First Marathon

My First Kayak Marathon was the HCC in 2010.

Nothing can quite prepare you for the moment the Starter’s Gun fires for your first race.

During my lead up, I did keep a bit of a record of some of my training and preparation on a facebook page.

You can see that my boat choice was certainly not what would normally be considered as suitable for a long-distance event. Boat choice was all about actually being able to fit as the first objective! Yes, I had a hard time actually finding any off the shelf boat that I could actually fit in (or on in this case).

During the lead-up, I was out paddling at least once a week for the 6 months leading up to the race, and in the last 3 months before the race I was out at least twice a week and paddling between 20 and 30km. The weeks that I could not get out, I went to the gym and was doing a 2-3 hour cardio session – rowing machine, treadmill, bike.

My longest single paddle before the event was only 29km, but my coaches assured me that marathon paddling is mostly mental (Yes, being a mental case helps!) in so much that if you can paddle 30km, you can paddle 100km.

As the HCC is an overnight event, in my lead-up I was also doing a few night paddles. The very first time, it was almost like starting over again – it takes a little bit of getting used to!

With an event that spans over (up to) 20 hours, food and nutrition are also very important and something that I will discuss in more detail later.