Catherine “Cat” Uden doesn’t know exactly how many stand-up paddleboard races that she has won in her career.
For the 37-year-old first-grade teacher, it is all about her love for paddling.
Uden can add at least one more victory to her unofficial total. Despite the light rain, wind and strong currents, Uden won the female division in Saturday’s La Roota Regatta held at the Blue Marlin Fish House. She finished the 8.4-mile course in 1 hour 41 minutes and 3 seconds.
“I love paddling! I could paddle all day, every day.” Uden said. “I was taught racing techniques from Precision Paddleboards and also coach Mike Metzger. The entire SUP racing community is very friendly and supportive.”
The mother of two boys lives in Fort Lauderdale and teaches at Stirling Elementary in Hollywood. Every chance she gets, she is out on the water, and it has become a family activity.
When the school year ends, it is a safe bet that it will be several months before she is wearing in anything other than sandals and a bikini with a paddle in hand. Her passion for paddleboarding has translated into great success, including obtaining a sponsor.
“I was lucky enough to be sponsored by BOGA Paddleboards, and they provided me with an amazing race board,” she said.
Male division-8.4-mile (12.6 and under): 1. Mark Athanacio 1:27:53, 2. Andres Pumbo 1:29:46, 3. Dom Eisenman 1:32:50. Female 8.4 (12.6 and under): 1. Cat Uden 1:41:06, 2. Gina Siegers 1:42:46, 3. Nessa Brunton 1:43:00. Male 4.2 (12.6 and under): 1. Brett Pierce 0:48:57, 2. Timothy Battle 0:49:06, 3. Gabriel McCorry-Henry 0:51:13. Female 4.2 (12.6 and under): 1. Victoria Zatorski 0:50:01, 2. Meina Cherry 0:53:14, 3. Jen Hayes 0:53:53. Male 8.4 (14 and over): 1. David Daniels 1:31:52, 2. Joey Kolisch 1:32:29, 3. Camilo Marmol 1:38:06. Male 4.2 (14 and over): 1. Alex Pelkey 44:22, Stephen Chase 46:37, Jeff Rubin 55:20.
As many as 1,000 athletes are expected to test their strength and endurance in the fourth annual Key West Triathlon on Dec. 7.
Triathlon participants will swim the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, bike along a portion of the Florida Keys' scenic Overseas Highway and run on a fast, flat course along the coast.
The event challenges beginning and seasoned athletes alike.
Both Olympic-distance and shorter sprint-distance triathlons are scheduled to be run.
The Olympic-distance challenge features a 1.5 kilometer swim, 40K bicycle ride and 10K run, while sprint-distance competitors will complete in a three-quarters kilometer (.75K) swim, 20K bicycle ride and 5K run.
Three-person relay teams can compete as well, with each team member tasked with completing one leg of the challenge.
The weekend events kick off with a race expo scheduled from noon to 9 p.m on Dec. 6 at Higgs Beach on Atlantic Avenue, which is the headquarters for the race and associated activities. Race packets will be available for pickup on Dec. 7, but not on race day.
Saturday's triathlon begins at 7 a.m., with wave starts planned at preset intervals, and the finish line at Higgs Beach.
An awards ceremony and postrace party are planned from 6 to 11 p.m. Saturday at Charlie Mac's.
Awards will be given to the top three finishers in each age group for each competition, as well as the top three overall male and female finishers and top three male and female masters for racers age 40 and over.