SportsEvents Magazine

JAN 2018

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Page 34 of 75 January 2018 35 SPECIAL FEATURE: Awards & Recognition Issue In its seventh year, Chattajack 31 is a paddle- board and kayak race founded by Ben Friberg as a way to bring some like-minded friends together in the mountains of Tennessee to pad- dle the Tennessee River Gorge in Chattanooga in October. This year's event is scheduled for October 27, 2018. From 30 entries in 2012, the point-to-point race had almost 600 participants compete last year in the race where registration fills quickly. Last year's race sold out in hours despite the event being six months away. Starting in downtown Chattanooga, the race winds 31.5 miles downriver ending at the Nickajack Lake. With conditions varying from frigid cold to foggy and choppy, participants come not only for the paddleboarding, canoe- ing and kayaking, but also for the scenery and camaraderie. This is a race for serious athletes and open to SUP, Prone, surfskis, high-performance kayaks and marathon canoes and divisions include tandem, single and teams of three and six. Ben and his wife Kim Friberg organize the event that has been nicknamed the "Inland Molokai," and it draws veteran paddlers for one of the most popular paddling races in the world. No stranger to paddleboarding, Frieberg was the first person to paddleboard from Cuba to America, making it 118 miles from Port Hemingway, Cuba to Key West, Fla., finishing in 28 hours and six minutes. He also set the 24- hour distance world record for SUP in 2012 by paddling 238 miles on the Yukon River before returning to race the Yukon 1000 in 2014. Organizers give credit to the volunteers who work to make the event a success. Volunteers receive a Chattajack volunteer t-shirt and are able to register early for the 2019 race. Race morning includes hot coffee, live music, a water cannon salute and bag pipers and at the end of the day finishers receive a medal. It's 284 days and counting until this year's Chattajack 31 – plenty of time to prepare for the race. n Chattajack 31 Ben Friberg, Founder and Event Director Chattanooga, Tenn. The Hotter'N Hell Hundred is one of the oldest and largest single-day, 100-mile bicycle rides in the country, held annually in Wichita Falls, Texas. In 1982, Wichita Falls was looking for a way to celebrate its centennial. The Wichita Falls Bicycle Club suggested a 100-mile bike ride in 100-degree heat to celebrate 100 years of history. The annual event is held in August. More than 13,000 riders from around the world came to Wichita Falls in 2015 for four days of activities, including the 100-mile en- durance ride, shorter endurances races, a USA Cycling Criterium, road races, off-road bicycle races and an off-road trail run. In 2017, more than 11,000 registrants participated. At mile-marker 61, cyclists reach Hell's Gate at Possum Kingdom Lake, a body of water along the Brazos River known for its huge cliffs. In the 1989 Hotter'N Hell, Michael Eidson was planning to compete in the race. As an emergency medical technician, Eidson decided to fill an IV bag with water and slip it into a white tube sock. After attaching the device to his jersey, Eidson attached hoses and pinned the contraption to his back, making it possible for the rider to stay hydrated while riding in the extreme heat. The Camelback was born. The Hotter'N Hell Hundred also has a pace group dedicated to breaking five hours for the endurance race. If attending the Hotter'N Hell event this Au- gust 23-26, arrive early for the Consumer Show at the Wichita Falls Multipurpose Event Center (MPEC) for the Consumer Show where packet pickup and registration also take place in addi- tion to other activities. Also, be sure to see the Hotter'N Hell Hundred murals created by Wichita Falls resident artist, Ralph Stearns. The official 100-mile race kicks off to a canon blast. n Hotter 'n Hell Hundred Chip Filer, Executive Director HHH and the Wichita Falls Bicycling Club Wichita Falls, Texas

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