Wed - October 4, 2006

Length of the Lake - Does 1 Minute at the Start of 100 km Race Matter?

Lake Okanagan in British Columbia, is about 100 km long, and no wider than about a mile the entire length. With its consistent winds funneled from the north, and provincial parks lining the west side of the lake, it looks like a natural course for a long distance race. A scenery is also great as you can see, e.g., at the these pictures by Russell Docksteader. Penticton Racing Canoe Club is organizing the Length of the Lake canoe and kayak race. The race starts in the town of Vernon on the northern point and ends in Penticton, 100 km to the south. There are five legs to race, ranging from 15 to 25 km in distance. The race seems to be dominated by 6- and 2-person outrigger canoes. Most teams do the race relay style, swapping out teammates at the 4 checkpoints along the course. Some teams opt to tandem with two teams leap-frogging their way through the course. The die-hard paddlers iron it, racing the entire 100 km non-stop.

The 7th Length of the Lake Race took place on September 23. In addition to outrigger canoes there were also 4 solo entries in high performance kayak (HPK) class: Brandon Nelson with Seda Glider, Heather Nelson with Thunderbolt, and Jimmy Zimmerman and Roger Dunn both paddling Huki S1-x surf skis. All four were attempting to paddle the entire race course (IM/W - ironman/woman).

Heather wrote an excellent report from her race.

Length of the Lake Race is definitely a race worth doing! Beautiful scenery, great people, a fun and challenging course, and an awesome feast with killer schwag to top it off.

Brandon nonchallantly launched his kayak a minute after the race start: “In a race this long, an extra minute on the beach doesn’t matter”. After 9.5 hours of paddling Heather finished the race 1 minute in front of Brandon! Lesson learned, in a race like this, an extra minute DOES matter!!!

The overall race was won by two double surf skis tandeming the course in a time of 7 hours and 50 minutes. Jimmy Zimmerman was the winner of the Iron division with a time of 9 hours and 20 minutes.

I am surprised that this race is not getting more popular among solo marathon paddlers. I need to check my driving distance to British Columbia. It should be somewhat shorter than to Yukon River Quest ...

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  • Posted at 10:43 PM    

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