Every year, at the beginning of May, white water kayakers and a few canoe & raft paddlers come to Albright, West Virginia for the Cheat River Race. It's one of the events of the weekend that benefits Friends of the Cheat, an organization that raises awareness and funds for the Cheat River.
Rick gives a talk up before the race begins about what to expect on the river.
A lot of the racers are veterans and have heard it all before but they still listen carefully. Anything can happen on the river!
Some of us are just there to take pictures. This woman didn't even notice me snapping her picture.
This is one of my favorite pictures from that day. Attaching a spray skirt to a kayak is often a two person job filled with lots of Thwaps! as it rolls off the first end as you attempt to pull it over the other end.
Boaters head out to await the starting signal.
There's always a few last minute registrants.
Sadly, the four footed kind get turned away and brought back to shore.
This poor guy wanted to race too and I don't think the rapids downstream would have phased him. He was ready to go!
This furry friend just wanted the whole thing to be over.
And they are off!!
I had time to take a picture of only the first few kayakers over the finish line before there was a flurry of boaters coming so fast that it was all I and my fellow timekeepers could do to hastily jot down their numbers and times. With about 160 racers, things got crazy but we had so much fun and the race was a success!