Dottie Hodges: Chattajack Folder

Dottie Hodges Chattajack

[Editor’s note: It’s interesting to see how different people prepared for this race. Here’s a report from Dottie Hodges, one of the 100/100 paddlers!]

ChattaJack 2014:  The numbers and a quick synopsis of my well-earned 32 mile race on the Tennessee River on a standup paddleboard.

Chattajack 2014


Days spent training for CJ:————299

Miles paddled in training: ————315.29 – many of them on this course

Miles ran/biked in training: ———-96.76

Biggest paddle week: ——————25 miles

Lisa Schell and Dottie Hodges


Miles raced for Chattajack————32.54

Total time with stops (2): ————8:37’48

Total paddle time: ———————8:20’48

Moving pace: —————————-3.89mph/15:23.42 mins per mile: close to 4mph goal

Pace with stops: ————————3.77mph/15:54.7 mins per mile

Potty moments: ————————3.  One by sea, two by land.  One coulda been by sea, the other: no way ;).

Food consumed: ———————–6 1-hour portions Hammer Perpetuem Caffe Latte/Plain. One Hammer chocolate-peanut butter gel.  One Hammer Espesso gel with caffeine.  Four “tropical” homemeade snacks with sushi rice, pineapple, coconut, and crème of coconut.  Two “mexi” snacks with sushi rice, chicken, and avocado.  Two “PBJ” snacks with sushi rice, muscadine jelly, and peanut butter.  No stomach issues.

Hydration: ——————————Consumed just over 1 Liter of Hammer Fizz???  Swore I was drinking more, but peed three times.  Recovery hydration of 1.5 servings of Hammer Recoverite, part of a 32 ounce tallboy I’d been craving since last year, and a chocolate milk.

Joe Bark


Most surreal moment: —————-Walking down the start ramp with Julia Nicholls and Joe Bark and telling Joe how stoked I was to be riding his board. (12’6”x26.5”, made for BOP last year for his daughter, purchased by me last Nov.).

Best tactical moment: —————–Drafting with Lara Svette through the Suck Creek wind tunnel

Biggest surprise: ———————–Paddling totally alone for so much of the race.  See point below.

Biggest let down: ———————–My mental state at mile 24, stopping to clear my head related to solitary point above.

Biggest life sustainers: —————-Tracy Thomas for assists in board handling and Suck Creek cheering, Kit Turner and Jeffrey Turner at mile 20 with cowbells in hand.  Morning messages from JoMarie and Amelia.  Phone call with Jessica Wexler at mile 27.  My parents checking on me and a text from Amanda Heidtke in that same dark, dark stretch.  Tommy Cost who came along at just the right time from further up the course and said those three little words every girl wants to hear “The wind’s dying!!”

Biggest relief: —————————-Tolerable winds and reduced weeds at Mullens’ Cove from what they’d been just a few weeks ago. I mean: RELIEF.

Finish line awards:———————-Huge awards go to Kit Turner for placing that medal around my neck, Hal Turner for delivering my tallboy, Heather Karuup for staying to see me in and cheering like a madwoman, to Melia for the awesome bullhorn welcome, to Ben for running back to cheer me in, the few folks still on the dock (sorry if I missed tagging you!) and to the DJ for playing something I could dance to on my board after the sprint.  And to those who missed my finish – yes.  There was dancing and a self-induced beer shower a la le Tour de France.  It was pretty epic.

New best friend: ————————Katy Clarke, with whom I paddled the last ~4 miles, yet still encouraged me to sprint for it at the end.  I am forever grateful for your company and so glad we could share the view of Hales Bar together.   Looking forward to paddling more with you!!

Most Surprising/Happy Stat: ——–Even after my 8.5 hours, my scorching 1:29.6 sprint time was only 6 seconds slower than Hal’s…and faster than 80 other racers’.  <Smiles, blows smoke off end of paddle>

Lowest moment: ———————–Sullivan’s landing, 9 miles to go.  Potty break in the woods and appreciating the words of encouragement from April Castleberry and Jeffrey Turner to lift my spirits.  No intentions of quitting, but lots of self depracation.

Recovery high: ————————–Eating tons of food with CJ friends, then going for a downtown recovery paddle with my Hal.

Recovery low: —————————As a photographer, realizing most of the shooters each had “moved on” from their shooting spots without me, including the finish.  I found one Suck Creek shot that I am grateful to Richard Klapper for taking.

Dottie HodgesWhen I decided to quit: —————Never.

When I pulled out: ———————Never.

Biggest takeaway:———————–I can’t compare myself to others’ performance.  I can’t compare myself to others’ expectations of me.  I can only compare myself to my own journey and accomplishments and therein lies the greatest joy. Chattajack is something that for me several years ago would have been unthinkable, ‘for those freaky ultra athletes’.  Now it’s for me, and for those I call my friends – whether my speedy husband and my family, my local paddling family, my ‘Back of the Pack’ group peeps, or the legions of new and dear friends met through the race circuit.

I end this season precisely as I set out to do a year ago when I applied to Hammer at the suggestion of one of their customer reps:  to complete Chattajack as a Hammer Nutrition sponsored athlete.

Check. 🙂