Paddlers battle for spot on national championship team

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Gauteng hosts a series of marathon races leading up to the Gauteng Marathon Championships where the team that will represent the province at the South African Marathon Championships will be selected.

The first event was held at Homestead Dam on May 8 as a K1 event.

The event covers all ages, from under 8s to great grandmasters. There are different distances for younger and older age groups, with the main event for seniors being around 20km or 21km, depending on the size of the lake.

Jonathan Nel runs with his kayak on the portage. Photo: provided.

Many great grandmasters from the East Rand Kayak (ERK) club have participated in the race.

Benoni resident Liam Stewart was third as the first U23 paddler, while his father Michael was the first of the masters. He finished in a time of 1:42:52.

Read also: A canoe dream come true for a duo

Jonathan Nel also relished the challenge, finishing with a time of 1:49:47 in his first marathon race in flat water.

Boksburg’s Pieter Engelbrecht enjoyed his endurance challenge, finishing in 1:35:44 as first petty officer. He finished in fourth place overall.

Michael Stewart gets out of his kayak for the portage. Photo: provided.

Tommy Booth made a return to canoeing as a fitness sport to finish as the third veteran. He finished at 1:47:32.

Kempton Park’s Johan Grabe enjoyed the challenge of the competition and the carries. Grabe finished the race at 2:02.

The Gauteng Marathon Championships will take place at the Victoria Lake Canoe Club in Germiston Lake on May 28-29. It will be a K1 and K2 event.

Also Read: Local Kayak Club Positions Well at Recent Event

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