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Thursday afternoon I was loading boats onto my dads truck, getting ready to head up to Gore Fest. As I started torqueing on a strap to ensure the boats did not fall off, the webbing snapped and sent me flying backwards onto the pavement, roughly 8 feet below my feet. Upon impact my arm whapped into the ground, leading me to think at that instant it was in a couple pieces. Thankfully that was not the case. Still, it hurt like hell. Threw some KT tape on it and still decided to go up, not knowing if I would feel good enough to paddle, let alone race.

Thursday night I did a freestyle session that was more depressing than painful. I was to scared to try anything more than a loop and probably only stuck 1 out of the ten or so I tried.

Friday morning rolled around and it felt way better than the day before. We rallied a mid morning Gore lap with a couple of the Durango boys. I slid in and took a few strokes. Despite having to shift the position of my left hand when I took a right stroke it didn’t feel terrible. Being able to have a smooth run that day really helped put my mind at ease.

I still hadn’t decided if I wanted to race until Saturday morning. The logistics of not camping at the event site made less sense when race day rolled around. We woke up early and made breakfast before driving down to Rancho for the shuttle up to the put in. After the paddle in, longboats went first. I let a couple short boaters go before me then got in line. I think I went about 4th in line. I sprinted out of the “gate” up until Applesauce, and backed off a bit through the long flat section before Gore Rapid. After Pyrite I started going back for speed and kept that up until Tunnel. I backed off a bit to have more breath on the off chance I had to go a while without being able to breathe.

At this point I was focused on not getting a swirly in toilet bowl and dodging the thousand holes in Kirshbomb. Thankfully I made it to the finish line without any major mistakes and later found out I ended up 3rd.

Super happy with the results from Gore Fest, Can’t wait for next year.