Challenging times

IMGP2230Sixty miles on a SUP without falling off and then on the sixty second I caught my fin on a tree root with the inevitable result!

I’ve always enjoyed a challenge and this year’s Winter Paddle Challenge from British Canoeing offered just the thing. The challenge met all the SMART criteria. It was clearly specific and measurable (sixty miles on a paddleboard in two months), achievable and realistic (surely I could manage an average of a mile a day!), and timed.

The challenge started well. I was able to get out and cover a good proportion of those miles in the first week of the New Year. But while paddleboarding is great fun and great exercise it is not the most efficient way of covering distance on the water. With mainly there and back trips and winter flows on the Thames I was averaging about 3 miles an hour. Juggling what was going to take twenty hours with work and family commitments became increasingly difficult. The challenge became not paddling sixty miles, but finding twenty hours!

My final trip took me from Marlow to Hurley and back with Paul, another Marlow SUPer. I crossed the sixty mile finish line just below Temple lock on the return leg. I relaxed for the short journey back to Marlow, went too close to a tree and took a swim. I had to laugh! I was wet but the challenge was achieved, and with two days to spare.

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