Chattajack 2021, it’s all but a memory and what a phenomenal one it is! Thank you so so much to everyone who participated in this year’s race and made it what it was. Racers, sponsors, volunteers, vendors, all of you…we simply cannot thank each of you enough.
Quick little recap, where should we begin? The sunshine, the warmth, it was like something we had all but forgotten was/is possible for a Chattajack race. Ask any CJ vet and they’ll likely tell you the hard ones are tuition for the good ones. After years helping racers pry grips from paddles at the finish followed by an hour+ de-thaw & core temp recovery, it was nice having a year again when all you needed was sunscreen, shades, and electrolytes. And how about that fog creeping in on que at Heat 1’s shotgun start, BANG! Brought back memories from 2013’s Chattajack start. Plan A of jumping on your hero’s draft wake replaced with Plan Z, a disorienting vision quest. That amazing race day resulted in countless course records and everyone’s new personal bests! (Did you know that at Cut-Offs 1 & 2, not a single racer was removed from the course?!)
All this stoke going on all day long for everyone all the way until the final finisher. Our final SUP racer was greeted at the finish line with a plethora of cheers & cowbells sounding from the dock, Melia on the bullhorn, PA system queued playing Johnnie Cash “I Won’t Back Down” and lastly the HoboSquad showering him with numerous champagne bottles spraying as he crossed the finish line. THAT right there, is what this event is all about.
Thank you to everyone who participated in the Tennessee River Gorge Trust raffle, as well as the sponsors who contributed some really nice prizes. (Bark Paddleboards, QuickBlade Paddles, Epic Kayaks & Paddles & KayakTrader.com)
148 Films, no doubt, captured some of the most amazing and cinematic footage this race has ever seen. We are as excited to see what they produce as I’m sure all of you are. Stay tuned, the finished product will be shared in coming weeks. Those guys got a ton of footy, as you can imagine.
In the post-pandemic environment, we clearly made some adjustments to our basecamp set-up and you all helped us pull this off with absolute perfection, thank you! Pre-race check-in went so smoothly and how about that storybook perfect eve outdoor awards ceremony?!
Chattajack volunteers, we will never stop thanking you for what you do to make this race special. Everyone who makes CJ’s basecamp function like a well-oiled machine, on-water support boat captains increasing our visibility & safety, the 2021 medical team was the best one yet.
2021 Chattajack podium finishers & 5-year belt buckle recipients, congrats to each and every one of you! WooHoo! It was an absolute honor to bestow upon you your new title and respective hardware. Go forth with pride!
Pete Shimpeno, Chattajack’s 2021 graphic artist in residency, your graphic for this year’s race and legacy is a treasure. Thanks for your friendship and generous talent.
To Chattajack’s leadership team and visionaries Stacey Malecky, Sarah Barnes, and Amy Campbell; Cheers to you & mission accomplished, we elevated the experience yet again!
We hope 2021’s memories fuel the stoke and drive to stay training throughout the winter & off-season. Set your goals and set em high, dominate 2022. Get a coach, make the plan, do not wait, the time is NOW while the fire is HOT. Build the routine! It will change your life/health in ways unfathomable.
A final thought. Sunday, as we were breaking basecamp with our last Chattajack volunteer crew, a helper made the comment, “This place is so clean, no beer cups to pick-up, gel wrappers, etc, how is this?” To which several of us replied, “THIS is the water community”. And so, until the stroke of midnight May 1st, we wish you all a peaceful and wonderful journey.
Final results by division:
On course Photographer Photo Albums:
Dianne Blankenbaker - shared in multiple posts under the Community tab on our Facebook page. She is compiling them to one album, which we will link to the 2021 Media Gallery on our website soon.