In Bastrop, Texas for the Colorado River 100 Marathon Canoe Race
One year ago on Labor Day weekend, my son Jonathan and I competed in the Colorado River 100. This one-hundred mile marathon canoe race starts in Bastrop, Texas and winds its way southeastward toward the finish line at Columbus, Texas. It’s a tough race, primarily because the Colorado is a slow-moving river. Paddlers have to work hard to earn every mile. The official race website cautions: “Paddlers will have to endure Texas heat, night travel, fatigue, river critters and the elements in order to complete this challenge within 32 hours.” Jonathan and I are back in Bastrop to compete in the race for the second time. It’s been a month since we competed in the Neches River Wilderness Canoe Race and we are anxious to get back on the river.
Having competed in and completed six marathon canoe races with Jonathan, I always look forward to my time with him. And, both of us look forward to seeing friends we have made on the previous races. Our friend Shane Perrin drove down from St. Louis, Missouri to be the first to compete in this race on a paddleboard. Shane competed in the Texas Water Safari and became the first to complete the 260-mile race on a paddleboard. Our friends Ben and Jay from the Taste of Texas restaurant in Houston are also here and many other friends that we reconnected with at the pre-race meeting. We learned at the pre-race meeting that several Wounded Warriors will compete in this year’s race as a part of their journey toward healing, an announcement that prompted the applause of all present. One young lady is here to compete and to raise awareness and funds for the Breast Cancer Resource Center of Texas.
The water on the Colorado River is low this year. Officials told those of us who competed last year that it will probably take a couple of additional hours for us to finish the course this year. Jonathan and I finished in a little more than 23-hours last year. Hopefully it won’t take us too much longer than that this year, but we’ll see. We just want to finish the course well. Race officials also cautioned us that more snake and alligator sightings have been reported along the route. This means that we need to be a little more alert, especially when paddling under overhanging branches along the banks, lest we pick up an extra passenger. It’s all part of the adventure.
Because my life is always in motion, I am especially grateful to have opportunities like this to spend with Jonathan. My wife Cheryl will serve as our team captain and resupply us with water at the checkpoints along the route. For those of you interested in following our journey, Jonathan has set up a SpotTracker page where you can follow our progress online. Our SpotTracker will be activated when we start the race at 7:10 AM tomorrow. I look forward to getting back in a canoe and on the river with Jonathan in a few hours.