Well this has come round sooner than expected. I’m flying tomorrow to Latvia to take part in Europe’s longest kayak marathon – 300km, of unchartered water (for me at least), and non-stop paddling apart from three 30 minute breaks. The race starts at 7pm on Friday evening and hopefully I’ll be finished on Sunday…..
Probably would have preferred a bit more training, but I’m packed and we are where we are. Usual packing process of 1am in the morning and resorting to just stuffing too many things in a bag till it’s full. I’m still lacking a tent, first aid kit, rope, stove, knife and a kayak.
My googling to date showed that the river was calm, flat and pleasant for kayaking. However, an email on sunday night from a friend in Latvia informed me about the rapids, I google imaged the rapids, they seemed neither calm, flat or pleasant. I checked out the results for last year and found that only 4 teams finished the race, 15 took part. Those odds aren’t great. There’s about 30 people this year.
Despite all this I have an indestructible water bottle, my congo running trainers (reminding me why I’m doing this) and ignorance on my side. You can’t be scared of something you don’t know about. I’ll respect the water, but I’m going to finish this. I have the added incentive of being the first UK competitor to take part in the race, I’ll try and bring back a medal.
I’ll try and tweet updates along the way, would be brilliant for people to tweet encouragement as I paddle – @run4congo