FAIRPORT — Beavercreek resident Mike Chard, and his teammate Wayne Chatfield of Tipp City, won the K-2 recreation class two-man kayaking state championship earlier this month over a 6-mile course on the Grand River.
The Chard/Chatfield duo finished the course in 1 hour, 6 minutes and 36 seconds, reportedly turning more than 7,900 strokes to set a new class course record. Thomas Hull and Lynn Hawkins finished second in 1:11:17, followed by Gabrielle and Paul Rettinger in 1:14:45.
Chard had met Chatfield before when the two used to compete in running and biathlons. It was when they met on the water that they decided to team up.
“In team sports, it all depends on who you’re with. That’s why I wanted Wayne the instant I ran across him on the Great Miami River and discovered he had also gotten into kayaking,” said Chard.
As part of a training regimen, Chard does cardio work at least three times a week, lifts weights to strengthen muscles that will benefit him in the boat and puts up to 11,500 strokes in a kayak at least twice a week.
According to Chard, he now has won 16 state championships in his athletic career. He’s won the titles in kayaking, football, cyclocross, canoeing, volleyball and snowshoe racing.
Chard said that his interests help him be a better athlete on the water. Music, writing and photography are all other activities that Chard spends time with in order to become more well-rounded. Chatfield also is an accomplished photographer and is a licensed pilot.
Chard and Chatfield’s dual kayak was sponsored by Hurricane Kayaks and the SweetWater Brewing Company.