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By Nick Troutman

Well, on Wednesday, Emily and I left for the North Carolina heading to the Green River. I was extremely excited being that I have never run the Green River before. I have been the Ashville three separate times previously, but each time I would go I got ‘skunked’ and because the river wasn’t running.

Though this time we knew we would get on the water, because we were going for the Green Race. This is to a lot of people, the biggest most exciting event of the year. There were people from all over coming in for this race, from all different states, plus a couple people from the UK, Canada, and Germany.

I arrived two days before the race, cutting it close, but the river wasn’t running previously in the week. For my first run Pikey, and Clay guided me down. They both have run the river before, and Clay has known all the lines since he was 12. They were both training for the race, so we didn’t scout anything but Gorilla, and I was extremely over-whelmed by the pace of just following Clay down blind, not knowing what I getting into. After we made it to the bottom, we got in a truck and went back up to the Put-in to do it all again. We did that for two days straight, and after each run I would get to know the river a bit better, starting to remember the lines and river, one piece at a time.

After the two-days before the race I had a total of 4 runs down the Green. The race was the next day at noon, and I still hadn’t gotten comfortable with the line at Gorilla, or the fact that I had to race all the rapids back to back. I could remember the main rapids, but I wasn’t quite sure where to go in-between the main rapids. I ended up deciding not to race this year, but to continue to train up for next years race.

The next day was the race. This was the day that many racers have been waiting and training 364 days for. The anticipation, the excitement, the nervousness, everyone was waiting for their turn to prove themselves.

I decided to film, and paddled down to Gorilla before the race started. I thought I was early, but I knew it would be worth the wait to get a good seat at Gorilla. When I came out of the rapid Chiefs, (right upstream of Gorilla) I could see the shoreline crowded with literally hundreds of people. I was still able to get a good seat on the right side of the river, because the only access if by kayak, but there was nowhere on the left side that you could even see the river.

The race started at 12:00 sharp, starting with the winner of last year followed in order of last years placing, then followed by previous years times, and then followed by newcomers.

The Race consists of 10 major rapids, all class 4 or 5. It takes around 5 minutes or more to race it depending how fast you are, and you definitely have to be under 5 minutes to win. It starts in the eddy above Frankenstein, down through, Pin Cushion, Boof or Consequence, Go left and Die, Zwicks, Chiefs, Gorilla, Power Slide, Reece’s Pieces, and then the finish line. There are a couple more random slides and slots, which I have forgotten the names of.

Overall the race was a huge success, with no serious injuries, only a hand-full of swims, and a whole bunch of new records. Andrew Holcombe won in the long boat class, with a whopping 4:28 seconds. Pat Keller won in the Short boat Class, Robin Betz won for the women’s long boat, and Adriene and Shannon Carroll, tied for first in the women’s short boats.

It was a great event to watch, and with some more training I will be ready to race next year.

On Sunday, the day after the race, Emily Clay, Pikey, and I went back out, for one last run on the Green before we left. It was an awesome time, and I ran Left at Go left for the first time of the week, so that was a blast. There was some more carnage at Gorilla when we got out to scout again. Sam Drevo pitched over-vert to far to the right, and cut up his face pretty good, and had a dislocated shoulder. With some help he got his shoulder back in place and hiked out. It just went to show that no matter how many times you run something, it could still go wrong. I had no problem walking Gorilla again, after watching Sam. The rest of the run was great.

I had a blast at the Green and I’m excited to go back. We had a perfect ending of a great week, by getting Americas best ribs at Calhoun’s on the river.

Nick Troutman

Here is a quick little video of the Green Race.