Cape Point Challenge, ChattaJack, Texas Water Safari, Dusi, Drak, Molokai and Blackburn all share a common thread.
Not the kind where you’re overwhelmed with fatalistic thoughts, but rather, fears about your own limits and whether you’ll measure up to others.
Anytime we line up for a race, there will always be a bit of nerves, but it’s a different ballgame altogether for the events that push the limits of our capabilities to the extreme.
For some it’s the excitement of the experience; the buzz that permeates through the air like electricity. For others, especially the more seasoned, it’s an ultimate test. A challenge that injects a spark of passion back into an otherwise standard fare of racing.
These events are good for the sport. They bring out the casual observer to witness the spectacle. They create new benchmarks for athletes and create defining moments in the genre. In some cases, the races will even transcend the sport in it’s entirety.
Liege-Bastogne-Liege, Flanders, Ghent Wevelgem and Milan-San Remo are known only to the most rabid cycling fans, but the Tour De France is known to all.
The Dusi Canoe Marathon, may be the heir apparent to the paddling throne. It is our Tour De France.
With all the attributes of a race that has the potential to be a star that outshines all others, it has history, extreme conditions, multi-day endurance, boat crushing rapids, long running portages and is deeply affected by weather, or more simply, mercurial and unpredictable
And like Le Tour, the race is not solely about who wins, it’s about watching the drama unfold. Seeing how the elemental antagonists play against the increasingly beleaguered athletes. Marveling at how the players push forward on pure grit and reserve strength as the river throws yet another obstacle in the way of the pursuers.
The 2017 edition of the Dusi did not disappoint. The race continues to gain status on the world stage and the organizers and athletes all deserve congratulations for a job well done.
Now we only have to wait another year...