I stayed up late last night to register for the Chattajack 31, a 31-mile race on the Tennessee river in Chattanooga, TN. It seems like it might be the only race on the “East Coast” this year.
My registration went through at 12:06am this morning and less than one hour later the race was sold out when Paddler #651 registered.
Paddling Buddy Dave also got in a few minutes after me so we’ll be heading down there together.
We meant to do that.
I don’t know what to expect and there seems to be an overwhelming number of stand up paddle boarders (SUP’s) in this event, but everyone tells me it is a big deal.
I guess with that number of participants it is by definition a big deal, but I’m not sure the race itself will live up to the hype.
As of this writing, there are 651 people registered, 192 people on the wait list, yet only 92 (41 males) are registered in the surfski division, which means any kayak or surfski less than a 20″ beam.
41 other males in a race is a big deal, but we represent 6.3% of the total participants, so this is obviously not primarily a kayak/surfski event.
To be clear, there are some impressive, top-tier paddlers in this group, but it is a relatively small group within a much larger event.
I’ve paddled an amazing 25-mile race in PA called the Youghness Monster and also paddled the 40-mile, 100-mile, and 120-mile variations of the James River Rundown with far fewer people and much less hype, so I have expectations.
I hope ChattaJack isn’t just a big deal for SUP’s and not that big a deal for kayakers and surfski paddlers, but I will be enjoying the spirit of competition nonetheless on Oct. 24.
I’ll have my cameras rolling and file a full race report afterward.
You expect that from me, don’t you?