My top four memories from Molokai
I recently finished 1st in the Molokai 2 Oahu World Paddleboard Championship in Hawaii, setting a new record time for the female division. The 32-mile paddleboard race crosses the Ka’iwi channel and is the fastest downwind route in the world.
My *Lucky* Pants
I like to try to be organised and well prepared. “Try” being the operative word. Despite my best attempts at organisation, I tend to forget or misplace things when I get caught up in the moment, and my Molokai 2 Oahu experience was no different. I had everything planned, from my nutrition and hydration strategy to the earrings I would wear, and, of course, my favorite JOLYN bikini. Countless hours of training and preparation went into this race, so I didn’t want to leave anything up to chance. At 5:30 am, the morning of the race, we drove to the starting line on the other side of the island. Just as I was about to change into my race gear, I realised that I had left my Jolyn bottoms drying on my hotel balcony! Oops! But the race must go on. I ended up paddling the entire 32-mile race in my underwear (covered by paddling pants – thankfully.)
Keeping Dad quiet
Five hours and fifteen minutes is a long time to be paddling. I knew that I needed to enjoy the paddle and stay positive if I wanted to do well, so I told my dad, who was a part of my boat crew, that he wasn’t allowed to yell out at me. I’m happy to listen to my friends, but I knew that any parental commentary (even if it was well-intentioned) would just frustrate me – I’m sure many of you can relate! I love my dad dearly and he helped me so much with my preparation for the event. Thankfully on race day he kept quiet, and the ‘yewwwwww’s coming from my friends every time I caught a runner kept a smile on my face and helped carry me over the finish line.
The science of sweat
I love science and learning about high-performance sport. A couple of months before the race, I did a sweat test to figure out how much I would be sweating and how salty my sweat was. I didn’t want to get dehydrated from drinking too little or bloated from drinking too much, so I turned to science. By figuring out how much energy I would be using each hour, I could ensure that I was taking in the proper amount of hydration, electrolytes, and calories. It was amazing to see the difference that nutrition makes. After the race, I chatted with a few athletes who didn’t have quite such an organized plan and had ended up cramping or ‘hitting the wall’, and running out of energy. For me, I believe that nailing my nutrition was key to my success.
Finishing the race, I was ecstatic but also exhausted. When I first tried to stand up, my legs went to jelly and I fell straight down! I was so out of sorts I had to get the race officials to help me out of the water. So much for a photo finish.