Going the Distance

first_imgBen Friberg’s record-setting rideBen Friberg can look you in the eye and honestly tell you that he has lived his dreams.  Last month, Ben traveled to the Yukon Territory of Canada and set a new 24 hour stand-up paddleboarding distance world record. Ben’s fitness, combined with the power of the mighty Yukon River, propelled him 238 miles through the subarctic Northland and into the history books.  This feat is significant for many reasons, and in no small part because it puts river paddleboarding on the map. Traditionally a flatwater pastime, paddleboarding has been embraced by river adventurists, who have redefined what is possible with a board and a paddle. While Ben’s attempt was fantastically successful, it was not without its challenges. Here are Ben’s thoughts during pivotal parts of the expedition: I don’t know if I can keep this up. I did not expect this headwind and storm. As cold rain soaks my face and clothes, the support team in the boat layer up, huddle under the canopy, and sip chicken broth. At 10 miles per hour, I am making good progress, but the river is still very channelized. I know that it will slow as I get further downstream and the river braids out. I need to gain every inch possible now to have any chance at breaking the record. It is imperative that I keep my momentum.In spite of the outside conditions, my body is a metronome: heart rate, breath, paddle stroke. I have prepared for this for months, and I know what to do. Barely visible through the low-hanging rain clouds are the flanks of spectacular mountains all around. The trees are getting noticeably smaller as the river winds its way toward the desolate tundra. My vision settles just in front of the board, and in spite of the occasional words from my friends on the boat, I am alone with my thoughts and this chilling wind.I am losing precious distance every minute, with a large percentage of my output being negated by a force that seems hell-bent on pushing me backwards.“How long has it been?” I ask the support crew.“Six hours. Keep it up man, you’re doing great!”Six hours. That means I have been battling this wind for over five hours, and it is showing no sign of relenting. It’s almost midnight, but the Northland never gets completely dark in the summertime. The sun simply rotates below the horizon slightly, and rises again a few hours later. This 24-hour daylight and the power of the 100,000-cubic-feet-per-second Yukon River are two major factors that have made this attempt possible. I will never forgive myself if I allow this opportunity to slip away.As quickly as the wind and rain started, it suddenly ebbs. I clear my eyes, release my face from a squint that I have been holding, and look around. The river is rounding a sweeping left corner, and I see an ethereal alpenglow over the top of the mountains. My body’s metronome continues.As I cross out of the shadow of the mountain, a deep red sunset explodes into view, framed by the landscape of one of the most remote and dramatic areas on the planet. The river is smooth as glass, and it reflects a perfect mirror image of the crimson sky. My board slices through the red hue silently, and I realize that this moment is why I traveled 4,000 miles from home. There is no one else within a hundred miles of us, and I am chasing the sun on my board.There are certain beauties to be found in this world that render us speechless. No words can describe what we are seeing, so no one says anything. Mesmerized by the sunset, I don’t look at the support boat behind me for a long time. When I do, I notice the rainstorm behind me that I had battled for so long. In front of it is a perfect horizon-to-horizon rainbow.As the sun slowly sets and my paddle continues its rhythm, I think of everything that has gotten me to this point. I think of the first time I got on a friend’s standup board a few years ago. So much has happened since then. I think of countless hours spent on the Tennessee River near my house training, and I think of the logistical time and uncertainties that came with planning a mission of this complexity.Even though I am only a third of the way into the journey, I know that it will be successful. The river has created these conditions just for me today, and it is my job to do it justice by doing my part and pushing my body to its limits. The sun finally disappears and the hypnosis ends. As the guys in the boat pull up next to me, I can tell that they now believe too.With spirits revived, I continue paddling North.The Moment is a monthly page where we venture into the minds of inspiring outdoor enthusiasts and athletes. Submit your most powerful outdoor experiences to [email protected]last_img read more

Monday September 30th Local Sports

first_imgALBERT LEA – NIACC sophomore Austin Eckenrod tied for individual meet medalist honors at the Waldorf University Invitational Sunday with a 74 at Wedgewood Cove Golf Club.Eckenrod’s 74 helped lead the Trojans to a third-place finish in the eight-team invitational with a team total of 319. Grand View was the team champion with a 305 and host Waldorf was second with a 306.It was the second time in his collegiate career that Eckenrod earned individual medalist honors as he shared medalist honors at last fall’s Iowa Wesleyan Invitational.Also for the Trojans on Sunday, Matthew Heinemann shot 79, Zach Martin shot 80, Jackson Hamlin shot 86 and Beau Thompson shot 86.NIACC returns to action Tuesday at the Iowa Wesleyan Invitational. WACO, TEXAS — A late field goal by Baylor spoiled a huge fourth quarter rally by Iowa State in a 23-21 loss in Waco. Trailing 20-0 entering the fourth quarter the Cyclones scored three touchdowns to take a 21-20 lead but the defense could not get the final stop. Despite the loss Cyclone coach Matt Campbell was proud of his team.Iowa State is 2-2 overall but Campbell is confident his team will bounce back.Next up for Iowa State is TCU, with an 11 o’clock kickoff at Jack Trice Stadium. KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Jorge Soler locked up the AL home run crown with his 48th homer, Brett Phillips drove a game-ending sacrifice fly in the ninth inning and the Kansas City Royals beat the Minnesota Twins 5-4 in manager Ned Yost’s final game. Phillips’ first career walk-off RBI gave Yost a celebratory send-off on the final day of the regular season. Twins manager Rocco Baldelli turned over coaching duties to infielder Ehire Adrianza, and AL Central-winning Minnesota hit three homers to push its major league record to 307 this season — one ahead of the New York Yankees. Minnesota finished the season 101-61, one victory shy of the franchise record set in 1965. The Twins are off until Friday when they travel to New York to face the Yankees in the best-of-five American League Divisional Series. A first pitch time has not yet been announced ALBERT LEA, Minn. – NIACC freshman Thea Lunning placed third at the Waldorf University Invitational on Sunday with an 81.Grand View’s Karli Kerigan was the individual medalist with a 71 at the Wedgewood Cove Golf Club.NIACC was fourth with a 379. Grand View was the team champion with a 338.Also for the Lady Trojans, Jordyn Barragy shot 95, Abby Murray shot 101 and Ashley Voves shot 102.NIACC concludes its fall season at the Iowa Wesleyan Invitational on Sunday. CHICAGO (AP) — Chase Daniel threw for 195 yards and a touchdown after Mitchell Trubisky got knocked out of the game with a left shoulder injury on the opening possession, and the Chicago Bears swarmed NFL rushing leader Dalvin Cook in a 16-6 victory over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday. The defending NFC North champions avoided an 0-2 start at Soldier Field and another home loss to a division rival to go with the one they suffered against Green Bay in the NFL’s 100th season opener. OGDEN, Utah (AP) — Kaden Jenks hit Rashid Shaheed for a 73-yard touchdown on Weber State’s first play from scrimmage and the Wildcats led the rest of the way in their 29-17 win over Northern Iowa on Saturday night.Jenks finished 19-of-29 passing for 219 yards and two touchdowns in a battle between two of the top teams in the Football Championship Subdivision.Weber State (2-2), which came in ranked No. 6 in the FCS Coaches poll, scored on its first five drives to open a 27-3 lead midway through the second quarter.Following Shaheed’s touchdown, the seventh-ranked Panthers fumbled the kickoff and Trey Tuttle’s 25-yard field goal extended the lead. Then, just three plays later, Brody Burke picked off a pass from Will McElvain to set up Kris Jackson’s 2-yard touchdown run that made it 17-0 less than 10 minutes into the game.Matthew Cook made a 35-yard field goal to get Northern Iowa (2-2) on the board with 3:27 left in the first quarter, but Tuttle made a 41-yarder about 2 ½ minutes later and Jenks hit Justin Malone for a 13-yard touchdown with 8:30 left in the second quarter.McElvain threw for 219 yards and two touchdowns and added 105 yards rushing on 16 carries for UNI. IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Nate Stanley threw for 276 yards and two touchdowns, Toren Young added a career-high 131 yards rushing and 14th-ranked Iowa throttled Middle Tennessee 48-3 on Saturday, moving to 4-0 for just the second time in 10 years.Brandon Smith caught both of Stanley’s TD throws for the Hawkeyes. Iowa gained 644 yards, its most in coach Kirk Ferentz’s 21 seasons in charge.Iowa racked up 358 of those yards in the first half and scored on its first four drives, a stretch headlined by an 18-yard TD throw from Stanley to Smith, to jump ahead 24-0 midway through the second quarter.Ihmir Smith-Marsette’s 14-yard touchdown run off a jet sweep pushed Iowa’s lead to 34-3 with 2:19 left in the third quarter.Asher O’Hara was 15 of 22 passing for 110 yards for Middle Tennessee (1-3). The Blue Raiders’ defense was gashed for over eight yards a play.last_img read more

Chargers’ stadium bid takes hit

first_img “If the Chargers are eventually forced to leave San Diego, there can now be no doubt that Mike Aguirre will be to blame,” Fabiani said in a statement. The team had until Feb. 8 to gain city approval for a ballot measure that would allow the Chargers to build a new stadium along with a housing and retail complex on the 166 acres that surround Qualcomm Stadium. The team is considering whether to continue pursuing the development proposal, Fabiani said. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGift Box shows no rust in San Antonio Stakes win at Santa Anita The Chargers are prohibited under the terms of their lease from talking to other cities about a new stadium until Jan. 1, 2007, but Fabiani hinted that the team would like to explore options within San Diego County before then. The Chargers’ announcement will also fuel speculation that the team could be headed to Anaheim, which is in negotiations with the NFL to build a stadium-retail complex next to Angel Stadium. Chargers owner Alex Spanos has been a primary benefactor to Anaheim mayor Curt Pringle, a former state assembly speaker. Billy Witz, (818) 713-3621 [email protected] center_img The Chargers’ bid to build a new stadium in San Diego took a step back Monday when the team said it is abandoning its attempt to get an initiative for a stadium development project on the November ballot. In announcing the move, Chargers special counsel Mark Fabiani blamed the city’s financial and political scandals for the team’s inability to attract an investment partner and pointed a finger squarely at city attorney Mike Aguirre, with whom he has publicly feuded in recent months. last_img read more