Post Water Safari Race Report #1
How it all began:
I rested up and then started planning my 2012 race year. I tried to find the longest, toughest races that were out there and add them to my season. I checked out the Texas Water Safari, but couldn’t find a ton of info on it. Time passed and I was invited to race in Belize. So I put the TWS on the back burner and focused my attention on Belize.
March 2012 I raced in La Ruta Maya Belize challenge. A 179 mile race in Belize that traverses the ancient Mayan route (http://www.supthemag.com/features/going-where-no-man-has-gone-before/ ).
The Day prior to the race I was walking through the town of San Ignacio with the Pau Hana crew when we saw some Americans so we went over to talk. We found that they were obviously there for the race so we talked about boat situations. Virginia Parker and Morgan Cohutt both Texans were racing with a third member that was back at a hotel. So we gladly divulged I was racing on a 14’ Pau Hana Crossfit. Their reaction was the same as I get most of the time. Wow, wait what? As the conversation progressed, Virginia said, “I hear there’s some guy that’s going to try to do the Texas Water Safari on a SUP.” Todd Caranto (Pau Hana board shaper) pipes in and says “yeah, that’s this guy right here! He’s gonna be the first person to race the TWS by SUP.” So from that point forward I learned that the TWS was now on my list of races to conquer. The word was already out, there was no turning back.
Fast forward a month from Belize. My wife and I have our second child (Tessa) on April 20th. My training time Is now hard to come by. I have to make the decision of do I train tonight or spend time with my family. This becomes the question every night. In this process, I slowly become a ghost around the house. Training at 4am, then to work, then to work for clients landscaping, then home. Spend an hour or so with the family before I disappear into the basement to train for the second time in the day. Somehow I maintain this pace until the TWS comes.
2 weeks prior to the race, my nights are filled with emails, gear lists, acquiring gear, talking with sponsors, trying to get sponsors, getting my ground crew on the same page, all lumped in with light training and squeezing in some family time. I could not have made it through this process without my wife. She was home all day with 2 kids and when I came home she would let me train and disappear to prep for race stuff. I was exhausted, but she was beyond exhausted. I’m fortunate to have the support I have on the home team. My wife and Mother in-law were the rock at home base. Without them this whole process would not work. I would not be racing!
Getting there: Thursday June 7th
June 7th I wake up and work for the City, punching in at 6:30a and out at 3:00p. I race home to get all my gear ready. My wife goes and picks up the rental car for me and comes home with a Jeep Liberty. Man, I love Jeeps. I drive a 01’ Jeep Cherokee and it’s the best vehicle I have ever owned. The trip is starting off right.
My crew shows up. Team captain Michael Rokos and then Crew expert (and also an endurance athlete) Joe Baisa. We load everything in the Jeep and load the board on top. I say my goodbyes to my ladies, My wife Elissa, My mother in-law Patti, and my Baby girl Tessa. Sadly, my son is asleep inside. I don’t want to wake him and leave, leaving him upset. I end up just leaving.
The trip is estimated to take 16 hours. Joe Baisa starts out behind the wheel. They let me linger in back and relax. As the drive progresses, Joe stays behind the wheel for almost 13 hours of the trip driving straight through and switching off with Michael. They let me sleep all night Until I awake in Texas. I like this ground crew already.
Arrival in San Marcos: Friday June 8th
We make it into San Marcos to the start Early afternoon Friday, where there’s a mandatory check-in. We get the board off and tubs of gear and food. With this race you have to declare everything you will have with you for the entire race. (The only thing your team captain can give you during the race is ice and water). Michael and I painstakingly do this, from a snakebite kit all the way down to how many clif bars I have, and it’s a ton of them. The process takes a while. In the meantime various people make their way over to check out the board and the guy that is going to try to SUP the Texas Water Safari. Michael and I talk to a lot of folks with a lot of questions. West Hanson, a local favorite and a hell of an athlete stops over (check out amazonexpress.org). He’s genuinely happy I made it. Whether it’s to watch me die on the course or to have more Midwesterners find out what the Safari is all about.
We go through this process for what seems like hours and I realize I don’t have enough dry bags. Joe Baisa heads out and gathers last minute supplies. Returning with dry bags and a whistle. We make the check-in. I realize we have just enough time to head out to Austin Canoe & kayak to pick up a paddle that Werner sent out for me and make it back to the safety briefing at 4:30
As we sit and eat, yet another curious person esquires about the stand up guy. After some conversation she says to my face, “ I’m sorry but you won’t make it past palmetto (approx.. 60 miles in). I just smile.
Stay tuned for Texas Water Safari race recap #2!
You can follow along with Shane’s ground breaking SUP exploits at http://shaneperrin.blogspot.com
Update: 3-12-12 Post La Ruta Maya Race Report!
Shane Perrin has just become the first person to ever attempt and finish La Ruta Maya River Challenge on a SUP!!!! Congrats Shane! We are proud of you buddy!!
Shane completed the final days paddle of 25 miles in 4 hours for an average speed of 6 mph! This was done in the face of super strong head winds. In the words of Shane “…tough tough tough!” Toughest day yet for him!
Thanks for following along. We will be posting a post race interview with Shane when he gets back!
Update: 3-12-12 AM Report: Word of the Race, WIND!
Paddle4Peace athlete, Shane Perrin, is kicking serious butt down in Belize at the 5-day, 170 mile, La Ruta Maya! After a couple of days working with international white water superstar Nick Troutman, Shane had some tools he’d need to get in the race.
Shane is in good spirits and form, and will be tackling this last day with a vengeance in true Shane Perrin style!
“Made it to Belize! Got here and found PauHana crew; Todd, Royce, and Jessica (film crew) and Nick Troutman. Grabbed a bite to eat and went to the Mopan River for rapids trainig. Class 2/3 on a PauHana Big EZ. Got a 5 minute lesson from Nick and then went for it! Failed badly. Hit it a couple more times and got better. Lessons from Nick Troutman! What a first day!
More training tomorrow…”
Paddle4Peace: So, you have trained super hard for your first race of the year, La Ruta Maya in Belize, can you tell us a little about what your training looked like?
Shane Perrin: Training was tough. I was asked back in mid/late January to take on this race so it only gave me 5 weeks of training. I began each day, monday-friday, with 4am strength workouts. Then I’d go work my 8 hours for the city (outside work). I’d come home and rest a little. Then in the evening I’d do my cardio workout. On the weekends I’d be out on the river paddling when I could. When I needed to switch it up I’d work out on my SUP ergometer, a SUP paddling simulator, in the basement.
P4P: How long will you taper before the race?
Shane: I’m not great at tapering my workouts before a race. It’s something I need to work on. But for this race I worked out hard for 5 weeks with a rest day on Sundays. Today I’m one week away from the race and I stopped the strength workouts Wednesday and today is my last cardio session. Tomorrow I’ll be on a “take it easy” paddle on the water with Dwayne Vanhoose.
P4P: What are your expectations for La Ruta? How many miles? ground crew? what is the set up going to be like?
Shane: I really don’t know what to expect for La Ruta Maya. It’s 170 miles spread out over 4 days. Day 1 = 50 miles. Day 2 = 60 miles. Day 3 = 35 miles, and day 4 = 25. So after I paddle the mileage for the day, I’ll stop and hang out and then camp on the river banks.
While racing, I’ll have no ground support. I’ll be carrying everything I need for the entire day on the board. So I’m planning on anywhere from 6-12 hours a day of hard paddling depending on conditions. I’ve heard the winds can be like a brick wall flying at you there. Then there’s the stories about Howler Monkeys defecating and urinating on racers! So I’ll have to take it as it comes.
After each day’s mileage is complete we are going to get the people of Belize out on SUP’s so they can experience it for the first time. I think that’s what I look forward to most.
Todd Caranto, co-owner of Pau Hana Surf supply, is the mastermind behind the entire trip. He’s set everything up and contracted a film crew to capture the whole experience in a documentary. We’re really breaking new ground with this expedition. In the race’s 15 year history there have only been 3 man canoes allowed to enter. So it’s an honor to be the first stand up paddle boarder allowed to race.
P4P: What does the rest of your race year look like?
Shane: After coming back from the La Ruta Maya challenge I have about 2-3 months before my race season kicks off. So I’ll kick my training up progressively to get ready.
I have the Gritty fitty (50 miles), and the Texas Water safari (260 miles) in June. And then in July is Mr340 (340 miles). The Kawnivore (90 miles) still hasn’t been set for a date yet. There’s a possibility I’ll be racing in the Netherlands too at the 11 City SUP Tour. As well there are a few other races that I am considering.
This Year I’m fortunate to be sponsored by Piddle Paddle out of Kansas city. Jill (owner) has really stepped up to help me out. She’s sponsoring me with a custom 18′ race board by Pau Hana. It will change SUP endurance paddling.
She is doing good things to promote and spread stand up paddle boarding in the midwest. If you’re in the KC area, she’ll definitely get you out on a SUP.
There ya have it! Shane is one lean, mean, Sup racing machine! Stay tuned for the results of Shane’s first race, La Ruta Maya!