Back in a kayak...

I admit it, I haven't been in a kayak since ARWC Costa Rica... I did more kayaking in that race than in my entire life up to that point, and it was certainly the part of the race I found the hardest. Those long nights paddling up endless lakes and in and out of mangrove lagoons will stay with me for a long time, and have not left me in any great rush to get back into kayaking...

However, a month of so ago a message appeared on the Dark Peak Fell Runners facebook page advertising the first running of a race called the "Wet Fox Trot". A slightly unusual name, but the race sounded interesting: 4km run, 2km paddle, 4km run. Two kilometres of paddling sounded manageable, so I decided I'd go and do the race if I could. The event took place at the Peak Pursuits centre at Underbank Lodge near Stocksbridge. I arrived just in time and there was luckily a space in the first of three waves. I paid up, signed my life away and off we went!


I set off pretty fast and soon found myself in clear space at the front, the run was a nice route around the reservoir - but I soon realised I'd gone off quite quickly and worried I couldn't hold on! The route took us over the dam, along the far side of the reservoir, back around the end, across the river and along the near shore into the centre. I finished the first run in about 16 minutes and was the first to be given a bouyancy aid and kayak. The boats were plastic river boats, which were a little unstable but not too tippy really - I think only one person capsized! I had a reasonable paddle, though there was one unplanned 360' spin. The 2kms took about 10 minutes and I was soon back on dry land and off onto the second run...


The second run felt a lot harder than the first, I had gone quickly the first time and was about a minute longer the second time, but I was now confident of winning my wave at least. I obviously didn't know what anyone in the two later legs would do so just tried to dig in and run as hard as I could! I eventually came into the finish in a total time of about 43 minutes, and so began the nervous wait...

I watched a few people out in the boats and coming in on the run over the next hour or so, then it was finally time for the results announcement. It turned out I hadn't done it, two guys had raced each other all the way round in the third leg and had obviously both set quicker times than I had managed. I was a bit disappointed but had run as hard as possible and paddled as well as I could, so I'd done my best.



However, today, I received an email from the organiser saying that there had been a problem with the run timing during the first wave and actually I had recorded the quickest time overall! I've also been offered an entry to next years race, which I'll definitely be taking up. Thanks to Fox Valley Events and Underbank Lodge for a brilliant race, and for restoring my faith in kayaking!

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