5/1/2021 Scott Orlando Sweat Now Wine Later Canton, Ohio


Sweat Now Wine Later

2 Mile Kayak 2 Mile Run Race

Gervasi Winery Canton, Ohio

Scott Orlando

Finish Time:  34:31

Overall Place:  1st Place

Race Review By Scott Orlando

This was my 5th time competing in the Sweat Now Wine Later Race.   There aren’t many race venues that can compete with Gervasi Winery which makes this race a favorite for many.   I was the overall winner and set a course record at this race in 2019 so I set the bar and expectations fairly high for myself this year.  I was unable to train like I had wanted due to an illness and back strain the weeks leading up to the race.  My back was still sore so I contemplated not even racing.

Racers  are registered and compete in heats with the first heat at 9:00 am and the last at 1:30 pm.  One racer is sent off at a time so the race is really formatted like a time trial.  You have to push hard the entire race and compete against yourself.   I was the third person in my 9;30 am heat to start.   I made the sprint to the creek, jumped in a kayak and off I went.   I quickly realized that the water level was very low and that paddling was not going to be easy!   In most places it was difficult to get a full paddle blade into the water without hitting bottom making each stroke very inefficient.   Hang ups on the creek bottom and on rocks were frequent each one costing precious seconds.   Within a half mile of the start I passed 3 kayaks from the previous heat that had flipped from being stuck on rocks.  All were ok so there was no need to help.  I also caught up to the two kayaks that started ahead of me in the heat.  I had to slow down and wait for a chance to pass which cost me a few more seconds but eventually found a spot in the creek wide enough to pass.   I was physically taxed from the challenging kayak conditions but finally made my way to the exit to start the run.   I had a clean transition and was quickly onto the trail.   The kayak leg took its toll on me and I was unable to really catch my breath or get into a groove on the run.   I gave it all that I had but it just didn’t feel like it was enough.

As I neared the end of the second mile I decided I needed to make one final push to the finish.  The course was advertised as 2.5 mile run but as I turned the corner the finish line had been moved from its tradition location of the Crush House parking lot to the trail head which was right in front of me.   One final short sprint and I was done.

I never felt comfortable on the course and even though the race was short I really had to exert a lot of effort.   I didn’t think I did enough to win.  I had to wait until late in the afternoon once all of the heats had finished to see the results.  At the end of the day I was surprised to see my name on the top of the leaderboard.   I didn’t have my best stuff for this race but I pushed hard and got the win.  This was my second overall win at this race and my second overall win at any race.

The fine people at Run Canton once again did an outstanding job organizing the race.   They always have excellent race swag with custom finisher medals and tech shirts.   Steve and Lisa from Run Canton always go above and beyond to accommodate all racers and make sure they have a positive and enjoyable race experience.   This is a great race for beginner kayakers and the run course can be walked.  I highly recommend this race for anyone who wants to try a multi sport race and enjoys beautiful scenery and excellent wines at the finish line.