I had one of the best races I have had all summer! I threw down last weekend at Canadian National Championships on my home river the Kananaskis. I was U23 and Senior national champion! 

Applying my new technique of racing allowed me to focus on the details and execution of moves rather than focusing on the outcome of the race. Just before I began to sprint down the course I would tell myself to "just have a good run". Each time my mind would stray I would repeat those words to myself and it would push away any negative thoughts. 

Marissa (left) Alex (middle left) Me (middle) Hayden (middle right) Sam (right)

Having a competition at home was great. I was able to see my family and friends while I was raceing. My brother who used to compete came out and raced for fun and ended up being really close to making the U23 national team! 

I was also able to connect with my old team mate and good friend. Below are the photos that she took!

MarissaTiel Photo
MarissaTiel Photo

The great thing about Nationals is that young aspiring athletes can come and race with provincial and national team athletes. This is an exciting opportunity for new athletes to experience what is possible and for more seasoned athletes to see up and coming hopefuls. I was so happy to see many familiar faces at the river both paddling and volunteering. Over the past 2 years I have been lucky to teach and coach Waterwerks Kayak Club participants. So to see their performance at nationals gave me great pride and a sense of excitement for the possibilities ahead.  

It was a miracle to be able to host this race considering that 5 weeks previous, Alberta declared a state of emergency due to the massive flooding of many of the provinces rivers. Thanks to all the volunteers and the Alberta Whitewater Association for working endless hours to make this race possible. It was truly amazing to see our community pull together and recreate the Kananaskis river. Thank you to Alberta Slalom Canoe Kayak as well as Canoe Kayak Canada for putting on a great race! Also a big thank you to my Mom and Dad for helping to officiate the race.