Frequently Asked Questions
Why is the race 100 miles? Will there be a shorter race?
Why is the race entry $150? Is that per person, even for relays?
How do I train for 100 miles!?
What type of hazards are on the course?
Do I have to wear a life jacket?
Will there be other boat traffic on the river?
Can we stop?
How much food do I need?
How do I race through the night?
What if I can’t make the Friday check in and safety talk?
Where should I stay Friday night and Saturday night?
Where do I leave a car on Friday?
Where do I leave a car at the race start?
How do I get back to my car at the start?
Is there on water support or a sweep boat?
- There are many paddle sport events throughout California, from 300 yard long slalom races to 5-20 mile events, and several events up to 25 miles, but there is no ultra marathon paddle anywhere on the West Coast. Rivers for Change decided to fill that gap. The California 100 will be a unique experience that will push many paddlers to their limit and will be equally rewarding. Race entrants will enjoy a quality event that benefits the mission of Rivers for Change, which is to connect more people to their rivers, connect adventure to conservation and promote an understanding of rivers from source to sea.
- It’s possible that in future years we will decide to add a shorter course to race concurrently with the Cal 100. Since 2013 is the Cal 100’s inaugural year, we decided to do just one race and do it right.
NorCal Paddling Club’s online forum is a great place to get info on the various races and start discussions at norcalpaddler.org. One of these excellent shorter races is the Great Russian River Race on May 4th. The cost of this race is $50 for early entry, $70 for later entry. The race is 15 miles long.
- First and foremost, the Cal 100 is a fundraising event that supports the non profit organization Rivers for Change and allows RFC to continue it’s programing in public outreach and source to sea literacy.
The Cal 100 passes through four separate counties, multiple city jurisdictions , all requiring separate permits (with fees) at each place it touches ground- the start, finish, and three checkpoints, for a total of 5 locations. Each of these locations requires infrastructure, volunteer and paid staff, support, communication, transportation etc. Race fees also cover insurance costs.
The race is continuous and travels into the night. Our priority is everyone’s safety and enjoyment. Dozens of volunteers will be up around the clock to make sure everyone has a successful race. Even though our Cal 100 team is largely volunteer, it is a full time job to develop a race like this and there is a cost to supporting volunteers and racers.
For an event that spans 100 miles, 8-20 hours of paddling, includes three staffed checkpoints with water resupply etc, a race shirt, a BBQ on Sunday with free raffle for paddlers, silent auction, free massage, music and fun, AND supports an organization that is promoting river health and access for everyone, $150 will be well worth it!
- Even though relays and teams make up only one boat, they add to the number of actual participants we need to plan race infrastructure for (ie- how many porto-potties, how much food, etc.), so we need to charge on a per person, not per boat basis.
- Lucky for you we’ve got an expert to help you! Visit our Race Clinic page for more info.
There are many training strategies dependent on what your goals are. All of them include at least one longer paddle for beginners. This is a paddle of at least 5 to 6 hours after a couple months of training in the boat with shorter distances. It is very common for the 1 to 2 hour workouts several times a week to be the bread and butter with a few 3 to 4 hours ones tossed in on the weekend here and there.
Most important, this is an awesome opportunity to explore water ways in your area. Mix up the longer weekend paddles and find some new places to explore with friends. Having fun with the training is key above all else.
- The most hazardous thing you will encounter are semi-submerged trees or shrubs, the second biggest hazard is the cold water. Expect water temps to be in the high 40′s or low 50′s. Avoid any overhanging vegetation on the banks of the river and anything sticking out of the water. These branches can create a sieve that your boat may pass through, but you might not, or your boat may “wrap” around them and get pinned. It is the #1 most dangerous feature on the course. Knowing how to maneuver your boat around these hazards should keep you safe.
The small section of class II riffles may be intimidating to some folks used to paddling flat water. If you missed the training clinic on March 16th with Carter Johnson on the Sacramento River we suggest you seek out comparable rapids in your location and go with a group of experienced paddlers to practice maneuvering through them. Below is a photo of some of the turbulent water you will go through.
- YES! It is required that you wear a Coast Guard type III approved inherently buoyant vest style life jacket throughout the entire race. (This means no inflatable life vests).
- This is a holiday weekend; expect to see a lot of boaters on the water. The density will be greater near the population centers and the launch ramps. It will be a mix of motorized boaters, paddlers and some fisherman. The river is not very good for wake boarding- so hopefully there won’t be much of that, but there could be some around Chico. The water will be cold so that may keep a lot of boaters off the water. If the snow pack doesn’t increase soon, the flows will be reduced, which can slow down motorized boat traffic.
- Yes! To finish with a good time, you have to finish. For most people this means taking breaks. Take as many breaks as you need. It is common and you will see other people resting too. The Check points are a great opportunity for a rest. Simply floating in the current for 5 minutes here and there is another, but always pay attention that you are not drifting into a snag or tree!
Note- if you decide to drop out of the race you MUST notify a race official immediately or you may be charged for a search and rescue mission. Phone numbers will be provided in your race package.
- It is critical to make sure you eat and drink through the duration of the race. For most, this is the single most critical make or break it factor. Make sure you have several food options for re-fuelling either with you on your boat or meet your support friends at each check point. You will be surprised at what you end up craving and what you simply can no longer get down. Water will be available at the checkpoints. Some food will be available, but don’t rely on those snacks. If you have a support person, make sure they bring you a meal at the finish!
- See the list of required lights under Race Rules. We strongly recommend you have a bow light as your primary light and have a headlight for secondary use. If you rely on a headlight only you could have bugs and bats swarming your head. Glow sticks must be on at dusk and remain on at all times while on the water. Lights must be on at dusk as you exit and enter checkpoints or the finish. Be sure to have spare batteries and at least two lights.
- Notify us immediately at cal100 [[at]] riversforchange [.] org
- The check in and mandatory safety meeting is in Redding at the race start area. We recommend staying in Redding Friday night. There are many hotels near the race start and nearby in Redding.
Check with the following hotels and be sure to ask for the California 100 paddle race discount:
Bugetel River Inn Ask for the California 100 discount.
Thunderbird Lodge Use code BE5 to receive the Cal 100 discount!
Best Western Plus Hilltop Inn Book at the special rate of $109.99 plus tax, directly through the front desk staff. Be sure to tell them you are with California 100 paddle race. (Special rate not available through 800 number or internet)
There are a few RV sites near Redding, but the only tent camping location near Redding is about 30 minutes west at Wiskeytown Reservoir at the Oak Bottom marina Campground. This is a beautiful spot to camp if you are going to hang out Friday and relax.
The race ends in Chico, but our awards ceremony/BBQ party is at Checkpoint 3, near the town of Corning. Hotels in Chico could be busy because it is Cal State Chico graduation weekend. We recommend you look quickly for hotel rooms in Corning or Red Bluff.
There is camping available next to Tehama County River Park at the Woodson Bridge State Recreation Area.
Be sure to join us onFacebook to get all the updated info!
- If you are leaving a car at the finish you will need to park it at Irvine Finch State River Access on Friday. Please print out and leave parking sign on your dashboard. Anyone parking at Irvine Finch will be required to pay the $6 State Park fee. If you are parking there overnight, it will still only be $6. There is a Park host that will be in residence at the parking lot so it is fairly safe, but we, nor State Parks will be held responsible in the event of a loss or damage of property.
- We will direct you to a parking lot near the City Civic Center after you drop off your boat at the race start. You may park here overnight if needed. Again, this area is relatively safe, but we, nor the City of Redding will be held responsible in the event of a loss or damage of property. Please print out and leave parking sign on your dashboard.
- The Cal 100 is not providing a shuttle. We encourage you to get on the Cal 100 Facebook page and meet fellow paddlers to coordinate shuttles.
- There will be on water safety vessels, but they are there for emergency response only. There will be a safety sweep behind the last boat.