NC SURF TO SOUND CHALLENGE
“Finishing the Race, Guided by Dolphins”
TOLD BY CHARLIE MARTEL
Finishing the NC Surf to Sound Challenge race yesterday in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina with a heart full of gratitude. I did not finish the last time I did this race, which is 6 and a half miles long and includes launching into the surf and a rough paddle in the ocean and through an inlet. Right at the start, big waves punched me in the face—I spent some time in the soup and paddling on my knees. Felt like quitting but remembered my beloved Washington Nationals were in last place before they made their motto “Stay in the Fight” and rode it to their World Series win.
Got to the inlet pretty wrecked up but had a gratitude meditation, remembering Nats pitcher Sean Doolittle has the word “gratitude” written inside his hat so that, when things aren’t going his way, he remembers how lucky he is to get to play. Just then a bunch of dolphins swam by me as I turned into the inlet. As I paddled through the inlet, another pod of dolphins swam by me. My gratitude dolphins.
When I stood up —boom! Leg cramps. I pretended I was bulldog Nats pitcher Max Scherzer and grinded. Then I got to the turnaround bouy—boom again! Three miles of upwind paddling into 15 mile an hour headwind. Lucky for me I got a lesson from paddle legend April Zilg and she taught me how to jam through that suck.
After the finish I met a guy who met our good friend Cody Iorns, who we tragically lost last summer. I was Cody’s roommate for a couple of beautiful races in Wrightsville. This guy and I told Cody stories, and shared some smiles, laughs and a few tears to go with them. Cody’s soul is forever wherever people paddle and with whoever ever knew him.
So good to cross the finish line of this tough race. Gratitude for all this and the paddle Ohanas who keep this viejo paddling. Capital SUP Race Training Mantra Fit SUP Race League Sunrise SUP Group – 2019