Monday, November 05, 2012

The Green Race!

Imagine a beautiful valley loaded with gorgeous trees, a river that boosts slides and drops and hundreds of people lining the sides like in a colosseum, cheering and screaming- The Green Race! I was totally stoked to be at the 2012 Green Race held this past weekend on the Green River Narrows here in North Carolina. The excitement for this event began weeks ago with loads of people arriving into town and to prepare for what has been called by some- ‘the best show in sports’. I was staying at one of the local legends, Shane Benedicts and it seemed that everyday of the final week leading up to the race we had new people appearing. Katrina’s parents arrived on the Wednesday and we were treated to a pre race spa that made for one of the best days of relaxing:) This was followed by race day. Around 9am I was up and ready to hike in to the middle section of the river to watch the race. It was a real scramble as the hundreds of spectators made their way down to get front row seats for one of the rowdiest extreme kayak races around. I managed to get one of the hottest seats being placed at the lip of the 12foot Gorilla rapid! The atmosphere at the river was amazing, their was a very excited buzz flying around and you could feel the intenseness of the racers as they charged down the river. I watched at least 5 people go over Gorilla upside down, a few catch the eddy after the notch and many style their way into the slides that followed. Big ups to Adrienne Levkenect who took out the Womens race 8seconds ahead of Katrina Van Wijk, and NZ Louise Urwin in 3rd. Adrienne killed it and had a time just under 5minutes! But it was also soo awesome to watch Katrina and Lou as they flew down and definately showed up a lot of dudes!
In the Mens our very own Kiwi Mike Dawson took the win with a new course record of 4minutes and 10seconds! Just ahead of American Dane Jackson and Issac Levingston in 3rd. 
I will admit it was a little bit hard being on the sideline, but I felt very inspired and walked away from it with some dreams to come back next year or again someday to get my redemption on the river and race myself!
Ashville and the Green area was a pleasure to visit. Everybody was super friendly and the community was definately one of the coolest that I have experience. So much energy and buzz! Thanks so much to all of the people I met and those that took me paddling, hiking and showed me good times in the South East. Esp. thanks to the following-  Shane, Pat, Stephen, Issac, Mark Miller, Bo, Emily Grimes, Jeanie, Betsy, Clay, Fusilli, Erin, Scotty, Rebecca, Adrienne, Sarah and Chris and Cob!