Challenge of world’s toughest canoe race

By the Advocate Editorial Board
June 14, 2017 at 5:30 p.m.
Updated June 14, 2017 at 10:30 p.m.

"Because it's there."

These words, spoken by mountain climber George Mallory when he was asked why he wanted to scale Mount Everest, express a key truth about the human experience. Sometimes, it can be hard to understand why humans are so determined to test our limits, to push ourselves ever harder. Some satisfy the itch by climbing the highest mountains or diving into the depths of the ocean.

And for some, there's the Texas Water Safari.

The adventurers and outdoor enthusiasts who compete in the Texas Water Safari must canoe more than 260 miles from San Marcos in Central Texas all the way to Seadrift. They brave physical and mental exhaustion many of us will never know in order to complete the course in less than 100 hours.

Why? Because it's there. Because it's an incredible challenge and an unforgettable experience.

The race attracted 141 teams this year - families and friends, experienced racers and first-timers. Whether they were trying to win or just finish, all sought the challenge and the glory of completing what's billed as the "world's toughest canoe race." We salute these intrepid racers, the people who are determined to dig deep and prove what they can do.

However, the difficulty of the race and the mettle of the competitors aren't the only reasons you should be interested. This race, which attracts canoers from across and outside the nation, is also a local affair, with a racetrack - the Guadalupe River - that spans the Crossroads and winds through the heart of our own Riverside Park. The fact that our region plays host to such an iconic race, a mecca for aquatic athletes, should be a point of pride for all of us.

The race may have ended, but they'll be back next year. They'll keep coming back - the familiar faces as well as a crop of fresh competitors, as surely as human beings have always risen to meet a seemingly impossible challenge.

Why? Because it's there.

This opinion reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.


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