Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Bifecta Weekend....Western National Team Trials and the Pole Pedal Paddle!

Athletes advice...keep it in the middle, paddle like hell, fastest time wins gang:)
Load the dog, throw in a couple of kayaks, Heather grabs the peanut butter and jelly, and we're off to Glenwood Springs for the Western National Team Trials on the class 3 Shoshone section of the Colorado River.Western Junior Trials were held in conjunction with the Glenwood Whitewater Jubilee put on by race director Denny Adams and company. I still can't believe it but we showed up to see 45 juniors registered for western wildwater team trials hosted in Colorado this much for rodeo and SUP taking over paddlesports!

Durango standout nordic skier Cully Brown set the gold standard with a smoking fast 14 minute classic course time for the K1 junior men. I'll be honest that I've watched this kid grow under the tutelage of American wildwater perennial powerhouses Mike Freeburn and Andy Corra and I was seriously watching over my shoulder for this junior to make me vomit to stay ahead of him and several other seniors that showed up in force. I hung on for the overall classic win and Cully won the K1 junior class just some 15 seconds behind me in 3rd place overall. Something tells me I'm going down next year if this 17 year old gets one more tip from these guys:) Coached by Olympian Scott Shipley, slalom standout from Lyons, Colorado Spencer Huff was hot on Cully's heels in 2nd place just seconds ahead of JP Griffith.  Dawson School put Sarah Neimeyer on the women's K1 podium who went on Sunday to match the men's K1 sprint time which is very impressive.

 Clinic time...back to the books with my own version of Mr. Rodgers neighborhood and 45 juniors.
When's recess I say?
I put on a 1.5 hour wildwater clinic for the juniors focusing on outfitting of a racing kayak, forward stroke technique, river reading skills, and pacing with a GPS based heart rate monitor. Special thanks to KEEN and Nuun for providing raffle prizes for all junior attendees.
Heather and I loaded up the Hybridvan and headed to Salida, Colorado for the Annual Pole, Pedal, Paddle to race with 107 other teams. Our ringer teammate Shane Sigle got deathly ill days before the race so we were short our skier until Salida local and Monarch Ski Patroller Eric Ramsey surfaced after a late request at the race meeting. Our kharma was solid gold as this guy smoked the rando ski leg that begins on Monarch Pass descending into Fooses Creek to pass off to our cyclist...none other than my girlfriend Heather who battled near hurricane force winds to keep us right in the game as she descended into the Arkansas River to pass off to me . With super low water conditions, I nit picked my way down the river in a brisk 45 minutes reeling in the 2nd place team putting some solid time on the next team paddler. So Team 2 Hounds and a Fox won the team race with our last minute savior Eric Ramsey who was eating pizza/brew next to the race meeting when his friends rallied him to jump on our team....does it get any better than this?

Team 2 Hounds and a Fox Win the 2011 Colorado Pole Pedal Paddle. Jeremy Rodgers, Gwen Ramsey (representing our skier and her dad Eric Ramsey, and Heather Prentice. Powered by Nuun!