WWGP Stage 5: Futaleufu Marathon

The Marathon
The official video: WWGP Stage 5: Whitewater Marathon

The marathon was the final race of the Grand Prix. It was a mass start race held on the Futalafu river on a longer run that included the section we raced for stage 4.

This was my personal favorite race of the event. I think that it was a favorite of a lot of racers. This race was held on the Bridge to Bridge section plus two big rapids below: Mas o Menos and Casa de Piedras, and was very very physically challenging. The race was 25ish minutes of paddling hard through nonstop big water. The water level was very high. If you swam it would not be good because you'd be swimming for a while before you could get yourself to shore. The women set safety along the run for the men and then the men set safety for the women. What was neat about this event was that it was a mass start and that you knew who you had to beat to change your overall standings. To keep my fifth place spot I had to beat Louise Jull and Nicole Mansfield. The mass start made the first rapid crazy. I watched 20+ men go through the first rapid at once and it was a mosh pit! During our race of just seven women I ended up getting hit in the nose by the stern of Martina's boat. For most of the race Louise Jull and I swapped between fourth and fifth. I clinched fourth in the last rapid by greasing a more aggressive faster line through the middle right. It was really fun to push yourself with another racer right beside, behind or ahead of you. At the end of the day, I was exhausted and had a smile on my face.

The start of the Men's marathon. Photo by Eric Boomer

The first rapid of the Men's Marathon. Photo by Eric Boomer

During some "free time" the day before the race we ran the Terminator section upstream of the race course.  The pictures don't show it very well, but this rapid is huge.  Here are some photos.

Goeff Calhoun.  Photo by Leif.

Me (foreground) and Marcos in the middle of the rapid. Photo by Leif.

Me and Marcos coming into the last section of the rapid. Photo by Leif.

 Stay tuned for a wrap-up WWGP post with a video edit by Leif of our time in Chile coming in a few days. If you haven't already seen it, the Women's edit is out and you should watch it! Women of the 2012 Whitewater Grand Prix

Thanks for following along and reading about all the stages:
Going to the WWGP
Back from the WWGP
Stage 1: Gol Gol
Stage 2: Puesco
Stage 3: Nevados
Stage 4: Futa Boatercross
And thanks to all those who helped support me financially, emotionally, and otherwise.


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