Kim makes a clean drop at the bottom of Burleigh Falls

When you paddle on a dam-controlled canal, you’re at the mercy of the guys in an office somewhere. When you paddle on a dam-controlled canal in a dry summer, you’re really up the creek.  From a decent level last week, Week 3 KWPer’s faced a Fun Run night potentially lacking in fun. What to do for the event? How about a blindfolded kayak race? Simple rules….teams of two, one blindfolded, one not, first team to navigate down the river and over the (smallish) falls at the bottom wins. While a number of KWPer’s declined participation in the night’s event, enough stepped up to make it a contest. From a shotgun start at our traditional spot below the dam 8 teams descended, some having more difficulty than others, with at least 2 blindfolded paddlers reporting feelings of nausea and 1 non-blind folded paddler becoming a swimmer halfway down the course. Not a race event we’d recommend to
everyone but desperate times call for desperate measures. In order of finish, top teams were Sue and Malcolm, Rob C. and Payton, Seamus and Brock,  Doug and Colin and Zack and Kamila. No one was hurt, everyone had a blast, World Kayak gear went to lucky
paddlers and the dinner was A1, featuring a pile of grilled pork ribs, Caesar salad, pasta salad and fancy bread and butter, all served up by our own Big Brian.

 

A few of the Fun Run regulars

Our rotating weeknight schedule meant a quick turnaround from paddling Thursday last week to a trip to Burleigh Falls the following Tuesday for Week 4. The dismal level of the previous week had some wondering whether it would result in a poor turnout but instead, Week 4 attendance stood unchanged at 28 paddlers plus a large contingent of family and friends to cheer things on. Thankfully, the level was up slightly from the week before, making navigation a little easier on the main river section. After the usual warm ups on the far left channel, paddlers gathered at the bottom of the falls when it was decreed that the event for the night would be the MARATHON. It’s a Fun Run classic involving running with a kayak, crossing a highway, descending an embankment, putting in the river on the run, paddling your guts out, getting out of your kayak as quickly and safely as possible on the slick rocky shoreline…and then doing it all again. Definitely a test of endurance, paddling and river reading, the

 

Payton goes for it during the marathon

Marathon is both dreaded and anticipated. With paddlers departing only 10 seconds apart, bottlenecks soon developed in a few key race locations but none more critical and carnage-creating than the takeout immediately below the drop.  A number of scheming racers determined that the dicey takeout below the falls would make for a shorter transition time but didn’t count on the slick rocks and the fact others might be thinking as they did. Chaos ensured and  swimmers started hitting the water, with four water gulpers taking major hits to their time and others caught in the mess ruining their chance for a point-worthy finish. Top finishers were Cam, Zack, Rob C, Tom and Kees. Following the traditional post race award of top choice of World Kayak swag to
the winning paddler and a draw for the rest of the night’s prizes, everyone gathered had a late dinner of manicotti, Caesar salad, fresh bread and butter and cake and ice cream to celebrate a couple of club member birthdays. Huge thanks go to Beth for her excellent manicotti and minor thanks to Tom for wiping the counter and adding the croutons to the salad. Secret balloting with regard to the weekly meal means no one knows who is in the lead for the Fun Run series cooking prize but the bar has been set high so chefs on deck better bring their “A” game if they want to contend for the top prize.
After Week 4 overall front runners have emerged but there is still lots of time for challengers to move up and displace the leaders. Overall leader is last year’s champion Zack but strangely enough he has yet to place first in any given event…says something for showing up every week with enough stuff to gather top drawer points despite the lack of a clear win in any given event. Zack is trailed by
 
Low levels, sunny skies and warm water!

club favorite “Lucky” Rob Clive with 14 points and tied for third are young gun Cam and Leah at 11. The participation award is up for grabs among the 7 paddlers who have managed to make all four weeks but expect that to thin out in the coming weeks.. Top female award is shaping up nicely, with perpetual challenger Leah in the lead with 11 points, closely followed by Sue at 9, who has been hurt by spotty attendance and in a surprise tie for second is newbie member Payton, who has definitely shown up to play.

Overall points to date are listed below. Fun Run Week 5 is happening on Wednesday, July 18th. Be there by 6 for the whole experience, everyone is welcome…let’s hope the dam operators are smiling on us!

KWP Fun Run standings, end of Wk 4

1

Zack

17

2

Rob C.

14

3 (tie)

Cam

11

3 (tie)

Leah

11

4 (tie)

Jake

10

4 (tie)

Tom

10

4 (tie)

Seamus C-1

10

5 (tie)

Darryl

9

5 (tie)

Payton

9

5 (tie)

Sue

9

6

Bruce

8

7 (tie)

Brock

7

7 (tie)

Earl

7

7 (tie)

Isaac

7

7 (tie)

Jacob

7

7 (tie)

Sara

7

7 (tie)

Malcolm

7

8 (tie)

Hayley

6

8 (tie)

Pattie

6

8 (tie)

Rob I.

6

8 (tie)

Todd A.

6

8 (tie)

Tony

6

8 (tie)

Doug

6

9 (tie)

Kees

5

9 (tie)

Kim I.

5

9 (tie)

Seamus

5

9 (tie)

Steph

5

10 (tie)

Colleen

4

10 (tie)

Pete

4

10 (tie)

Terry

4

10 (tie)

Colin

4

11 (tie)

Laura

3

11 (tie)

Mark

3

11 (tie)

Kamilla

3

11 (tie)

Cam (Cambium)

3

12 (tie)

Big Brian

2

12 (tie)

Brett

2

12 (tie)

John S.

2

12 (tie)

Manny

2

12 (tie)

Todd C.

2

12 (tie)

Daniel

2

12 (tie)

Lora

2

12 (tie)

Marcie

2

12 (tie)

Rick

2

12 (tie)

Aurn

2

13 (tie)

Robert

1

13 (tie)

Shirley

1

13 (tie)

Becky

1