When I broke Carter Johnson’s 24 hour human powered distance record of 241.94 km a way back in 2008 by mere 3 km, I always thought it would be fun to stage a full-on, knock-em-down, RACE with Carter. A righteous battle pegging legs against arms, pedal versus paddle, old school vs. whizzy bang high tech. I’ve been talking to Carter about this idea for years now, and it seems like the stars are finally aligning. Carter has some time late in his kayaking race season this fall, so we decided to DO IT!
On the best weather day during the week starting Oct 7th, both Carter and I will start the monotonous routine of travelling up and down a 5 km straight line between two buoys. We will continue to do it, non-stop for the next 24 hours. And the guy who has travelled the most lines will win. Simple. Each of us actually has two goals – to break our respective 24 hour Guinness records. Carters Guinness record is 241.94 km by kayak in 24 hours, and mine is 245.16 km by pedal powered boat in 24 hours. We will also be competing for the overall 24 hour human powered vehicle association record of 245.16 km (set by me).
I (Greg) met Blaine Penny while running the Sinister Seven ultramarathon in 2009 and was immediately touched by his story. A year previous, Blaine’s 3 year old son Evan went into the hospital for an appendicitis operation. Just before the surgery, Blaine recalls his son looking him in the eye and asking: “Daddy, can we play together again sometime?” Evan seemed to sense that something life altering was about to happen. Those are the last words Evan has spoken since 2008. Evan was eventually diagnosed with mitochondrial disease, and in 2009 Blaine Penny, along with a group of mitochondrial disease patients formed MitoCanada.
Carter and I are both pumped about the opportunity to raise some cash for Mitocanada! I’m really looking forward to this event.
Why are we doing this? We are passionate about human power! We live to push our bodies and minds to the limit, just to see what is there. As T.S. Elliot said: “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go”. It is through the Pedal vs. Paddle showdown, that we hope to inspire you to strike out and explore your own limits – just to see what is there and to learn how far you can go. We believe that success comes with having faith in your potential, and then setting ambitious goals.
SHOW YOUR SUPPORT FOR ME OR CARTER while making a donation to MitoCanada with a pledge as small as $25. All pledge amounts include your name added to a fan list at the PedalvsPaddle.com website. All pledge amounts also include access to a special web site where you can watch the action live via a live streaming web cam including live updates as this epic race unfolds. It will be like a 24 hour long Pay Per View boxing match! (except without the boxing – we hope!). Please visit the web site for more info, updates, and of course – TO MAKE YOUR PLEDGE!!