THE GREGORY RIVER MARATHON – 3rd May 2015.
Two competitors Grant Epple / Amanda Rankin and Dave Kair (Support Crew) from Currumbin Creek Paddlers club headed up north to do the Gregory River Marathon earlier this month. This is what Amanda had to say about the race:
WHAT A RACE!!! “Time flies when you’re having fun” is the perfect way to describe paddling the Gregory River. Our craft of choice was a reinforced TK2 and the race took us 3 hours 38mins.
Those who know me wouldn’t be surprised to hear that I had the camera out along the way. Perhaps next year I will be more focused on clocking a faster race time. But this year I was happy to soak up the magical scenery, crystal clear water and excitement of the smallish rapids. The river and scenery along its banks continually changed, keeping my mind active and stimulated the entire 38km. Surprisingly I found the distance easy and I finished feeling privileged to have taken part.
The Gregory River is situated near the Gregory Downs Cattle Station approximately 450km north of Mt Isa (The middle of nowhere). It took us 3 days, 2130km, to travel by car from Currumbin Beach on the Gold Coast to the Race HQ. This small town with a population of approximately 40 hosted an exciting weekend of Saddles and Paddles.
Bush horse racing on the Saturday followed by the canoe race on the Sunday. Basically the town consists of a pub and a bush jockey club. The closest grocery store is 400km south in Cloncurry or 150km north in Burketown.Yes, logistically it’s not an easy race to get to, but I must highlight that the extra effort is well worth it. In the “Out Back” there is lots to look at along the way.
Seriously…. I only have good things to say about this race. It was absolutely brilliant. If you call yourself a “paddler” you will love this race. It is a must do!!! I can’t wait to get back there to do it again!!!A big thanks to Grant my backseat paddling partner and Dave who went above and beyond as our land support. Thank you!!!