It can be hard to comprehend until you experience it for yourself, but there’s a freezing-cold lake in the French Alps that’s home to one of the biggest races in the world. The humble-yet-mighty “GlaGla Race” has snowballed over the years into the first big gathering of the season, and this year a record 620 paddlers have signed up for the ice-cold adventure.
The term “glagla” basically means “teeth-chattering cold” in French, and this year isn’t going to disappoint. The temperature will drop to -7°C (19°F) on Saturday evening, though during the race it’ll be a relatively mild +4°C (39°F).
But if you can’t make it to beautiful Lake Annecy, or if you just prefer to retain the feeling in your toes when you paddle, you can sit back and watch the 2020 GlaGla Race from the warm comfort of your own home on Saturday.
I’ll be hosting the live stream on The Paddle League along with our new friends from ‘8 Mont Blanc’ (the regional TV station) who are producing a special mobile broadcast for GlaGla. So hopefully we’ll be able to bring you a front row seat for both the men’s and women’s races as the likes of Fiona, Sonni, Olivia, Titou, Ty, Tom, Ludo and about 600 other paddlers do their best to stay warm and tick this massive adventure off their bucket list.
(For the stats aficionados: GlaGla will hit about 80% on the New Race Index, so it’ll also have a solid impact on the 2020 World Rankings.)
Most paddlers opt for the 14km main event, but there’s also a 6km option that starts at the same time and helps create the spectacle of the “mass start” where 600 paddlers stand shoulder to shoulder on the second-biggest start line in the sport (Paris at ~750 is the only bigger race I know of). It’s a pretty special event.
The race starts at 10:30am Saturday (French time) and the stream will go live on The Paddle League Facebook page about 10 minutes before that. Here’s when to watch…
2020 GLAGLA RACE: LIVE STREAM START TIMES
10:30am Saturday in France 🇫🇷
= 11:30pm Friday in Hawaii 🇺🇲
= 11:30pm Friday in Tahiti 🇵🇫
= 1:30am Saturday in California 🇺🇲
= 4:30am Saturday in Florida 🇺🇲
= 4:30am Saturday in Peru 🇵🇪
= 6:30am Saturday in Brazil 🇧🇷
= 9:30am Saturday in the UK 🇬🇧
= 10:30am Saturday in Spain 🇪🇸
= 10:30am Saturday in Italy 🇮🇹
= 10:30am Saturday in Germany 🇩🇪
= 10:30am Saturday in Viking Land 🇩🇰
= 11:30am Saturday in South Africa 🇿🇦
= 11:30am Saturday in Israel 🇮🇱
= 11:30am Saturday in Ukraine 🇺🇦
= 4:30pm Saturday in Thailand 🇹🇭
= 5:30pm Saturday in West Oz 🇦🇺
= 6:30pm Saturday in Japan 🇯🇵
= 7:30pm Saturday in QLD 🇦🇺
= 8:30pm Saturday in VIC/NSW 🇦🇺
= 8:30pm Saturday in New Caledonia 🇳🇨
= 10:30pm Saturday in New Zealand 🇳🇿
The live stream will be on The Paddle League Facebook page