Each year at this time the rivers here in Colorado begin to drop and summer quickly turns to fall. Its also during this season that the annual Gore Canyon race takes place near the headwaters of the Colorado river. Every August a large group of kayakers, rafters and all kinds of river lovers converge at the Pumphouse campground just west of Kremmling, Colorado to see who is the fastest person down the 5 miles of class IV and V whitewater.
I have raced this stretch every year since 1997 with the exception of last year's race (2009) due to a shoulder injury. Although it was a huge bummer to miss the race I was still able to be a part of it as an event volunteer, timing racers as they crossed the finish line.
But this year I am back and as fired up as can be! With several training runs down the canyon in both my Nomad and Green boat I feel I have the strength and ability to be a top contender this year. I have only done one kayak race since the injury, Summit County's "6 Mile, 1 Mile", which I won in my Nomad 8.5. I have also been racing around Colorado on my stand up board and staying in shape by running the countless hills behind my house. Needless to say I have one mission on August 28th, WIN Gore Canyon. There will be some heavy competition including past champion Charlie McAurther who paddles a wavehopper at lightning speed up there. My top time ever is just over 20 minutes in a plastic Green boat in 2008. I have my work cut out for me to say the least.
Although I have been away from the racing game for some time now my heart and head are 100% in the game and I can't wait till the starter sends me off around noon on Saturday. Running whitewater in Colorado this time of year is spectacular, being the fastest person down Gore Canyon would put it over the top. Good luck to all the racers this weekend. It's going to be an all time epic weekend.
Here is a glimpse at one of the rapids in the race, Tunnel Falls, from a practice lap this week. Sorry to my buddy Tim in advance for sharing his swim in this clip. But, Swims Happen.