Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | January 27, 2012

Off to the Canoe Race

Headed to Austin, Texas to participate in my third marathon canoe race!

With Jonathan | 2011

My son Jonathan loves the outdoors, especially anything having to do with Texas rivers. About three years ago, Jonathan invited me to start kayaking with him and I’m glad he did. I have enjoyed paddling Texas rivers but, more than that, I have enjoyed spending time with Jonathan. Last year, Jonathan completed the Texas Water Safari, billed as the world’s toughest canoe race. He and his partner completed the 260-mile course under the allotted time. After that race, Jonathan asked me if I would do the Texas Water Safari with him in 2012. I agreed. So, in order to help me prepare for this big race in June, Jonathan and I have spent time paddling on Buffalo Bayou and have also participated in two canoe races — the Neches River Wilderness Canoe Race and the Colorado River 100. Tomorrow, we will participate in the second annual Texas Winter 100k, a 62-mile canoe race on the Colorado River.

West Hansen

The Texas Winter 100K is a fundraising event for West Hansen, an Austin resident who plans to paddle the entire length of the Amazon River and hopes to do it faster than anyone has ever paddled the 4,225 mile length of the river. That’s a challenging goal or the equivalent of doing our 62-mile race along the Colorado River more than 68 times. I applaud West and wish him the very best. You can read more about West and the Amazon Express Expedition on his website. Guys like West remind us to always look for ways to push ourselves to go beyond our own personal records and boundaries. In our world of conveniences it’s far too easy for us to allow comforts and achievements to lull us into a sense of complacency — the chief enemy of personal growth and greater achievements.

Jonathan's new Alumacraft Voyager canoe.

I am obviously a novice in the world of marathon canoe racing, and a 55 year-old novice at that! But I have enjoyed the way Jonathan has pushed me to go beyond my personal physical limitations. He has remained resolute in getting me into the boat to train and to prepare. He recently purchased a new safari-rigged Alumacraft Voyager canoe, which is one of the boats of choice for these races. This will be my first race with Jonathan in this new boat and hope that there will be many more in the years to come. And, he’s excited because all of the recent rain means that the water is flowing a bit faster on the Colorado. I’m just excited to have the opportunity to do this race with Jonathan and to play a small part in helping West Hansen toward the realization of his goal to paddle the Amazon. I’ll post a follow-up blog after the race. Prayers always appreciated!


  1. How exciting!!!! Praying for you, Uncle!!!!

  2. Ugh, it makes me sick I’m not there. Good luck though!

    • We miss having you here, Niki. Looking forward to a great day on the river.

  3. Good luck dad and Jonathan…cheering you on from Malaysia!! Love you both(:

    • Thanks, Gina. Tough race. Cold water. We finished!

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