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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Everyman Racer: Nobody to blame except myself!

Oh man, what a bummer! Before I explain, watch this video clip:

Did you see what happened there? One millionth of a second of losing concentration can lose you the whole race. I can understand how that happens. You're at the end of your race, exhausted, all you can think of is the finish line. It's that big orange buoy right next to the shore- finish at the buoy, finish at the buoy- catch the guys in front of you, feel like you're going to puke, push it, push it... glide on through. Yell out your number to make sure they get it- say it three times loud, do the gang-sign, number thing with your fingers to the guy with clip board and collapse onto the board. 

But guess what? Turns out you didn't really finish- you were supposed to finish to the left of the buoy not the right. Race over, no results. All in a millionth of a second of lost concentration. Kind of like the Japanese guy in the video. That was me at the Hal Rosoff race. I'd like to pass all kinds of blame around but that's not the Everyman way. The primary lesson here is: In racing, you've got to be sharp from start line to finish. 

Life has handed me this lesson a couple of times (Chainsaw Massacre- didn't run up the beach to the finish, Hennessey's World Championships- had to backtrack around a missed buoy, King's Race- didn't verify that my time was recorded) evidently it hasn't sunk in yet. I actually had a pretty good race, finishing in an unofficial 7th place at approximately 1:19:30ish (we all know who I was behind and who I was in front of) so it's a real bummer not to have a true posted result- maybe this time it hurt enough to get me to focus my mind for the next race.

Congratulations to Imperial Beach paddler Kiwi who finished in 3rd place at 1:16:12- homey killed it!


Kara and Quinn said...

Good attitude John!

John Ashley said...

Thanks guys! Trying to learn from my mistakes- or maybe somebody can learn from them... it was still super fun.

Nice Rack said...

I guess there's a lot to say about living in the now.

Anonymous said...

Hey,John. It's never about winning. That's just the cream that floats at the top of a great experience. Enjoy the moment.

John Ashley said...

Well- I'll defer my thoughts on winning to a man I respect greatly, John Wooden. Check out my next post and let me know what you think- should be up late tonight!

Cocco said...

You are NOT alone!! Still laughing thinking about some really memorable finishes I've had. At Hennessey's in SD, I was so out of it, I paddled in towards the pier, to the right of the 50 flags with all the people waiting. Good thing Kristin Thomas was there to redirect me! And then at Hennessey's Dana Pt, my legs were jell-o and I fell on 3 consecutive waves, and finally crawled out of the water at least 50 yds down the beach from the finish line. At least you actually had a good race at Newport!

John Ashley said...

Thanks Cocco- you're making me feel better. Those are some good ones- I'm sure I'm going to have more of those to talk about. Kiwi and I aren't going to race in Redondo- so, maybe the next one after that?