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Sydenham Canoe Race - Adventure

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Shetland Conservation Area, Ontario
StClair Region Conservation Foundation
68F / 20C
Total Time = 51m
Overall Rank = 4/38
Age Group = 17-49 mixed
Age Group Rank = 4/38
Pre-race routine:

I got up early and loaded the canoe on the car, letting Lorraine (wife) sleep in. I also went and helped our neighbours load their canoe. AFter the wife got up, we went to the neighbor's for breakfast before leaving for the race.

After getting to the race start site, we unloaded our gear and then registered. We then took our cars to the finish line, and took the shuttle back to the start area and waited for the start.

It should be noted that my wife and I take our 2 dogs (lab and sheppard) canoeing with us all the time, including this race. They ride well in the canoe, and really love going. They had a good time. But, they are another 110lbs that we have in our canoe that our competitors do not have.
Event warmup:

We watched the first few classes start to show our neighbor what the starts are like. It was his first time canoe racing. We stretched a bit before we launched our boats and waited for our start time.
Post race
Warm down:

Sydenham river north of the Shetland Conservation Area near Shetland Ontario, Canada. For our class, it is a down river race. There is one section of class 1 rapids known as "Smith Falls" and one shallow rocky section that can cause some trouble too. Lots of curves in the river, and a few sections had a brisk headwind this year.

We got a clean start this year and got clear of the washing machine caused by the large group of paddlers very quickly. We settled into 3rd place in the lead pack of boats and focused on staying with the leaders. We passed many boats from classes that started ahead of us, but were slowly losing ground on the 2 boats ahead of us in our class.

At the start of the race, I was having just a little trouble keeping the canoe straight. We drifted side to side slowly. I attribute this to no real practice time in the canoe prior to the race. By about 1/2 way through this problem had mostly gone away.

We passed through "Smith Falls" and the rocky section with only one close call, we almost hit a submerged rock, saw it at the last minute though, so no real problems.

We were passed about late in the third mile by the boat that eventually won the race. We tried to stay with them and couldn't, but still closed the gap with the boats ahead of us in the process.

This race was a full 5 minutes faster than we did last year. So we had quite an improvement in 1 year. If we can improve 1/2 that amount for next year, we will be competing for the trophy!

Full results available at:
We raced the recreational class.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Better hydration plan is needed. Camelpacks might work well. We could drink without really having to stop paddling.

This was our first time in the canoe this season. If we want to do better we really should practice at least a few times before racing.

We could also save some time by leaving the dogs at home, but I doubt that will happen.

With a 5 minute improvement from last year, and setting a PR for 5miles, I'm not sure I can complain much. It was a fun day!

Event comments:

This event is a fund raiser for the St. Clair Conservation Ass. education fund, and approx $3000 was raised to support their school programs this year.

Last updated: 2007-03-22 12:00 AM
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? No
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2007-04-26 6:57 AM

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Sarnia, Ontario
Subject: Sydenham Canoe Race
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