Neches River Wilderness Race
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Neches River Wilderness Race

Date: Aug 07, 2021
Time: 6:30 AM
The excitement of the challenging Neches River race course keeps paddlers coming back every year for more of "Neches", drawing from both the highly skilled marathon and adventure racing crowd and the recreational paddler. "There is absolutely nothing like Neches from the venue and unpredictability of it to the people that put it on." says Erin McGee, a U.S World Cup Kayaker and regular race entrant.
The race is set up with two classes of paddlers: leisure class and pro class. The leisure class. start one hour before the pro class which means that the pro classes don't run off and leave the rest of the paddling field. They, by starting and hour later, will have to catch up to the leisure class and maneuver their way around and through the slower paddlers in order to make their way to the front of the pack, giving them, in effect, an added obstacle to overcome and giving both classes more time on the river together. This really adds another crazy element to the race and gives the leisure paddlers a chance to see what it's like to "really" go fast in a canoe or kayak. Water stations and check points are setup at two locations along the racecourse, with race volunteers monitoring paddlers' condition, and providing water to anyone needing it. Radio operators are stationed along the way to provide instant contact to emergency personnel should it be necessary.
At the finish line race volunteers pull canoes from the river for the weary paddlers and everyone enjoys hamburgers, cold drinks and watermelon. The shuttle starts to run, taking racers to the starting line to pick up autos. Awards are presented when all paddlers in a class have crossed the finish line. A drag boat sweeps the river from starting line to finish to make sure no stragglers remain on the river.
To the start: From E. Loop 256 in Palestine take SH 155 North 21 miles to Frankston, TX. Turn east (right) on US 175 and travel approx. 3.4 miles to FM 1892 and turn left. From there follow the signs a short distance to the primitive camping area and starting line behind Blackburn Damn and Lake Palestine.

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Neches River Wilderness Race
Aug 07, 2021 | 6:30 AM
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