Watauga River Gorge Race and Cleanup

Watauga River Gorge Race and Cleanup

Cross-posted from Upper Watauga Riverkeeper

The RacersThe Racers, photo by Dot Griffith.

The First Annual Watauga River Gorge Race was a huge success. 41 racers showed up to battle head to head in this 4 mile race from the Guy Ford Road put-in to Sate Line Falls. We couldn’t have asked for better water levels and weather.

The Start, photo by Dot Griffith.The Start, photo by Dot Griffith.

John Grace has compiled a list of the results on the LVM site but here are some of the highlights:

First place overall: Chris Gragtmans
First lady: Laura Ferrell
First short boat: Evan Garcia
First playboat: Mark Miller
First person that also stopped and helped a swimmer: Will Stubblefield

Donna, has put together a little video from the race, that mass start was pretty crazy.

Dot Griffith was kind enough to take some great photos of the race, check out her gallery on flickr for more pictures.

Everyone headed under the bridge, photo by Dot Griffith.Everyone leaning back to make it under the bridge, photo by Dot Griffith.

Big thanks are due to AW and Mike Mayfield for getting the road down to the take out fixed, Sprinkle for manning the finish line, John Grace for helping, all the racers for coming and for all the racers and other folks that helped out with safety.

Mark your calendars, for the last weekend in March because we are going to do it again next year and it’s going to be even bigger and even better. The winning time was right around 31 minutes, so that is the time to beat.

On Sunday we held a river cleanup on the Watauga Gorge. The weather was not as cooperative as it was for the race, but we still got a good bit of trash out of the river.

Steve and Will with the truck bed liner they just pulled out of the riverSteve and Will with the truck bed liner they just pulled out of the river

We got some big stuff out of the river including a truck bed liner and a road sign, but because of a lack of manpower, we weren’t able to get it all the way to the road to get it out. We ended up stashing a big pile of trash, high up on the bank next to Hydro Rapid.  So we are waiting on a nicer day, and a few more volunteers to help us get our trash stash out of the gorge.

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Watauga River Gorge Race and Cleanup

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