It was my intention to post on Sunday evening and Monday, about a number of things. But having traveled all the way to Cooperstown, NY, and checked into a hotel, we discovered that they were chincy about Internet access and we decided that we would be paying 10 dollars only once so Matt could get on. So I curled up in a very nice bed and went to sleep, so as to be able to get up at 4 am in order for Matt and Darrell (his canoe partner) to be in the water by 6:30am.
I did, in fact, manage to get up at 4am and we packed up the car and sat around in the lounge of the hotel waiting for the hotel person to put coffee and tea out and looked at the nice view. We waited and watched the sun rise.
Don and Darrell Dean are twin brothers and for many years they have raced each other in the Clinton General Canoe Regatta. For Darrell, this was his 20th year in the race, earning him the 1400 mile distinction. Last year Darrell cajoled (70 miles is not that far, it'll be fun) Matt into racing with him against Don and Don's son, Jake (these are all members of Church of the Good Shepherd). So we have four people in boats: Don and Jake against Matt and Darrell. And they're all wearing lime green so we can pick them out of all the other boaters. It should be noted that three other teams chose to wear this same color and they were all grouped together, so every time Matt looked round and saw green, he assumed Don and Jake were on his tail and pushed harder. But usually it was some other people in lime green, although once or twice it was Don and Jake, who, in fact, managed to pull up right along side and lear at Matt and Darrell, causing them to panic and row like maniacs.
And as, with any important event, the women provided back up support. Darrell's wife Carolyn and his two daughters, Kaitlin and Gabrielle, Me, Don's wife Linda and their daughter Jenna and her friend Morgan. It was actually a lot of people to pack up and race from Pit to Pit in order to chuck food and water into the river and hope the canoer's picked it up.
I took copious pictures of the men in the boats, but didn't take many of us pitting. The river was beautiful and it had rained the night before so the water was higher and moved a long much more helpfully than last year, shaving a full half hour off everyone's time. So, for those who are interested (and I know there are a few out there-Matt's mother, various church people etc), here are the laborious pictures I took, cut in half and then half again (I took almost a hundred).
Oh, and Matt and Darrell came in 45 minutes ahead of Jake and Don, but it should be noted that Don's canoe was twice as heavy as Darrell's and that Don had done something appalling to his elbow and was in considerable pain for the 70 miles.
Into the Water
At the Starting Line
The First Pit, Everyone still happy and thinking Rowing a Canoe is no Problem
Don and Jake Foregoing the First Pit
The First Time having to get out of the water and carry the canoe past a large dam. Really couldn't get a good shot of them through the trees and I was too far away.
The Copper Fox: Early into the Race pulled another guy out of the water who was stuck under a tree and starting to drown. Everyone cheered The Copper Fox all day at every stop. Many people tipped during the day. Darrell tipped Matt at one point and we're wondering if his severe rib pain this morning is due to possibly having hit a rock or having been whacked by the boat.
Back in the boat after the second land carry, avoiding this
Don and Jake Carrying their Very Heavy Boat
Linda lowering Tuna fish Sandwiches over a Very Tall Bridge to Don and Jake, Her aim was so good, she it Jake in the face with the bag and it landed in his lap. Tuna fish was the food of choice for everyone but Matt who ate Power bars and Drank some Sports Drink of a Vile Color.
Matt and Darrell Backwards through the Finish Line so Darrell Could Go Through First
Don and Jake Arrive, Don tips over the Side for a MUCH Needed Soak. Matt pretends to be All That and Help Jake with the Boat. First time he realizes How Much Heavier their boat is and regrets the offer of help.
Exhausted. "I don't understand the appeal of this activity" I said to Darrell, "What's the Best Part of the Race?"
"Getting out of the boat at the end" said Darrell.
And This Must Have Helped.