30 racers entered into his year's 25Km race from Argentat to Beaulieu-sur-Dordogne. The morning was overcast and with some light rain but it didn't dampen the excitement of the event! This year I had a racing board, a super RedPaddleCo 12'6 RACE inflatable board. I received it a month before the race and tried to get as much practice on it as possible before race day. It is much narrower than my recreational board so I needed to get comfortable on it!
The start is always crazy! Everyone paddling like mad trying to get out ahead as fast as possible. I was keeping up with the front group for awhile before they started pulling away from me and I needed to get into my pace in order to make the full distance! I kept pushing hard, too hard sometimes which led to me falling off in several whitewater sections.
I was caught up to by No.23 Loic from Tours and we stayed neck and neck for the last 15Km or so of the race. He finished 18 seconds ahead of me!!
So the final part of the race was getting off on the beach and running to finish under the big green inflatable Correze arch! Smiling as I am so happy to have done it and I was thinking maybe I had made 3rd place???
A very happy but tired finisher! I asked the time keepers where I finished and yes I had managed 3rd place in the women's 12'6 inflatable board class!! I was met with a hug and thermos of hot chocolate by Tom who had flown home specially to see me race, nice.
Looking forward to next year's race. I know I have a lot to do to improve as the competitors are getting younger and younger and it will be harder to hang on to 3rd place!