The Green River Narrows is one the hairiest sections of whitewater on the East Coast. For example: one half-mile stretch consists of eleven Class IV+ or V+ rapids! Just mentioning names like “Go Left or Die,” “Gorilla,” and “Sunshine,” leaves most paddlers queasy. We asked a seasoned kayaker recently about his experience with the Narrows.
“My buddies always ran it. I was fine with running shuttle.”
Like his friends, there are those who do choose to test their fate, including the boaters that enter the Green River Narrows Race on the first Saturday of November. The event started with 16 competitors organized by Leland Davis back in 1996. Since then, many of the most talented paddlers from around the world have tried for the fastest descent of the Narrows. 4 minutes is the goal. Mike Dawson, of New Zealand, came closest in 2012 with a time of 4 minutes, 10 seconds.
The race has grown steadily over the years, both in participants and spectators. Last Saturday, the 20th Annual Green Race saw nearly 200 paddlers post times, and thousands of fans make the grueling 2 ½ mile hike to see it all go down. It was worth it! In the men’s long kayak division, both Dane Jackson and Eric Deguil finished the course in 4 minutes, 13 seconds, thus sharing the first place trophy. Neither is a stranger to the winners’ podium. Deguil is a previous champion and Jackson has taken second place the last three years. Adrienne Levknecht won both the women’s long and short kayak groups, clocking in at 4 minutes, 38 seconds in the former. Jordan Poffenberger topped all long C1 entries with a time of 4 minutes, 39 seconds. And both Deguil and Levknecht also won the men’s and women’s short kayak classes, respectively.
Another winner this year was Rachel Elise, whose hand-illustrated creation won perhaps the most impressive Green Race T-Shirt Design Contest yet. Recover happily printed tee-shirts and hoodies with Rachel’s design for this year’s event. Big congrats to her and all the race winners, as well as to the organizers. This is truly one of the most unique sporting events in the world!. Until next time, be sure check out the Green Race store! See you on the first Saturday of November 2016!