If you have to live and work a normal job in Colorado, Fort Collins is a pretty great place to be. While we don’t have a playpark or even a play feature worth talking about the Cache la Poudre has some of the best river running play and creeking in Colorado. One of my favorite runs in the drainage is the Narrows or lately as we locals call it the Gnarrows. If you live in Fort Collins the Narrows is your backyard creeking run, you can get to it in about 45min from town, it this first section to come in, the last to go out, and might the best roadside run in Colorado. The Gnarrows has it all sweet boofs, a little gnar gnar at most levels, lots of eddies, difficult eddy linkages thru the rapids to build your skills and stroke repertoire, and as of the last three years the Gnarrows race.
I’m not sure when the idea for a race was conceived but three years ago is when it first officially took place. The concept for the “non-race” has always been pretty simple and has entailed a preliminary boater cross heat through the entire run, gentlemen rules applying in the meat, with the top two advancing into the next round and a finals heat in the lowers, again boater cross style. There are no stop watches, only the safety your friends are willing to provide, and typically lots of pre and post smack talk. The winner mainly gets the pride of knowing he beat all his buddy’s, a Gnarrows belt buckle with the past winners engraved on the back, and also gets to call the specifics of next years race.
Here’s some pics from this years event courtesy of Jeff Burley (JF) and Alfie Umbhau (AU)
The Gnarrows Posse 08. It doesn't get much better than this. AU
Cutch and this years winner in fine form in Heat 1 of the Prelims. JB
Mr. Stafford, last years winner, in Heat 2 of the Prelims. JBWho is that guy? Heat4 of Prelims. JB
Mr. Huck'n Duckie himself coming thru lowers. JB
I'm not sure if thats the loof of determination or exhaustion but here's Heat1 of the Semi's. JB
Adrock showing us how its done - JB
The Finals - While I'd like to say I the placing remained the same through the finish, Cutch pulled it out in the end and came away with the Buckle. JB
This year’s the “non-event” went off spectacularly. We had the most participants yet, a few surprising results and post race activities, and had to add a semifinal heat to whittle the competition down to four in the final heat. Wile I was bummed I didn’t come away with the buckle and even more bummed it left the Fort and now resides in Denver I couldn’t have lost to a better guy.