May Update & Kayak Training Guide

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May Update & Kayak Training Guide



May Update & Kayak Training

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May News Update

Leg 4 Kayak Training Guide

Things are heating up in RI and it’s time to get back on the water and start your kayak training!
We caught up with Tim Dwyer and Mike Giles, who had the fastest kayak times in 2015 and 2016, respectively, to get you some course tips and race prep advice! The kayak leg is a great way to make up time on other competitors. With proper training and technique, it can shorten your overall time significantly and boost your place!

Plus, Tim Dwyer will be offering an Intro to Fast Paddling session on Sunday June 4th at Kings Park in Newport. Train with the best, and e-mail Tim for more details!

If you missed it last month, we announced a start time change. Due to the Newport Jazz Fest, we are making a change to the race start time from 6am to 5:30am. This timing change will help minimize our impact with Jazz Fest traffic at Fort Adams and on the water. Please take note of how this will affect timing for the rest of the course, which can be viewed HERE.

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Kayak Training Guide

Tim Dwyer’s Secrets To Staying Ahead:

In 2015, as part of Team Kettlebottom, the 4 person relay winning team, my kayak leg was about 20 minutes faster than the next competitor for several reasons.

I expect that significant time gap to shrink as people learn how to paddle better, use the right gear and paddle fast boats. Most people paddle kayaks that are too short, too wide, too heavy and too slow to be either enjoyable or competitive. Paddling fast on the ocean is an awesome workout and addictive.

Here are some of my secrets of staying ahead:

1) my Epic V10 surfski kayak was the lightest, longest and fastest in the fleet

2) I use an ultralight Epic wing paddle

3) I practiced paddling the course in all conditions and was ready for wind and waves

4) I do about 15 surfski races from March through November and am race hardened

5) I get some coaching from paddlers better than me

6) I maintain a combination of strength training, cardio fitness and paddling year round

7) my forward stroke technique is efficient and practiced

8) my boat fits just right to take full musculoskeletal advantage

Train with Tim Dwyer & shave minutes off your kayak time!

For an introduction to some of these principles and to see what go fast surfski kayaks and gear look like, sign up for a 2 hour Intro to Fast Paddling which will be held on Sunday, June 4, at 10:00 by the Kings Park boat ramp in Newport.

Cost is $25 per person. Contact Tim at to reserve a spot.

If you have one bring your own boat, paddle and PFD so we can talk about your gear how to get set up optimally. If you don’t you can still look at what others are using and learn a lot about gear.

Small group or private instruction/coaching available.

Q&A with Mike Giles, 2016 Kayak Leg Winner

How did you train for the kayak leg of Race the State last year?
I live in Cape Town and here, we are lucky. Surf skiing/paddling is still a growing sport and easily done. Credit goes to guys like Billy Harker,  who have pushed the sport to make it fun and exciting for all levels in not only Cape Town, but throughout the coastal regions. During the summer months, there are evening races on Tues, Wed, Thursday, Friday evenings and weekends are series races. That gets you out the water and having fun. If you manage 2-3 of those that’s enough training.Would you do anything differently this year to be more prepared?
For sure. The course last year was great. It included a portage and then an uphill finish. Being able to transition quickly from paddling into running would save time. So definitely worth spending  time practicing the portage in/out and then incorporate a sick hill run at the end of the paddle.

Any cross-training recommendations for on land?
Although paddling is a cardio sport, it helps to do other cross-training. I try cycle, swim and run. Saying that, it is important to know your body’s neutral position to preserve posture. Having the correct posture and engaging the correct muscles helps with performance and injury prevention. Try mix up training with Pilates, Yoga or Gyro tonic. Newport has all of the above.

How was the kayak course last year?
The course was great and weather near perfect. I can imagine if the wind blows, it will be more challenging with a side swell.

Anything particular or unusual about the course that is important for competitors to note?
Like any endurance event, it is easy to go hard too early. Save something for after the portage and for the final hill run finish. The hill, although only a few 100 m, is challenging. Remember to have fun!

Other Upcoming Events

June 4 – Kayak – Intro to Fast Paddling, Kings Park, Newport, RIJune 4 – Run – Newport 10 Miler, Newport, RI

July 1 – Run – Rhode Races Independence, Bristol, RI

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2017 Race the State Sponsors and Partners

Interested in becoming a sponsor for 2017? E-mail us for more information!


Help us to grow the race for its third edition in 2017!
Refer a friend and get $15 if they sign up as an individual and $10 if they sign up for a team! You can earn up to the full amount of your entry fee!Here’s how it works:

1. Register for Race the State HERE

2. Collect your referral code

3. Give code to your friends and tell them to register

4. You get a refund!


Race the State will return in 2019

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