For years there was a kayak triathlon called the French Broad Triathlon that was on the same weekend as the Mountain Sports Festival here in Asheville. It was always on Friday night and Dwight tells me that there was usually a big turn out for it. Then for some reason they moved it to Sunday afternoon and the race was essentially killed.
Well, a couple of locals took the matter into their own hands and started the Underground French Broad Triathlon. There are not any permits for this race or even a race fee for participants. It’s underground and grass roots racing at it’s best! The race consists of a run, paddle, bike, run. Dwight raced it again this year and I did not. I’m still trying to figure out the best course of action for my foot and I have now moved into month 4 of no running :(.
For the most part it’s people out there having fun and not taking it too seriously. Last year one of our friends was dealing with a shoulder injury from paddling so he sat on his paddle board for the kayak portion and then jumped on his beach cruiser for bike leg. Fun. This year there were lot’s of team relay’s, individual racers and even some stroller pushing during the run portion of the race! More fun.
Ending at AOC is almost the best part of it. Dave, the owner, is an old school paddler and was the first outfit on the French Broad. They are heading into their 25th year this summer! After the race everyone grabs their gear, (this is so the awesome volunteers can come hang out too), they then head back to grab a few beers, talk with friends and wait for “awards”. The guys that put on the race hand out some singlets for the top 3’s. Really cool of them!
It’s one of those races that remind you why we might sometimes race and why we do what we do. It’s all about good times, good friends and good beer afterwards. Just make sure you check the ego at the door :).