Let the racing season begin!
May 20th was the Third Annual Treasure Island Pirate Paddle Race in Point Pleasant, NJ. I have never done this race before, but have heard such great things about it, so I figured I would give it a shot. I also decided that this would be the debut event for Jersey Shore Mermaids to sell the mermaid swag. Luckily, my mom is free labor, and super encouraging in everything I do. While I took to the water for the race, my mom held down the Mermaid Fort (literally, it was so windy that she had to hold it down) and was a selling machine. We made enough money to cover the vendor space, and the vendor fee went to the charity to support the local Catholic grade school, so it was a win-win.
As far as the race goes, it was a little nuts. It was a small craft advisory, and the wind was fierce. I was also the sickest I have been in a long time. Originally, I wanted to do the 7-mile elite race, but without being able to breathe, and with the crazy conditions, I dropped down to the 2.5 mile race. The paddlers all headed out to Treasure Island in the middle of the Manasquan River for the start.
The 7 mile paddle went off first, and I give those competitors all my admiration for even attempting that distance on this day. A few minutes later, we started the sprint race. I got off to a good start and was able to hold onto it for most of the race. I was next to this awesome girl Amy who turns out to be an American Ninja Warrior competitor! My son loves that show, so I thought that was awesome. As we got to the final turn buoy, I was happy that I had done a lot of training in the wind with my paddle sister Kate. I was able to run up the beach (despite the tingling sensation I always get in my feet) and finish in 5th place overall – 2nd female – 1st female in the 18-39 age group. You can check out the results from the race here. * there was a little controversy over the finish – the top 3 finishers in the sprint race started with the 7 mile racers 5 minutes ahead of the rest of the pack. It’s hard to regulate with so many competitors, but usually at these races, the athletes are quick to admit if they missed a buoy or cut the course.
My next race is June 17th at the Shore Paddle in Oceanport, NJ. I’m taking on the 5 mile race to raise money for Clean Ocean Action. There is still time to sign up! This one also has a free Bloody Mary Bar for all competitors after the race. Click here to check it out. Jersey Shore Mermaid tanks to the top overall female finishers!
Paddle on <3, Carly