17th Annual Green River Narrows Race

Whitewater Kayaking Instructor Photo

 Landmark Learning and NOLS Wilderness Medicine Instructors Eli Helbert and Jon Lowrance stepped up and competed in the 17th Annual Green River Narrows Race on 3 November 2012. The pair were 2 of only 7 open boat canoeists in a field of 181 paddlers who finished what is considered the "greatest show in sports" and the most difficult steep creek race in the world. Both instructors teach the American Canoe Association's Swiftwater Rescue course as well as the full range of courses offered by NOLS Wilderness Medicine Institute, in addition to other course work offered at Landmark Learning. Eli was happy to finally have some company for the race. He has been competing since the race's founding in 1996 and many years has been the only person brave enough to show up with a canoe. Up to this year, only four people had ever raced the Green in an open canoe so Saturday's race was monumental in that Eli was joined by six first-time racers in canoes. Jon estimates that Eli began racing the Green just a couple years after Jon's uncle took him down the Nantahala in a grumman canoe for his first-ever whitewater experience. "It's a pleasure to have been inspired and coached by Eli the last several years and now to finally join him in the Green Race. He taught me how to roll my canoe in 10-minutes in an eddy during in our ACA Swiftwater Rescue Instructor course just a couple years ago and I've gleaned so much from paddling with him over the years. It's been a big goal of mine to get the point where I feel comfortable (I use that term loosely) to race the Green," says Jon. Eli added, "Canoeing has been my life and I am elated that we fielded a full class of open boaters in the Green Narrows Race for the first time.  I love this race and I am psyched that I no longer have to compete alone!" Both instructors draw on their experience as whitewater paddlers while teaching for Landmark Learning and the Wilderness Medicine Institute. Each brings a passion to their courses for helping students learn the skills & knowledge necessary to paddle safely and to provide crucial rescue and medical interventions when bad things happen. Look for them in your next Landmark Learning course!