Rob: Paddling is what we’re talking about here today. You had a bit of a goal and, just like a lot of things, it was adapted due to COVID-19. What was your original plan?

Lawrence Carter: I have been dreaming for years of paddling in the Yukon River Quest, which is a kayak endurance race. It runs from Whitehorse to Dawson City. It’s 720 kilometres in a three day period.

Rob: Why did you want to do this?

Lawrence: Probably because I’m not very bright! I like a challenge and I don’t mind suffering a little bit and it was something I just really, really wanted to do. Unfortunately, it’s not going to happen this year, but it happens every year, so I’ll make it happen eventually.

Rob: This year the Yukon River Quest is doing a virtual race. How does this work?

Lawrence: One of the rules is that you have to do it on a flat, closed circuit. They’ve cut the distance in half and they’re going to double it and put it on the river map so you can see how long it took you to cover your course. It’s still 350 kilometres, and I still have to do it in four days, so that works out to about 88 kilometres a day. I’m going to be out at Emerald Lake doing it. Emerald Lake around is about. 4.75 kilometres, so it ends up being about 80 laps.

Rob: Well, I guess if there’s a Lake to do 80 laps in Emerald Lake is a pretty nice one.

Lawrence: It’s funny, because one of the things that they tell you is to pick one of your favorite lakes or a lake that you prepared to hate.

Rob: You’re going to be doing this as a charity fundraiser?

Lawrence: Because I don’t have any other racers to keep me engaged, I thought I would add a charity aspect to the race just to give me a bit of motivation to continue and make my goals each day. I work for Atmosphere Sports in Banff and our big charity is Jumpstart for Kids. Last year we raised $17,000 and that all stays in the Bow Valley to pay for soccer and ballet and swimming lessons and things like that.

The other charity I am raising money for is Rocky Mountain Adaptive, which provides opportunities for differently abled people to participate in all the awesome sports that happen here. Both of those charities obviously are suffering much like everybody else through the current pandemic, so I’m hoping that I can raise some money to help them out.

I have set up a Facebook event here. At the bottom of the description, they will see links to both of the charities. That’ll take them right to my donation page and they can donate there.

Rob: When are you going to be doing this virtual race?

Lawrence: I am booked off from July 13th until July 17th. It’s going to be the 13th through the 16th I’ll be paddling. On the 17th I’ll be probably sleeping mostly. I’ll be paddling from about 5:00 in the morning till about 7:00 each night. If there’s anybody in the Bow Valley that has a paddleboard or a canoe or kayak that would like to come out and paddle along with me for awhile, I’d love to have some company.