By Pete Williams
For all the talk about saturation in the number of triathlon, running, and obstacle mud run events, one part of the endurance sports industry still is on the upswing: stand-up paddleboarding.
It helps that race organizer Shane Webb and his colleagues at SUPPaddleboard.com put on a successful series of races throughout the Southeast this summer. It helps that Tampa Bay weather right now is gorgeous. And it definitely helps that there’s both $3,000 in prize money and $3,000 in raffle prizes, part of an all-day SUP extravaganza.
The race borrows its format from the popular Battle of the Paddle, the Super Bowl of SUP, with a technical, multi-buoy, multi-lap course. Racers must exit the water after every lap, run a brief 40-yard lap with their paddles and reenter the water. Like a NASCAR pitstop or triathlon transition, it’s a challenge not to lose time in the process.
We spoke to Webb about the race earlier this week on The Fitness Buff Show.
Name of Race: Pacifico Paddle Challenge
When/Where: Saturday, Nov. 12 at The Postcard Inn – 6300 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach
History: This is an inaugural event, though the organizers put on the successful SUP Splash Race Series, which included an event at the same venue on July 16.
Format: Races include a 3-mile short course race at 11 a.m., a 5-mile elite race (12:30), and a “Dash for the Cash” at 2 p.m. Prize money awarded equally to men and women in the 5-mile and Dash for the Cash. Mandatory racers meeting at 10:30.
Expected Turnout: 100-plus
Amenities: Long-sleeve T-shirts to first 70 registered. Pacifico After Party at 3 p.m. Awards at 4:30, raffle at 5:30 and playing of the “Ultimate Wave Tahiti” movie at 6:00.
Cost: $45 preregistration, $50 raceday
Register: Online HERE