The first 1200 mile WaterTribe Ultimate Florida Challenge (UFC) had 10 participants (all with a previous history in WaterTribe) and 7 finishers. Warren Richey (SharkChow) won the race in 19 days, 6 hours, and 48 minutes. And race it was for the top 3 finishers, all coming in within 5 hours of each other. The next 2 racers came in a week later, the remaining 2 finished 3 days after that (taking the full 30 days). I was one of these last finishers. Race results can be seen here. Warren averaged 60 miles a day, and of course there was also that un-supported 40 mile portage. Definitely an Ultimate Challenge.
Warren described the book to me as:
“The book is part travel narrative and part memoir. It isn't just about competing in the Florida Challenge. It is also about what happens to you physically and mentally while trying to compete in a race around Florida in a sea kayak. The book is loosely based on the magazine article I wrote for Sea Kayaker. But it goes much deeper into who I am and where I've been. All that time alone in the boat gave me time to reflect on my life, a failed marriage, a possible future relationship. That's what the book is really about. It is about overcoming fear and all the other challenges of life. And there's some paddling too."Warren also said “As I say in the acknowledgments section, you are all heroes to me. If this book accurately reflects even a fraction of the spirit of the WaterTribe and Chief then I will consider it a success.”
Just like I've been telling you all since this blog started. If you love the water, and have an adventurous spirit, you've got to do a WaterTribe event. Challenge or race, it's doable, and it's worth it.
It’s starting to get pretty exciting and active on the WaterTribe Forum these days with only 37 days before the 3 challenges begin; the 67 mile Ultra Marathon, 300 mile Everglades Challenge (EC), and this year is the 2nd 1200 mi + 40 mile portage Ultimate Florida Challenge (UFC). If you can't do one, follow along and visit the forum and website during the races. All participants will be tracked online using SPOT Satellite Trackers, and forum updates provide information from family and friends.
And of course you'll hear lots more about the Challenges here. I'm registered for my 7th consecutive Everglades Challenge, I'm a lifer :)