With my 55th birthday rapidly approaching, its only natural to take a quick glimpse in the rear view mirror. The last ten years have been full of exciting races and travels to new places. I am proud that I am the first paddler to complete North America’s six longest ultra-distance paddling races.
Ultimate Florida Challenge (1200 Miles) – 2012
Yukon 1000 – 2009
Yukon River Quest (444 Miles) – 2010
Missouri River 340 – 2013
Everglades Challenge (300 Miles) – 2003, 2006, 2009, 2013
Texas Water Safari (265 Miles) – 2014
So with this impressive resume, is it time to retire ? Most athletes are long past their prime when they hit their 40s. I plan to keep racing as long as I enjoy it. I know a few 60 and 70 year olds that routinely beat-up on younger guys in paddling races. I want to be just like them when I grow up.
Life is all about staying active and motivated. I have gotten in the habit of always having a challenging race on the horizon. Earlier this year I put together a list of the “Top 25 Ultra-distance Paddle Sport Races.” – just looking at that list keeps me plotting and planning for the future. I have only done nine races on the list. I would like to do them all.
Check out my “Top 25” list: Top 25 Ultra Distance Paddling Races In North America
I view myself as a big game hunter when it comes to doing multi-day ultra distance races. I carefully select my prey and start my preparations. Just like going on a safari, it takes a lot of training and resources to put together a successful trip. My “thrill of the hunt” takes place when the race starts. Navigating a new body of water for the first time is always exciting. The first goal is always to finish the race. As long as you have run your best race, how you do against other competitors is not that important. When I return from a big race I do not have an animal head to hang on the wall – usually only a small trophy or a medal. The real reward are the memories of another epic adventure that will last a lifetime.
I have written two books about my racing adventures: “Racing to the Yukon” and “Racing Around Florida.” My goal in writing these books is to inspire others to pursue their dreams. I always enjoy it when readers tell me they have purchased their first canoe or signed up for their first race. Sometimes I think my books should come with a warning label: Caution – Adventure can be Contagious ! Order two or more books from Rod Price Adventure and receive a limited edition commemorative poster featuring my six longest races. Here’s to adventure!