Pietermaritzburg - Olympic swimmer Terence Parkin has confirmed that he
will be ending a gruelling 12-day 1120km multi-sport journey with the
three day Dusi Canoe Marathon from February 14 to 16.
The deaf Olympic medallist covered 960km in a similar feature last year, and
plans to extend it in 2019 as part of his drive to raise awareness of water
safety through the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation.
After leaving from the St Vincent School for the Deaf in Johannesburg on February 4 he will cycle to Midmar dam over five days, then swim eight miles at
the aQuellé Midmar Mile, and then run from Midmar to Camps Drift for the start
of the Dusi.
He will partner experienced paddler Mark Mulder in a K2 for the three day
paddle through the Valley of a Thousand Hills, hoping they can erase the
nightmare second stage that dogged them last year.
"We broke our boat last year and we lost about 45 minutes trying to fix it,"
"Water kept pouring into the boat and I had to pump all the way to Inanda dam,
but we managed to get to the end of the second leg at Inanda dam."
Based on his experiences last year, Parkin believes the Dusi forms the toughest
part of his odyssey as he comes into the three day race already fatigued.
"It is very tough because I have done a few hundred kilometres already cycling,
swimming and running," he pointed out.
"Last year I felt I was really ready but the running leg beforehand really took
its toll on my legs as it was mostly downhill. When I met up with Mark (Mulder)
I could hardly walk but he was a good leader and helped me a lot.
"I am hoping this time will be better as I am focusing a lot on running - its
80km running this year as opposed to 32 last year," he added.
Parkin has an affinity for ultra-distance endurance events, having just ridden
the first Ultimate version of the Northside uBhejane Xtreme mountain bike
challenge in December, and thrives on extreme challenges like the 1120km
journey he is planning in February.
He is driven by a desire to raise funds for the Princess Charlene of Monaco
Foundation and to raise awareness of the important work that it does in
educating and empowering youth with water safety.
"I want to help children in SA to reach their full potential and grow into
healthy adults, while at the same time being safe in the water," Parkin said
about the cause.
"Swimming has been an incredibly positive influence on my life and I want children
with hearing difficulties and other challenges to experience something similar.
Who knows, there may be more Olympic medallists out there in SA that we can
reach through this initiative!
"Water safety is important no matter where one goes and rivers like the Dusi
present a different type of water to the sea, a dam or a pool.
"Every body of water has its different challenges and cannot be treated the
same. Skills for the pool won't equip you with skills for rapidly running water
in rivers or strong undertows at sea," he stressed.
• February 4: St Vincent School for the Deaf, Johannesburg to Frankfort (200km)
• February 5: Frankfort to Phuthaditjhaba (200km) and a visit to Thiboloha School for the Deaf and Blind
• February 6: Phuthaditjhaba to Afriski Mountain Resort in Lesotho (140km)
• February 7: Afriski Mountain Resort to Underberg (180km)
• February 8: Underberg to Midmar Dam (183km)
Swimming - aQuellé Midmar Mile
• February 9-11: Midmar Mile event where Terence will swim 17.8km over 3 days
• February 11: Midmar Dam to Shooter’s Hill (26km)
• February 12: Shooter’s Hill to Albert Falls (27km)
• February 13: Albert Falls to Natal Canoe Club (27km) – Start of FNB Dusi Canoe Marathon
Canoeing - Dusi Canoe Marathon
• February 14: Natal Canoe Club to Dusi Bridge (40km)
• February 15: Dusi Bridge to Inanda Dam (44km)
• February 16: Inanda Dam to Blue Lagoon (36km)