"...there was a 10 ft tiger shark in the water and they wanted everyone to get out of there!"—Bernd Roediger
Today was the day I had been waiting for for months... the Olukai stand-up race.
As we rolled up (all pumped up on Metallica and Eminem) to Maliko we signed in and got ready to go. We looked out onto the water; it was going to be a very light, hard, downwinder. After a nice group prayer we looked at an over-look of the course. There was a standard run to Kanaha with an extra 300 yard sprint, I had a feeling it would be very interesting. We took our boards and went out!
It was an erie feeling having so many people around you but feeling so alone. As we waded out onto the pebble bay everyone was stoney-faced and serious. It felt like a war movie where the soldiers are wading through a swamp waiting for an ambush. Except for we were waiting for a serious grind! We paddled about a half-mile out to the start line where we were going to wait for everyone to catch up and race. But then all of the sudden they started the race! We later found out that there was a 10 ft tiger shark in the water and they wanted everyone to get out of there!
So the race was on and I was paddling to get in front of as many people as I could! But the wind was light and it was really hard to get any glides. The race went on for a long while and then one of the photography helicopters flew over me! The wind wash blew me onto a mega-glide! I rode that to pass a few people and then come neck and neck to Mark Raaphorst, the owner of SIC deigns. Before I knew it we were at Camp One which is about 3/4 of a mile from the finish! We raced each other as fast as possible, neither one of us were going to slow down! But Mark was pulling away and I didn’t have anymore gas left! I was the little train that wished he could! As I came to the beach the Olukai crew grabbed my board and I sprinted along the beach trying desperately to catch Mark, I was running like the Terminator trying to catch him! And I gained about a hundred yards on him but still he crossed the finish before me! As I crossed the finish I collapsed onto the sand and someone handed me some water that I then inhailed!
I was still bummed that I couldn’t beat Mark but I tried my best and was exhausted! Later on I found out that I won my age group, 18 and under, and I got 4th over-all in the 14 ft and under class which consisted of 75 people! Needless to say I felt way better! Then my Dad came through! He got 11th over-all in the 14 ft and under and he also got third in his age group. My Mom also got third in her age group! I was so happy that I won, and that my family won too! It was a good feeling to have all of that hard work pay off.
I wandered over to the beach front and I thought of all those hardcore training runs with Mickey Eskimo and my Dad. I thought about all of those days practicing my stroke and keeping up my cardio when my hand was broken, it was all very hard and yet all worth it.