Camp Verde, Arizona
Time - 2:05
I've taken a break from running high miles on the weekends after finishing the Phoenix Marathon, which opened up an opportunity to take part in such uniquely-Arizona events like the Verde River Runoff.
The race was brought back to life by organizers from Camp Verde after the original 11-year Verde Canoe Challenge was dropped by Northern Arizona University after its final 2011 run. Limited to 200 boaters, and split up into a number of divisions, Matt and I entered the men's competitive canoe race. Starting at 10 a.m. on a chilly spring morning below White Bridge, Camp Verde, we took off winding our way through a stretch of the Verde that included several fast-water, narrow sections, quick turns (where we nearly capsized a couple times) and several strainers. After 2 hours of hard paddling, Matt and I reached the finish! It was nice to rest my legs, yet still be outside for another adventure in the Southwest.
Check out the race website for more information at www.verderiverrunoff.org
Pre-race staging area at White Bridge
Paddling downstream and losing ground, fast.
Finally finished! - And taking first in our division!
(Photos courstesy of Matt Kalina)