race Saturday

Congrats to all the racers.  What a showing.  No we have to say that on Green Race day there was somebody spanking the monkey every minute for nearly 3 hours.  Wow you all rock!   Andrew you are an animal. Adriene you have set a new standard for women paddlers on this river. Same goes for you Sprinkle and thanks to all the folks that paddle the LL boats. I think we are on to something. 3 out of the top 4 is damn good. Next time maybe we get that top spot in men’s as well.

Thanks to Johnny Floor and the Wrong Crowd and DJ Clay? for the awesome music.

Huge huge huge thanks to Woody, Sarah, Tim, John, Jason, Chelsea, Cribbs, Perry, and many many others for making this event happen.
And thanks Boyce the Stinger is fast.

From Green Race Saturday

Here is the whole slide show of my favorite shots.
Shane

3 Responses to “The Green Race Part 2: Race Day Saturday!”

  1. Sean Smith - Fat Paddler says:

    Sensational! The whole concept of paddling-induced adrenlain rushes followed by live music and a party is brilliant – wish I could be there! Cheers – FP

  2. Anonymous says:

    Lame Lame Lame. Thanks for designing and promoting yet another boat you don't plan to make available to the public. What's next?

  3. Shane Benedict says:

    Well the boat is available but just on a limited basis. Give Liquidlogic a call. We will try to make more boats that aren't available in the future. Its fun to taunt people.
    Shane

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