The past couple of months has been a huge journey getting to this point. From deciding to start prone paddleboarding, registering to do the Blackburn Challenge and doing it as a fundraiser for the John Wayne Cancer Foundation these past months have been intense to day the least. With less than 48 hours until the race starts I wanted to thank everyone who has made this journey possible. Your support and encouragement means more than you may realize. I took a leap of faith and you have all made sure that I landed softly.
To start off I would like to thank Patrick Broemmel of Banh Pho Surfboards and Crispy Noodle, without him this race would not be possible. He took a chance with me by designing and donating a paddleboard for me to race on. He knew that I was extremely new to the sport, that I had never raced or done long distances. He believed from the start that this was possible and has been supportive and encouraging from day one.
Next I would like to shout out to the local surf community, the surfers, SUP'ers and other paddleboarders. They have answered emails about boards and fins. The staff at Cinnamon Rainbows for helping me get the right gear for that spring season that was not quite warm yet not cold enough for a full wetsuit, and all the other bits needed. From the early stages contemplating building an old 30's style board to race, and having my friend Mike say, "You might want to buy something a little more modern, and worry about building something later."
To my good friend Will who nudged me in the right direction when race season started.
To my co-worker and friend Angela who introduced me to the JWCC, that first idea of what to come.
Jenny from Onshore Designs for the warm hoodie and comfy t's for after long paddles with ice on the river.
Brian and Caroline, the greatest support boat a guy could ask for. Fast switches and great photos! Thanks guys you were the best.
Next I would like to thank my family for not thinking I had lost my mind when I came up with this idea. My parents who were confident that I could do this from the start. To my wife Amy, who made sure that I ate right, got out on the water and stayed to my training schedule, knowing how important this was to me. And of course I would like to remember my Nana and Pops, whose visor I will wear for the race since he never got to. As my mom said, "They will be the wind at my back."
And last but not least I would like to thank everyone who donated to this fundraiser. Knowing that you believed in my enough to donate means alot to me.