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- Garcia, Park lead as defending champ Pace lurks
- SA win three medals on day one of African Championships
- Former stars Radebe and McCarthy help find new Bafana coach
- SA’s Ahlers one shot off as Canter leads on Outeniqua
- Birkett and Solms blast into lead as Dusi gets under way
Adie looks to go one better in 2015 Dusi Marathon
- Updated: December 23, 2014
Abby Adie has been a shining star on the women’s river paddling front in 2014 and the 25 year-old is now focusing all her attention towards breaking her Dusi Canoe Marathon duck having finished second for the past five consecutive years.
Robyn Kime has combined brilliantly with Abbey Ulansky in a K2 in recent years which has seen the pair clinch the 2010, 2012 and 2014 Dusi titles while Kime then added the 2011 and 2013 K1 Dusi crowns to her collection as well.
All the while Natal Canoe Club/Kayak Centre’s Adie has steadily grown as a Dusi competitor and she and Czech Republic’s Anna Adamová came within minutes of overcoming Kime and Ulansky in February this year.
It wasn’t to be though and despite a remarkable rest of the year for Adie which saw her claim the Drak Challenge, Non Stop Dusi, Umko, Berg, Fish and Sella Descent crowns, a Dusi victory is what the young star so desperately seeks.
The Pietermaritzburg resident started her 2015 Dusi build-up campaign positively with victory in the Umpetha Challenge before a sluggish effort at the Ozzie Gladwin Canoe Marathon had a few worried about the Dusi title hopeful.
A return to the front of the pack amidst a competitive women’s field at the recent Lettie Paddle 50 Miler however settled any form-conscious nerves, this despite Adie feeling the two-day clash isn’t the ideal Dusi test.
‘I don’t think the 50 Miler was a true reflection of things for Dusi,’ says Adie. ‘All of us girls are at different stages of our training and where some came in a bit tired, I came in fresh.’
‘There also wasn’t much running involved there so you can’t take too much from there.
‘River knowledge counted a lot for me at 50 Miler and there is still a lot of time for the other girls to get to know the river before Dusi,’ she adds.
The win would however have boosted Adie’s confidence at a timely stage of her campaign as the festive season sees precious few competitive river races scheduled. With few opportunities to suss out her nearest rivals prior to the 2015 N3TC Drak Challenge in Underberg, Adie is happy with where she is currently despite wanting to spend far more time on the roads and trails in the upcoming weeks.
‘I’m feeling good and I’m happy with where my paddling is having come off a good base. ’I realised when I was going up Nqumeni Hill during the 50 Miler though that I needed to work a lot on my running!’
While the temptation to turn all her attention to clocking up the miles in her legs is great, Adie realizes an all-encompassing approach is what is required at this stage of the game.
‘Even though I feel like I want to focus on my running, it is important not to forget about the paddling too. ’Dusi is three days and a long way with a lot of paddling so it’s all about trying to get the balance right at this stage,’ says Adie. The 64th edition of the Dusi Canoe Marathon takes place from Camps Drift in Pietermaritzburg to Blue Lagoon in Durban from 19-21 February.
Picture: Anthony Grote/Gameplan Media