If you would have told me a few years ago that I would paddle an ultra-marathon in a kayak I would have told you you were crazy.
If you would have told me that I’d paddle an ultra as a training run I would have just laughed uncontrollably.
Yet here we are.
Paddling Buddy Dave and I got on the river at 7am this morning to paddle the full length of the Rivanna River and then 10 miles of the James River from Columbia, VA to Cartersville.
We’ve gotten a lot of rain in the past couple days and the rivers were very high, so we kept our eye on the gauges and visually inspected the rivers to make sure we would be paddling within our skill level and not putting ourselves in any danger. The levels dropped overnight on Friday, just as expected, so we had a “green light” for a day of paddling.
As we shuttled vehicles Friday night I guestimated it would take us between 8 and 9 hours based on our projected river flows.
55 miles, 8 hours and 8 minutes of paddling with ~30 minutes of rest/eating/water-replenishing later, and we completed our mission.
We are tired and sore.
At one point on the river the only thought that came into my mind were the song lyrics, “I focus on the pain, the only thing that’s real.”
The last 7 miles of the Rivanna seemed slow and boring and my back was shot by the time we hit the James so I just did what I had to do to get it over with.
Paddling Buddy Dave showed no signs of fatigue on the water and I continue to hold him in highest regard as an absolute paddling beast.
The Pyranha Octane and Epic V7 seemed very evenly matched and any advantage of one over the other seemed purely attributable to the paddler.
Nutrition for me was water with BCAA’s, almonds, Pistachios, beef jerkey, and two Epic bars.