Friday, June 23, 2017


Eppie's Great Race is coming up fast. The event is presented by the Eppie’s Wellness Foundation is Saturday, July 15, 2017. Since its debut, Eppie’s Great Race has been held every year in Sacramento becoming a Northern California summertime tradition for elite athletes, fitness enthusiasts, and their families. The race features a 5.82-mile run, a 12.5-mile bike and a 6.10-mile paddle held along the scenic American River Parkway in Rancho Cordova and Sacramento. Its designated beneficiary is Therapeutic Recreation Services, a Sacramento County program for people of all ages with special needs and developmental disabilities.

The river portion of the race makes it one of the largest paddling events in the United States, offering a different dynamic from other triathlons with a "no swim" competition.

However, most of the participants come with running and biking skills but many have never paddled the river before or even sat in a kayak. Because of this, Current Adventures Kayak School and Trips has set up uniquely designed training sessions to help racers ensure success come race day with their Current Adventures Eppies Great Race programs. Expert instructors to help the participants build their confidence, paddling skills and river reading knowledge.

"With the high water this year on the Lower American times will be faster," said Current Adventure's owner Dan Crandall, "But, only if you understand how the lines and safety concerns are different in a year like this. Let us help you prepare for the high water conditions and race day success."

TRAINING DATES ARE JUNE 27, 29; JULY 6 10 12, 2017
Email us at Info@CurrentAdventures, com or Call 530-333-9115 to register for kayak rental and training options

To give you an idea of what it's like to train with Current Adventures for Eppies Great Race paddling portion here is an article that was originally published in Outside Adventure to the Max, July 8, 2016

The water glistens in the late afternoon sun. Across the way, kids frolic in it ankle-deep, while father down fishermen dot the rocky shore of the stream and huddling below the bike bridge kayakers in PFDs and bike helmets lay out a rainbow of kayaks at the edge of the beach. Anticipation, elation and anxiety churn in each one like the river before them. Looking out over the quiet scene their thoughts of doubts and hesitation are instantaneously interrupted by the booming voice of Dan Crandall.
"Are you ready to paddle tonight? We gotta about a week left. I want to hear something out of you otherwise we're just going to give up...Go home. Watch TV. Eat popcorn. Peppermint Patties. Drink milkshakes. All that good stuff you want to do, that you can do the day after the race."

Crandall and his staff from Current Adventures Kayak School and Trips have been conducting intensive kayak workouts with racers for the past several weeks building up to Eppie’s Great Race. Known as “The World’s Oldest Triathlon” the race is one of the largest paddling event in the United States. Founded in 1974, the race features a 5.82-mile run, a 12.5-mile bike and a 6.35-mile paddle held along the scenic American River Parkway in Rancho Cordova and Sacramento. That 6.35 miles down the American River with all its ripples and one rapid requiring whitewater skills presents the most challenging and exciting part of the annual race. Participants are expected to transfer from bicycle to boat at the Jim Jones Bridge for the final leg of the race. While most of them come with running and biking skills many of them have never paddled the river.

"Kayaks steer from the back," Crandall tells the group in some beach instruction, "You have to learn to speak this boat's language. It's a combination of edging correctly so the kayak knows what you're after and following your stroke through behind you, that matters."

Current Adventure's sessions have giving instruction on paddling technique, river reading and turning troublesome San Juan Rapids into a speed bump. However, this year the rapid has offered many challenges for the new paddlers. "Lean forward and smile, " said Crandall, " Show the river you are not afraid and keep a paddle in the water."

There are three ways to pass through San Juan Rapids. Being off to the right provides the best waves, in the middle for a fun drop and extended bubble wave or stay to the far left and avoid the rapid only to feel it's powerful eddy effect. Underneath the rapid, the river flows back together smashing into the cliff creating a circular boil, before slowing down to gentle speed. The practicing racers are encouraged to run the rapid a couple of times to familiarize themselves with its nature.

Some paddlers have used these sessions to update their skills and get in a practice run for the event, while others are kayaking for the first time. The instructors help each paddler with paddling fundamentals that will be handy come race day.

"You gotta stay in the current all the way till the outside of that corner." Crandall, calls out as the kayakers raft up together, So just think about that tonight. Start being very aware of the lines on the river. Use landmarks look ahead. Every time you come around a corner, set a new course to the next corner, don't just be staring at the bow or the deck of your boat. Looking ahead is what makes you faster and keeps you on better lines."

At the end, of course, tired paddlers pull their kayaks across the finish lines with an understanding of the river and what is hand for the great race.

Current Adventure Kayak School ant Trips
PHONE: 530-333-9115 or Toll-Free: 888-452-9254
FAX: 530-333-1291
USPS: Current Adventures, P.O. Box 828, Lotus, CA 95651
owner Dan Crandall