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The Gusto of Gatewood Park Paddle Board Race is imminent

By WILLIAM PAINE

william.paine@southwesttimes.com

The first paddle board competition ever to take place in the town of Pulaski will occur this Saturday at 1 p.m. at that little lake in the sky, Pulaski’s hidden gem, Gatewood Park and Reservoir.

The entry fee to participate in the Gusto of Gatewood Park Paddle Board Race is $20 for adults and as of today, anyone 17 years of age and younger need only pay $15 to be a participant in Saturday’s event.

Race participants need not own a paddle board to enter because paddle boards will be available on a first come first serve basis from Mountain 2 Island Paddle Board Company for $10 at the Gatewood Park boathouse.

Mountain 2 Island Paddle Board Company, which is working with the Southwest Times and the Town of Pulaski to put on this event, is collecting entry fees at Mountain 2 Island store outlets at Claytor Lake, Fairlawn and Gatewood Park. Entry Fees may also be paid at mountain2island.com, where a link will guide racers to the Paddle Guru website for registration.

There will be both a Novice Race consisting of a 2.5-mile loop marked by buoys and an Expert Race which is two laps around the same set of buoys. There are two major classifications of racers, those 18 years old and older and those 17 years old and younger, AKA Youth Class.

Racers finishing first through fifth will win medals that signify their accomplishment in both categories. However, the Youth Class participants will paddle in the Novice Race or once around the buoys for their finishing placement. Adults must participate in the Expert Class race (two laps around the buoys) to win first through fifth place medallions.

In addition, the female with the fastest finish will receive a medal signifying her achievement. In the spirit of pet friendly sporting events, the Gusto of Gatewood Park Paddle Board Race will also give a special medal to the fastest paddler with a canine on board.

Note, participants who do not win the specialized medals will receive a customized medal signifying their participation in this esteemed sporting event upon their completion of the Novice Course.

In addition to the medals, the Southwest Times, the Town of Pulaski and the Mountain 2 Island Paddle Board Company will give all entrants a swag bag full of what have been described as “nifty mementos.”

The race should start promptly at 1 p.m., unless some time is needed to allow for a passing thunderstorm, which is always a possibility at this time of year. Participants should allow for travel time when coming to the Gusto of Gatewood Park Paddle Board Race as the Gatewood Reservoir is eight miles from the town limits of Pulaski.

To get there, take Main Street west, which briefly turns into Magnox drive where racers will take a right turn onto Altoona Road. A short distance later, take a left onto Mt. Olivet Drive, which winds much of the way through that tiny community on a newly paved section of roadway. The speed limit through this community is 25 mph. Take the right turn to Gatewood Parkway for nearly six miles before entering Gatewood Park and Reservoir.

As of Thursday, the geese and their remains were no were to be found at Gatewood Park, which can only be viewed as a blessing as the picnic area, where the race begins, is pristine. Lil’ Oscars, a licensed food vendor, will offer hot dogs, nachos, chips and drinks.

Weather permitting, NRCC’s Rick Maitri will be operating a drone to take aerial photographs of the occasion.

Special thanks to our sponsors, Mountain State ENT and Aesthetics, the law firm of Gilmer, Sadler, Ingram, Sutherland and Hutton, the Glenn Insurance Agency and the Travis Team Realtors for their support in this endeavor. The Southwest Times, the Town of Pulaski and Mountain 2 Island Paddle Board Company urge athletes, semi athletes and those in “decent shape” to give the Gusto of Gatewood Park Paddle Board Race a try, as it’s sure to be an unforgettable experience. Those not participating in the race are encouraged to take photos and enjoy the occasion at no cost.

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