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Adie hunts down a record fifth Drak Challenge title
- Updated: January 22, 2015
Current South African women’s river marathon sensation Abby Adie is relishing a return to her beloved N3TC Drak Challenge in Underberg this weekend as she goes in search of an unrivalled fifth women’s title at the event.
Adie had a stellar year on the river in 2014 as she claimed a number of the major river marathon titles – only the Dusi Canoe Marathon crown eluding. Another triumph on the Mzimkhulu this weekend is however how Adie hopes to start 2015.
‘I really want to give Drak a good go,’ says the Kayak Centre/Natal Canoe Club athlete. ‘I have a good training base in me and I’m hoping my river knowledge will come to the fore this weekend.
‘Drak is one of my favourite races and so I wouldn’t miss it for the world!’ she adds passionately.
Adie comes brings some good form on the Mzimkhulu River into this year’s clash after powering home to a comfortable victory in the Cartime Fast Drak on 30 December, finishing over 20 minutes ahead second place finisher Jenna Ward.
Despite having come out on top in 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2014, Adie has been made to work tirelessly by fellow local river marathon sensation Robyn Kime – who broke Adie’s run with victory in 2012 – throughout the past half a decade.
Kime will however be absent from this year’s start line due to her international travels, opening the doorway for some of the sport’s younger or less familiar names to present Adie with her nearest title threat.
Ward, Laura O’Donoghue and Hilary Bruss (Race Food/Pepto Sport) are likely to be the three others eyeing out a podium position however youngsters Jordan and Cana Peek, Tamika Haw and Lauren Felgate will all be eager to stake their claim for a share of the limelight as well.
Adie will have the added motivation to impress at the this weekend’s first major of the year as the 2015 Drak Challenge also doubles as the first leg of the 2015 ICF World Series.
The global series is a collection of the most popular river marathons around the world, one that Bruss claimed the overall spoils in 2011, and a strong performance in Underberg will earn Adie some valuable points towards this year’s tally.
The 22nd edition of the N3TC Drak Challenge is scheduled to start just above Castleburn Bridge and finish at Swartberg Bridge while Sunday’s second stage comes to a head at Early Mists Farm close to Coleford.
Picture: Anthony Grote/Gameplan Media