After one of my longest weeks at work, I decided to travel 7 hours to Destin, FL. So right after I got off on Friday, I hit the road. I have never traveled that far to a paddle board race before but I thought why not! My uncle lives 20 minutes from the race venue so no hotel and my mom was willing to make the trip with me so I had company and good bonding time with her!
The race took place at a restaurant called “The Back Porch.” The race had plenty of parking and an easy drop off area for your boards. The beach had nice white sand and the water was so clean and clear. The weather was overcast so the temperature was not nearly as hot as usual, which was awesome! However, there was a lot of wind, waves and a very strong current. Oh, and jellyfish with super long tentacles everywhere!!!!
The race began at 9 am and consisted of 4 laps with a beach start and a running finish for a total of 6 miles. The start was pretty crazy with people falling left and right, I even fell at the beginning after getting hit by a wave. I ended up falling three more times due to exhaustion and my legs getting fatigued. You lose focus for a second and the next one, you are in the water.
This race had the roughest conditions I have ever dealt with. I even wore my leash, just incase! The most exhilarating part of the race for me, was riding a wave into the beach on the last lap. I do not surf, like at all… so to catch a wave and not fall was the greatest feeling! I didn’t even care if I placed or not, after that just happened.
I ended up getting 2nd, I had no idea! So that was great to hear! I never really knew how many women were in front of me the whole race. The great thing about making it to the podium was receiving a $1,000 check! CHA-CHINGGG! That’s the most money I’ve ever won in an event.
Overall, the race was organized very well! The one thing I didn’t really like was how the food was setup and what it was but other than that, I had no complaints!