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The last "traditional" Murray Marathon

This year’s Murray Marathon will be the last time the event will be held over the traditional Christmas/New Year period.

JARED LOUGHNAN December 19, 2013 4:15pm

In 2014 the YMCA Murray Marathon will take place from Monday 24 November to Friday 28 November.

The decision comes after long and thorough consultation with the wider paddling community, local governments, canoe clubs, schools and other key stakeholders.

The marathon will still maintain the five, three and one day options, with a change to the one day option where paddlers will be able to nominate any day over the five days on which to undertake the one day challenge.

YMCA Victoria’s Acting Chief Executive Stephen Bendle said it had not been easy to find a new time to run the event that would please everyone.

“The Murray Marathon is a much loved and treasured event but the very plain reality for all of us is that fewer people are coming to the event in its current timeframe,” Mr Bendle said.

“The paddling community has very clearly communicated to YMCA Victoria the type of event it wants to see in years to come, so from that perspective, this change is very much paddler-led and we believe we are in a better position to ensure this event is sustainable for participants, YMCA Victoria and the Murray region which we support through fundraising and economic impact generated from the event,” he said.

This year more than more than 400 paddlers and 180 boats are still for the Murray Marathon, which will start in Yarrawonga on December 27 from 7am.

The Murray Marathon, which is run by YMCA Victoria, is a five-day, 404km paddle from Yarrawonga to Swan Hill from December 27 to 31.

There is also a 235km three-day event from Tocumwal to Torrumbarry (December 28-30) and a one-day 63km paddle from Echuca to Torrumbarry (December 30).

The five-day and three-day events can be completed as part of a relay team, which allows paddlers to change over every couple of hours.

Local junior kayakers Brea Roadley and Kayla Whinray are again in this year’s 45th Murray Marathon in the K1 Cup Relay. Since 2009 both Brea and Kayla have enjoyed great success in the event.

There will also be again a strong contingent of local paddlers representing the CWA ladies relay team in the recreational long craft division (RKL2 Vet40 Relay Class).

Experienced local paddlers Adele Church, Dawn Campbell, Alison Glover, Janet Schweda will join other district paddlers Brenda Anderson, Kerrie Storer, Jennie Moodie and Jane Field all from Wagarandal, along with Helen Wall from Caniambo and Cathie Campbell from Wangaratta in the relay team. 

It will be the 9th Marathon for three ladies in the CWA team and the first for three new ladies.

“Our ages range from 80 down to 40 years so if we can arrive at Swan Hill after practise at the Yarrawonga Canoe and Kayak Club, I’m sure many other ladies could participate in the great challenge,” Adele Church team co-ordinator said.

“In 2006 we broke the record which was held by a team from Sydney for section RKL-2-WR.  Then in 2011 we bettered our time by another 14 minutes.

“Our thanks to all those who support our team and congratulations to Merl Duncan winner of the Samsung IPad.

“I hope many more people, younger or older, will take up the challenge and learn to paddle to enjoy the beautiful Murray River,” Adele Church said.

The marathon will start in Yarrawonga from 7am on December 27 at the very back of the Yarrawonga Holiday Park below the weir.

To find out more, visit www.murraymarathon.ymca.org.au or call 9403 5082.

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