100/100 Paddle Challenge (Almost) March 2014 Update

(Above photo from Coral Hine)

We have a Winner!

Our paddle challenge, 100 miles in 100 days, has taken on a life of its own. Even though it’s an unofficial event, we already have a winner! Susan Beck Ballenger of South Carolina reached 100.93 miles on February 14th. I’m sure there are other paddling peeps who’ve also reached 100 miles; they just haven’t been as consistent in recording and posting miles. She’ll reach 200 miles in 100 days easy peasy. So will Fergus Sloan of FMS Paddle Sports in New York. His goal is the 100 mile race in New York in July. His multi-sport workouts are beasts!

Winners get Stickers

Paddling fiend and graphic artist, Coral Rockadilla Hine, has designed a sticker for everyone who completes the challenge. It reflects the blue sky, the blue water and the FREEZING temps we’ve been dealt this winter. I’m half way through my 100 miles and can’t wait to put a sticker on my board (and my car, and the dog, and my paddle, and, and, and.)

Watching everyone post their miles has definitely made me buck up, load up, and paddle. I would HATE to be the poser of the group! I’m just glad that Roddy Medders of Stand and Paddle in South Carolina will post when he does “just” 2 miles. It legitimizes “just 2 miles” as good enough to count when someone of his caliber says it’s worthwhile.

I am proud of those (Eric Rowe and Kathy Summers) who were brave enough to post that they are no longer in the “I Suck” Club”, as they finally put some paddle miles in. Eric’s venture out of the “I Suck Club” was trying to learn to SUP surf in a strong NE wind off our North Carolina Coast. He gave himself .1 miles; I gave him 3 full miles for paying some dues in cold water, cold wind, and full wetsuit.

New Paddling Regulations

Poor landlocked SUP Queen (our Coral again) got stopped and kicked to the shore while paddling. She had to purchase a State of Oklahoma boating license for paddling. Yes, a boating license!  Available at your friendly Oklahoma gas station for $33 a year. PFD’s, leashes, whistles, and now a boating license? What new regulations will “they” think of next? Helmets maybe? Knee pads? Mouth guards?

Members and Their Cool Adventures

(Photo from Ken Teeter) Our membership is 84 strong and having all sorts of adventures. Dave Merkli posts about races with 100 yard sprints across knee sucking sandbars and real-time, race-time, warnings of alligators. Steve Dullack (MILEAGE MACHINE, Steve Dullack) of the Virginia Beach Paddle Club started a “Run What Ya Brung” informal race series, which will definitely get his buddies ready for the “real” races. Several of us have shared our Garmin connect profiles. H. Mikell Evatt boasted he got to go shirtless for a paddle! Drew Eschbacher is finding new routes to paddle on Lake Murray and Chandler Bold claims she’s getting spanked by the wind. She also claims if you paddle with her, it WILL be low tide no matter what the tide table says!


The Carolina Cup is the big cheese race goal for most of us. Whether the recreational 3 mile race, the intermediate 6 miles or the full Monty, THE GRAVEYARD. The week after is the Key West Classic. I’d LOVE to do that 12 mile “elite” race, but I am seriously demotivated with 20 mph freezing North winds. I tried paddling off the side of an indoor pool this week and at that point, I definitely dipped deep into the “I Suck Club” mind zone. I want to become a “real” paddler, but struggle with my obsession with other sports and doing it all (and having a life). I want to be a “real” mermaid but I’d have to run away from home.

This challenge has kept me honest and kept me seeking the sunshine and the water. Right now, I think most of us are just lusting for those sweaty sunny days where we go out before dawn to BEAT the heat. It’s like that double bathtub scene at the end of the commercial for you know what, good things ARE going to happen, just have to wait for it………

AND….we have a Winner!



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