The Midwest SUP Series abides was the title that bounced around my head because it modestly announces our state of being, as well as, I thought the “Big Lebowski” reference was funny and has parallels. The Sam Elliott character (The Stranger) said it best in the movie’s final narrative when he says that he took comfort in the fact that the Dude abides.
The Midwest SUP Series is a group of independent race promoters. Each promoter must create and market a race, as well as, agree to pay a sanctioning fee, fund year end trophies/medals, have proper insurance, follow rules and safety guidelines of WPA, provide race results (time,board,race,gender,age) to the Midwestsup.com.
This is our fourth year and promoters have filled the calendar with quality races. Of course, the racers are the partner in this wonderful dance of SUP love and they haven’t disappointed. There are many fun stories but I want to give you three headlines from the Midwest:
1) Women racers have stepped it up, we now have more talent at the top in the women’s field. The noteworthy list includes tremendous endurance feats and crazy fast race times (besting most elite men). The women have been the most active participants, they are well traveled, and I am looking forward to Series Championship on 9/12 (“Mary Radtke and Michigan girls, come on around!”). Kudos to Leslie Maclin for currently leading the points series.
2) There is a new crop of young talent blending with talented mature racers. Strong young people have been up on the podium, but that has been offset with an equal amount of 50+ racers. That makes me go, “huh?”
To sum up #1 and #2, this weekend I was bested by a lovely lady (Sarah Weyenberg – early 20’s), a 14 year old gentleman (Camden Misiewicz), and my buddy who is nearly ten years my senior (Karl Eugster).
3) Greatest story of the year! Jane Schmieing, who completed the famous Paddle-Portage-Paddle in Madison on a SUP in her wheelchair! I will write about that story, in detail, but just knowing that her paddling life still abides gives me comfort.
The race series goes back to Chicago next week (8/29) and then the Series Championship in Lake Geneva, WI (9/12&13). Check it out at MidwestSUP.com!