Lessons learned

cu·mu·la·tive
ˈkyo͞omyələdiv,ˈkyo͞omyəˌlādiv
adjective
  1. increasing or increased in quantity, degree, or force by successive additions.

The value of racing as many Michigan Canoe Racing Association events as possible cannot be understated.  Each race is slightly different.  Is it a loop course on a river?  Is it pond paddling?  Shallow water?  Deep water?  Is it better suited to technical teams?  The variations are notable.  The experience that newer paddlers gain?  Invaluable.  There simply is no better way to prepare for the AuSable River Canoe Marathon then to race the circuit.

That’s exactly what Mike and Josh Kellogg, of Kellogg Racing did in 2017.  Who are these guys you ask?  The two paddlers featured in the video re-posted last Thursday that fell victim to Ryan’s Corner in the 2017 Klondike.  Yes.  On their fourth time ever in a professional racing canoe, in their first race, they made a mistake on one of the trickiest cross currents on the entire schedule.  And swam.

A brisk encounter with a cold creek didn’t stop them.  They continued to paddle, racing EVERY EVENT on the Michigan Canoe Racing Association circuit.  Every one.  With each race, their skill set developed.  And then they successfully completed the AuSable River Canoe Marathon.

There is no substitute for racing.  Do all the long runs you like.  Intervals.  Whatever.  If you want to get better, show up and race.  In Michigan, we have an outstanding group of members that run our sanctioning body working hand and hand with race promoters to put on a top notch schedule of racing events.

Do yourself a favor.  Show up and race.  You will get better.
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Cumulative #2

Yesterday, the Godfather of American Marathon Canoe Racing, Bruce Barton kicked off his 50th consecutive year of canoe racing.  He celebrated the start of year number 50 by racing with his daughter, the President of the United States Canoe Association, Rebecca Davis.  They finished 4th with an excellent race.  Of the things I remember from yesterday’s race, Bruce and Rebecca flying past us down river after their buoy turn stands out.  As I replayed the day in my mind, I tried to analyze what it was that made them fly.  Was it textbook technique, faster stroke rate, a boat model that I didn’t get a real good look at (and am not certain what it was)?

Whatever “it” is, has built up over years and years of hard work and dedication to his craft.

Congratulations Bruce on an amazing career.  Thank you for all that you and your family has done for the entire paddling world.
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Cumulative #3

Speaking of yesterday, a little race report.  Stayed dry.  Had a blast.  Bow paddled my Gillies.  Felt fantastic.

I had a long race report written up.  Deleted it.  The simple summary is this:  It was my first time, outside of the Marathon sprint course, paddling up river in the bow of a racing canoe.  There were times when zigging was the correct operation, and I zagged.  There were also times when I zigged and it was the right thing to do.

Mistakes were made.  And that’s completely okay.

The boats that bested us have amassed a significantly larger amount of experience.  Experience comes with time.

When opportunity knocks.  Answer the door.  I could have easily raced C1, on a tight twisty up river course that I like.  I saw the chance to bow paddle with the Hewitt and try something new.  So I jumped on it.  You cannot pass on an opportunity to expand your skill set.  Ever.

cu·mu·la·tive
ˈkyo͞omyələdiv,ˈkyo͞omyəˌlādiv
adjective
  1. increasing or increased in quantity, degree, or force by successive additions.

 

 

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