The 20th annual Green Race was held on Saturday, November 7th, 2015, and Camp Timberlake was represented well with former staff, Dakota Rogers and camper, Jackson Singleton, participating in the race. This renowned annual event is one of the most legendary, challenging, and well-respected creek races on the planet. It draws professionals and serious boaters from around the country. This race happens on the steepest section of The Green River Narrows and draws hundreds of spectators that crowd around the giant and intimidating looking signature rapid called, “Gorilla.” Racers are competing compete against the clock and in sections depending upon the type of boat they are paddling.
We talked to Dakota Rogers about his experience racing this year.
How did you feel going into the race? Nervous, but also super excited. The Green Race is such an awesome experience. It is definitely a “rite of passage” as kayaker. The adrenaline was pumping knowing that so many people were watching.
How did you train for this race specifically? I paddled this section of the Green Narrows many times over the last year and half; perhaps 60 times or more. I wasn’t ready for the race last year, but this was my year. I have become very familiar with this section of river.
Was it scary? The most frightening part was when a professional from the long boat kayak category tried to pass me right in Gorilla rapid, an extremely dangerous move that could’ve had disastrous consequences. It turned out okay, but was very nerve wracking. Race officials later reprimanded him for the move.
Are you happy with your finishing time? I finished under 6 minutes in my short boat. My friend, Joey, and I had a friendly bet going about who could finish with the best time. He won and now he gets to wear a tee shirt that says, “I beat Dakota!” I have to wear one that says, “I got beat by Joey!”
So, you are going to race next year?
Definitely! Next year I want to finish the race under 5 minutes in the long boat category.