Seventy48: Seventy miles, 48 hours… a.k.a “#Sufferfest ’18”
June 11- 12, 2018
Traveling 70 miles from Tacoma to Port Townsend through the Puget Sound in a human-powered craft to kick off the summer? Doesn’t sound too bad now, does it? But impose a 48-hour time limit, a 5:30 pm start, a big cash purse for the winner, and things get interesting!
March 2018: I first heard about this race late last year, and decided that I haven’t had a proper sufferfest* in a while. Since my shoulders are getting a little old and not allowing me to kayak class 5 whitewater much anymore, I decided a good new kayaking challenge would be a distance race. Application to the race directors accepted.
(*Sufferfest: An extended duration of pure physical and mental exertion, for the purpose of seeing if you can and finding out F&%$ YES YOU CAN)
So now what?
(1) Race training. What is it going to take to get in shape for paddling for 70 miles with minimal stops?
(2) Route planning. This isn’t a slalom race where the route is defined by gates. Think tides, tidal currents, wind, marine traffic, etc. What will be the best route? Given the conditions that the Puget Sound can whip up, the shortest distance time-wise between the start and finish might not be the shortest distance-wise…
(3) Race preparation. 70 miles can seem like a formidable distance. And a formidable amount of calories. How does one plan for potentially burning over 10,000 calories in one go? What gear do I take with for changing conditions, navigation, and safety? What sort of boat modifications do I need to make to fit all the gear into a surfski?