For the last couple years, I have watched videos and seen pictures of some of my friends take on the adventure of paddle/run/paddle. I knew one day I would put myself through the pain and enjoyment of paddling 22 miles from Palos Verdes/LA to Two Harbors Catalina Island. Then wake up in the dark to run the Catalina marathon 26.2 miles and then paddle back 22 miles to Palos Verdes over the course of three days. Before I get into the details of this years adventure I need to explain why. Why do we do this? For this little girl Callie Addison.....
My experience in the 2015 paddle/run/paddle exceeded all expectations. The people involved, the weather and the cause could not have been more perfect. The paddle over to Catalina was no wind, water temps in the low 60's and air temp hovering in the high 70's! This is a fundraiser event so its not a race across the channel. It is a community paddle of 80 people where you chat with friends, make new friends and enjoy being on the ocean. We had amazing support from about 10 escort boats that motored along at our slow pace yelling out encouragement and handing out water and food. We would paddle 2 miles and stop to allow everyone to come back together and then we would start again and continue with that process over the course of 6 hours and 22 miles. We made it to Catalina Two Harbors and proceeded to hit the snack shack, find our sleeping spots and relax in preparation for the Catalina Marathon!
Day two came with a 5am alarm followed by a 5:30am race start. The actual race start is 7am but us paddle/run/paddlers hit it early because most of us did not train to do a marathon and wanted to start early so we were not out there all day. For me I did not know what to expect. I am in fairly good shape and I do enjoy running but I have never run more that 13 miles in one stretch. The Catalina marathon is known for being a tough one do to the hills and canyons you run through. The vibe at 5:30am was electric which helped get the crew going up the first hill which was about 3.5 miles long. The marathon is beautiful and was going by pretty fast with good company and amazing scenery and I figured my group and I would keep the pace going as we power walked the up hills and jogged the down hills. That was until about mile 17 or 18 where I started to get antsy and needed to get it over with. At that point I said later to my small group that I had been annoying and ran off to get to the finish and jump in the water! I ran the last 8 miles hard and finished with a 5hr 40min time.
Day three was another early start and as we woke you could see some funny walking styles from the day before marathon. The first group left at 6am and the second "fast" group left at 6:15. We actually weren't going that fast and it took a while before we caught up to the "slow' group. It was a beautiful morning with the sun rising as we paddled back to Palos Verdes. The paddle back seemed different, it seemed as though we were more connected as a group almost like a family. Out of the 80 people participating there were people that knew each other and a lot of people that didn't know many of the others. I knew a few people but over the course of the two previous days I was able to get to know those people better and meet new people as well! The paddle home greeted us with perfect conditions again and seemed to go by faster, almost too fast.
As I write this now I am wishing I was still there paddling, running and paddling. The feeling I have from my paddle/run/paddle experience is hard to describe, I guess I am just happy and proud.
Please read below about Callie Addison and if you can please donate to help, http://calliescause.org/ :
- Callie is an energetic, smart and lovable 2 and a half year old girl with epilepsy. Epilepsy is a seizure disorder.
- At 9 months old, Callie had her first seizure. We initially believed it was a condition called febrile seizure, which is brought on by a fever. The seizure lasted about 6 minutes and Callie stopped breathing momentarily. We performed a couple rescue breaths on her and she started breathing on her own.
- Callie has since had many more seizures. Her last was just on January 21, 2015 — her biggest one and by far the most scary. She seized for 1 hour 45 minutes — which is known as a “status seizure” — and it resulted in a paramedic helicopter ride to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center with an overnight stay in the pediatric intensive care unit.
- Currently Callie is on the Ketogenic Diet and the anti-epileptic drug Keppra.
- In between seizures life has been pretty normal, as Callie attends preschool and is your typical toddler.
- As of now we are trying to stay hopeful, strong, and carry on with a normal life raising our two kids Bodie (5) and Callie (2), of course.
- The purpose of our fundraising efforts is to help with both epilepsy research and certain personal expenses. We do have insurance, however with some medications not covered, the ketogenic diet and co-pays starts to add up. Also, when Callie has a seizure, Darlene does not work for multiple days with no employee leave time.