Nate and I just returned from our 5th year to Veracruz, Mexico. This year was a bit different . . . no big exploratory mission through jungles of Mexico, but instead quality time on the roadside section of the Alseseca perfecting our race lines and a 'day off' for a high water run down the Big Banana stretch.
The Alseseca race course is held on the 1.5 mile stretch of the Alseseca, called the "roadside". This stretch contains at least 20 rapids, consisting of waterfalls, slides, holes and ledges. This year, 7 paddlers participated in the short race (1/2 mile) and 18 paddlers participated in the long race (1.5 miles). Competitors traveled to Veracruz for the Alseseca race from France, England, U.S. Canada and Mexico. This diverse group brought a lot of talent and competition to the race.
The race day event started with an opening ceremony. This local ceremony brought prayers of protection to the paddlers and celebration to the Alseseca river. The race and beautiful weather brought many spectators from the small villages to observe the brightly colored boats strategically make their way down the river.
The Alseseca river is non-stop excitement for the competitors, but aside from being a great race, this event is organized to raise awareness about the river to the local community. Over 30+ bags of garbage had been pulled out of this stretch of river over the past month, while racers continued to pick up bottles and plastic bags after they finished their race.
Following tons of good lines and even more carnage, the competitors and spectators headed to the town of Tlapacoyan. Here, in the City Center, was the awards ceremony. Government officials, community dwellers and the high school band played a part in a beautiful ceremony.
I was very impressed on the organization and execution of this race. So many people were involved to make this happen. To name a few: Aventurec, Liquid Adventures, Espirit, the community public safety . . . and, many, many more!
I am sure to return next year . . . so, let the training continue and I hope to be able to race some ladies next year!!!
My favorite piece of gear for racing in Mexico: Drytop & Drypants. Believe it or not . . . it was cool and rainy for a few days before the race. These pieces of gear kept me warmer so that I was able to go paddling and prepare for raceday.
Video by Sheer Madness Productions coming soon! You'll want to go next year FOR SURE after you see this . . .