Local canoeist Daniel van Eeden performed well for Gauteng at the recent South African Marathon Championships.
Blairgowrie resident and Laerskool learner Unika train at Dabulamanzi Canoe Club, Emmarentia.
The 12-year-old competed in the U14 division at the Championships in Hazelmere Dam, KwaZulu-Natal, and finished the 15.5km race in 1:32:00, coming in eighth.
He also doubled in the K2 (two-man kayak boat race), with his good friend Matthew Charter to finish in 1:26:00, as the fifth U14 runner-up.
This follows Daniel winning the U14 division of the Gauteng Marathon Championships and racing further across the province to earn selection for the SA Marathon Championships.
“I’ve been canoeing for three and a half years and my favorite thing is that over time I get faster and stronger after doing the work to get there,” Daniel told the Randburg Sun.
“I do sprint and marathon races, and I love them both. But I seem to lean more towards marathons because I have the strength for it.
While running on his own, Daniel also enjoys running K2 with Matthew whenever he can.
“The only thing I don’t like about canoeing is that in winter it’s cold and your feet can get wet. And when you fall in freezing water, it’s even worse.
Daniel must wait until the Gauteng Canoe Union Sprint Championships in April next year before competing again.
But he will train regularly until then to maintain his speed and stamina.