Thursday, September 11, 2014

2014 Green River Games in Saluda, N.C.

Kayak race start on the Green River
Stand Up Paddleboard Race Winner
The second year for the Green River Games saw a scheduling shake up, and the awards ceremony moved from an outlying location to downtown Saluda where the public can now join in the celebration.  The 2014 Green River Games canceled the 6K road race set for Friday, and the welcoming reception at the HQ for Green River Adventures Zip-Line lookout. As a result, it was quiet in Saluda on Friday since the games would now start on Saturday morning.

The weather on September 6 was quite warm in the mid-80's and it was super muggy. Trail conditions were said to be soggy after several days of rain leading up to the weekend. The bike riders, Stand Up Paddleboarders, kayakers and runners all faced the same conditions though, and the warm conditions just added one more layer to what already was going to be a great test of fitness, or at least some very good exercise.

Hammer Factor Rapids on the Green River Narrows
John Grace and the Top Three Silverback Winners
The flagship race of the Green River Games is called the Silverback and it is a combination of kayaking, biking and running. The race began near the Tuxedo Hydroelectric station at 11 a.m. and took competitors down the green river narrows - which is not for amateurs. Spectators can watch the kayakers pass by at Fish Top Falls, but in general it is tough to view the Silverback competition unless one is prepared to access rugged hiking trails that shadow the Green River. This race is divided into segments to allow participant that don't want to complete all three disciplines, but they are all worthy of congratulations. For the Silverback Race results click here.

Rapids Soaking a Silverback competitor
Something like eight separate competitions were held on Saturday and two more trail runs on Sunday. The awards party in downtown Saluda featured food, a T-shirt station, band and a beer booth. Organizer John Grace kept the awards on schedule, with many of the competitors dog tired after a day of racing in the heat. Overall I would say that participation was up slightly in 2014 and the event highlights outdoor enjoyment for fitness enthusiasts, which is a genre that is sure to grow. It doesn't hurt that the natural resources in this section of Western North Carolina make for a great proving grounds.

To view past blog entries from the Green River Games click 2013.

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