March 28-29 - Nantahala River, Bryson City NC
The US Open was the first big test of the season. Chris Hipgrave and the NRC did a world class job of running the race as always.
I was also proud to be sporting the new Keen gear we earned as team members. The yellow on black stickers look GREAT on my carbon fiber boat deck, helment and paddle. Keen sponsorship fits in great with my other gear sponsors/pro-deals with Patagonia, IR, Cliffbar and Shread Ready.
It was also fun to team up with David Jones to pool our Keen freebies to provide prizes for medalist at the race. Everyone LOVED the T's that I handed out and I got a big round of appause when I annouced that Keen was a new sponsor for USA Wildwater.
I felt that I raced up to my ablility (consistant with my training plan). I was thrilled to see that Jack Ditty of the 08 USA Wildwater Team came down to race. I'm hopefull that Jack will continue to improve and will pull ahead of me in the near future.
As is was I ended up nipping Jack by less than a second in the sprint..... and my years of distance training added up to about 30 seconds or 4.7% in the classic distance race. Ultimately, I was pretty happy with my Classic Race as it is on pace with right where I should be for this time of year and compaires favorably with some of my better times.
And most of all, I was very encouraged by the performances of our Jr athletes and everyone who comitted to racing at the Junior Worlds