Pietermaritzburg – Many paddlers who have successfully navigated their way through ten or more Dusi Canoe Marathons will be pleased to know that the age old tradition of tea and doughnuts being available at the finish line of all three days of the Pietermaritzburg to Durban race is set to make a return in 2015.
While the three day classic has grown tremendously as time has passed by, much of what made the Dusi the race that it has become has remained, and in this case, returned.
“The more the race changes, the more it actually stays the same,” says Chairman of the Dusi Canoe Marathon committee, Cameron Mackenzie.
“We did away with the tea and doughnuts for a while but after running a poll and receiving an overwhelming response, we’ve decided to listen to our older generation and bring back the tradition of tea and doughnuts at the finish of every day.
“We’re always looking at ways for ways to keep the Dusi real and this seemed like one of them,” he adds.
The tradition originated from the very early days of the Dusi when cold, tired paddlers would receive a welcome cup of warm, home cooked soup at the end of each day.
Later this was changed to tea and doughnuts and while the younger crop of paddlers eagerly preparing for this year’s race may see the ritual’s return as insignificant, Mackenzie believes they will grow into appreciating the finer details of the iconic adventure.
“This is the first year that we won’t have our founder – Dr Ian Player – with us for our fantastic race, which is extremely sad.
“The youngsters of today are our older generations of tomorrow and hopefully they will look to carry Dr Player’s and the Dusi’s wonderful traditions and values that make this race what it is with them into the future,” says Mackenzie.
For those who prefer a cold can of the sponsors’ amber liquid, there is no cause to fret as Hansa Pilsner will also be on hand to cater for all 18 years and older participants’ needs.
“Hansas will still be handed out at the finish line of every day,” confirms Dusi Canoe Marathon General Manager, Brett Austen Smith.
“Tea and doughnuts will then be freely available to all paddlers under a marquee a little way up from the finish line so everyone is guaranteed of enjoying whichever post-race refreshment they prefer,” he adds.
The 64th edition of the Dusi Canoe Marathon takes place from Camps Drift in Pietermaritzburg to Blue Lagoon in Durban from Thursday 19 to Saturday, February 21, 2015. More information can be found at www.dusi.co.za