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SUP for Cancer 25th June 2017

I can't believe that the second SUP for Cancer race was almost 4 months ago and that I haven't shared it with you! Here is a short overview of the event and a little video to go along with it. 

It was another fun event raising money for Cancer research and full of surprises. The forecast for this event was not due to be as glam as last years but that didn't put anyone off, because this event was even bigger than the last.

There was a slight change to how we were going to be starting and finishing this year, which got me slightly nervous because it was going to require us to cross the river on both occasions. 

Launching before the start

My start was not the best, I did my usual and was over the line so they had to wait for me to paddle backwards slightly before they set us off. Unfortunately this left me unprepared for the go, which meant I was battling through everyones wash. It got a bit hairy at times and I am surprised I managed to stay on my board! It was my own fault and lessons have been learned, I was putting too much pressure on myself because I wanted to become first female again. Thinking back after the race I realised that this year was very different to the last because the caliber of women in my race was that much higher, due to the increase of interest and entries. 

I opted to complete the 6k length course again, not wanting to push myself and with the idea that I could be more competitive. I started off well, apart from the start, and was managing to keep up with the front of the pack but that didn't last long! For some reason I was suffering more than normal and around the 3k half way mark I was contemplating on giving up and just completing the short course. I got closer to the rounding mark and then the next thing I knew I was passing it, there was no turning back now. When I was approaching the mark I kept thinking to myself how bad I would feel if I turned around, how I would feel like I had failed and just given up. So I worked through the pain in my mind and continued, I was not going to be upset if I had people over take me, as long as I finished I would be happy with the result. 

On the way to the finish line

The next thing I knew I was approaching my half way mark, and there were a few friends cheering me on as I passed them on my way back down to the finish. By this time the wind, tide and chop had increased, to top it all off we had to paddle into it on the way back down the river. This made the last part of the course especially difficult and challenging but all that much rewarding. As I approached the Itchen Bridge the tide was stronger and no matter how much you paddled it seemed like you were not going anywhere, and you dare not stop paddling because then you would definitely go backwards. 

The last rounding mark was insight and then the crossing of the river was the final hurdle to over come. This meant going across the wind, tide and chop so it was a little one sided in turns of paddling and fairly unstable, well it was for me! I made it across without falling in, then all that was left was the finish line, as I approached the slip way I started to cry with joy, pain, relief and many other emotions. I struggled to pick the board up and walk it across the line but I did and as soon as I was across I dropped everything and curled up in a ball. My lower back was in agony and I gave the organiser a little scare but all I needed was to stretch, cool down and relax. 

Action shot at the finish
Once everyone was in and accounted for, all that was left was the prize giving and charity auction. During the whole day I as trying to keep track of where I had come in regards to the females in my race, to see if I was still in with a chance of winning something. I believed I had come about 4th place so therefore would have just missed out on the podium. To my surprise I got called up for 2nd place (shocked face) I totted up and stood there with pride and collected my prize, which was a Red Paddle Dry bag. When they got to the male 6k, the top male turned out to be....a female. There was a slight mix up in the names but in the spirit of the event everyone laughed it off and continued. That explained how I got to 2nd then! 

Prize Giving (1st place is a stand in)

Looking forward to next year again and who knows I might even give the 12k course a try this time! 

Enjoy the video and don't forget to check out my YouTube channel for more adventure (mainly paddling) videos that will be making an appearance soon.


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