Above photo by Chandler Bold.
WHAT is It?
The 100 miles in 100 days paddle challenge started on Saturday, January 18th, with an open facebook group. It’s a virtual community of seventy-eight (yes, 78!) paddlers looking for incentives to get on the water. For me, it’s a way of goading, challenging, double-dog-daring; or thinking “oh crap, I’m falling behind;” “I’m such a wienie;” “or just a venue to keep each other abreast of what our training is, or isn’t. It ends the week of the Carolina Cup in Wrightsville Beach. It seems so easy, paddle a 100 miles in 100 days….but this year’s winter weather has thrown everyone for a loop.
Current water temps are anywhere from downright frozen in Ontario to maybe 60 ish degrees in Florida. The norm seems to be hovering around 40ish in the Carolinas. Ferguson Sloan, a paddle instructor with FMS Paddle Sports in South Hampton, NY, reports a balmy water temp of 33.9 degrees. He paddles with mini-icebergs. . . really! My point. . . the WHY we’re trying to paddle this time of year is a bit questionable. But then….the WHY becomes obvious when you look at the pictures from Ferguson Sloan or from Chandler Bold and Corey Taylor in South Carolina. On the good days, it’s gorgeous out there!
The second WHY…
IF you race SUP and you want to be competitive, the second answer is in the picture Larry Cain posted on his facebook page of his board. Water that got on his board, FROZE! In other words, if you’re not out there training….someone else is!
Our “members” are all over the United States and Canada. No overseas participants, yet. We have Dan Gavere and Harmony Dawn who’ve been paddling in the rain with dolphins in Florida (I think I hate them. just kidding). There’s Coral Rockadilla Hines in Oklahoma who’s trying to keep her feet warm and stay on top of her local dam’s water release. We have Hal Turner and Dottie Hodges in Tennessee. We have people who have just got back on the water and doing only a mile or two (but they’re doing it). We have people who are dodging pelicans (and their poop) like Danielle Cubberley Goldston and Kenny McGibbon. (Being t-boned by a Pelican would HURT!)
On the “getting stronger, faster” leader board is Corey Taylor of South Carolina. He’s consistently working those Riding Bumps intervals. Note to tough dudes: Corey got knocked off his board at the start of the Cold Stroke Classic and STILL came in 6th overall in the elite race with less than a year of SUP under his board shorts. He’s going to be a force to reckon with at the Carolina Cup. April Zilg of Wrightsville Beach has been working those intervals too. She also got knocked off at the start of the Cold Stroke…and then won the women’s elite race. Maybe there’s a secret race strategy here?
As to the most interesting Garmin readouts being posted, I vote Susan Beck Ballenger, she has the most interesting looking routes. Some look like Godzilla, and she names others which I think is totally a cool idea.
Community: “Gotta Get Up to Get Down, Gotta Get up to Get Down” lyrics by Coolio (1,2,3,4…)
Our community is “getting up” and getting out. There’s a commonality in who we are and what we do.
It appears the average paddle distance for most is 6 miles. That’s usually 1 ½ to 2 hrs for most. An interval session could be 45 minutes. Most consider a long paddle anything in the 10 mile range.
To track distance we consider “guesstimation” as legitimate. Others use Garmins or different Apps like distance measure or geomeasure. April Zilg uses www.mapmyrun.com At this point, Susan Beck Ballenger is probably in the lead with just under 50 miles total. There’s some very close followers.
The Riding Bumps website, facebook page, e-books, training programs and hardback books are getting good press in our conversations. They come out on top as a leader in helping us know when, how long and at what intensity to train.
JOIN US! Look us up on facebook under 100/100 Paddle Challenge. It’s all good, it’s all fun and it’s all a way to connect with other paddlers.
Is anyone paddling? Yes!