Monday, August 03, 2009

Dragon Boat Festival

I had a blast at this year's Dragon Boat races, just like last year.

Since I was considered a veteran this year(and I have no kids to look after at the races), I was signed up to race in every single race.

How many races is that you might ask?

Seven. Races.

Four of those races were scheduled back to back, which meant I had to get out of one boat at the finish of one race and get right back into the boat for the next one.

I raced in four races on Saturday and three on Sunday.

To say I am tired would be a huge understatement.

Tired and sore.

But yesterday as I got off the boat of my seventh race, soaking wet from both sweat and salt water, I turned to my husband and said "I can't wait to do that again".

I have a hard time putting into words how I feel about participating in this. I had to go to a thesaurus to find the right adjectives to explain it.

Exhilarating. Breathtaking. Electric. Inspiring. Invigorating. Intoxicating. Uplifting. Vitalizing.

You get the idea. I truly, truly love it.

I am sad that it is over and am counting down the days until next year.

I was trying to explain to Joe what it felt like to be in the race. Each race is 500 meters(that's a little over the length of 5 football fields!). The race lasts between 2 minutes and 30 seconds and 3 minutes long(ours are almost always three minutes). It feels like the longest 3 minutes of your life. Imagine doing some kind of physical activity. Running. Or sit ups. Or jumping jacks. Or a combination of the three. Now do that activity as hard and as fast as you can, and DO NOT STOP. For three minutes. It isn't easy. I can tell I am in much better physical shape this year than last because I was able to participate in 7 races and although I am sore, I am much less so than last year, when I only participated in three. I can thank my Wii Active program for that.

Here are some pictures. I didn't take a whole lot because I spent a lot of time in the tent this year, trying to recuperate for my next race. A few of these of the boats are ones that I snapped last year.

They are in no particular order because I am tired and I'm going to bed early.

None of the boats you see in the races are my team. Joe was supposed to come and take pictures of my races on Sunday but he didn't make it in time so I took some of the other teams.

Warming up while they wait for their race

<span class=IMG_3865" height="375" width="500">

Some of the Callers(the ones who hit the drum) like to wear funny hats in their races. I had to take a picture of the Viking hat for my Dad
<span class=IMG_3862" height="375" width="500">

Heading out to the start dock
<span class=IMG_3861" height="375" width="500">

Race in progress
<span class=IMG_3856" height="375" width="500">
<span class=dragonboat4" height="240" width="320">

I like to go around and see what some of our competitor's team names are, and look at their banners
<span class=IMG_3852" height="181" width="500">

<span class=IMG_3826" height="347" width="500">

<span class=IMG_3851" height="257" width="500">

<span class=IMG_3850" height="191" width="500">

<span class=IMG_3848" height="196" width="500">

Even Panda Express has a team
<span class=IMG_3843" height="319" width="500">
They have a cool dragon head on the top of their banner
<span class=IMG_3844" height="375" width="500">

Here is our banner
<span class=IMG_3840" height="241" width="500">

Loading the boats for a race
<span class=dragonboat3" height="240" width="320">

Our gear
<span class=IMG_3835" height="375" width="500">

They provide the paddles and life vests for those of us who aren't hard core enough to have our own gear.

<span class=dragonboat2" height="240" width="320">

The boats lined up ready for the races to begin

<span class=dragonboat1" height="240" width="320">

I have no idea why it is showing the image height and width but I'm too tired to fix it right now so it will have to stay that way.


M3 said...

Seven races?!!! You ROCK. That is just awesome. Wow.

Sherri and Todd said...

I haven't yet seen a dragon boat race and hope to one day. That is just awesome.

3D said...

That is amazing! You rock.

Hugs to you as u panic and pack. It will all get done. Breathe.

Keep smilin!

Julie said...

Wow, Michelle, I am in awe! I have people who work for me who do it, as my company has a team in the local dragon boat festival and I know it is beyond hard. You should be really proud of yourself - so glad you had fun!

Dawn said...

Well done, we absolutely love Dragon Boat racing and always go to the races when they are here. Your boats are gorgeous, a lot nicer than the ones we have.

Kayce said...

You are amazing Michelle!!!! Love all the pictures. Wish we had something like that up here. Hope you are well and climbing out of your boxes. You're in my thoughts.