Here's a picture from the Murray Marathon - from left-to-right we have Georgie, Steve, Heidi, Me, Ross, John, and Ben in the back row; then Luke, Kirralee and Megan in the front row. Geelong Canoe Club had two teams in the Murray this year - Me, Steve, Luke, Ben were in one and Ross, John, Megan were in the other. We finished 1st and 3rd, respsctively, look how big the winning trophy is! We had to be satisfied with just the smaller ones to take home as the Red Cross keep the main one, probably a good idea as the event finishes on New Year's Eve and the larger cup might get filled up with all manner of things otherwise!
Highlights during the Murray were:
Day One, where our team was close to the record (we blame tiredness and low water for the 4 days after day 1!!),
The wake-up calls at 5.30-6.oo am in the official Red Cross free campsites,
Our support crews (big thank-you to you girls for getting us guys organised),
The mad-house circus of the checkpoints and the logistics of three cars and two teams,
The day where I had to paddle twice and paddled one hour, then had an hour break, then paddled only 50 mins, and managed to completely hit the wall in that 50 mins and get outsprinted by the junior K1's (they were fast juniors this year though, um......),
Peachy for keeping the dream alive and in fact realising the dream with a podium finish,
Ross' escapades - every day = a new adventure,
Johns drinking efforts on New Years Eve (beer), and Luke and Steve's (milk),
Megan's pink and black striped boat - highly visible about 1 km out from checkpoints, maybe also from space,
The comments from the peanut gallery whenever anybody did something around the camp,
Cutting out an old footbar and fibreglassing in a new one to my new WW boat the day before the race,
The daily battles, tactics and split time worries as a result of the eventual 2nd placed team "Crazy Cup Kids" - good on you kids!!
On behalf of our team I would like to thank the Geelong City Council and their athlete support arm Bis-Sport for their support!
As for next year.............I think I will give it a miss - it's a very hard event and the phase of training I will be in 07/08 probably won't allow it. However, I have decided I will be back again to the Murray, hopefully in a high-water year, to have a crack at the individual full-distance title. I would encourage anyone to do it, the Red Cross do a fantastic job, everything runs like clockwork, and it's a big fundraiser for them. So if you don't like giving blood (like me), why not paddle the Murray in '07?
Geelong City Council - http://www.geelongaustralia.com.au/
Red Cross Murray Marathon - http://www.redcross.org.au/vic/murraymarathon.htm