Candidates for MRC elections on 22nd August

Ten people have been nominated for the seven Marathon Racing Committee positions coming up for election at this year’s ACM, and have written a few words below about why they would like to serve on the committee. If you care about the committee that runs Marathon, please ensure someone from your club attends the ACM meeting over the Nationals weekend. One person per club can vote for up to seven of the following:-

DAVID ENOCH I have been on the MRC for many years and since 2006 I have served as Treasurer. I am an international selector and also make all the arrangements for the International Team trips – booking minibuses & trailers, ferries, air flights, accommodation & food, accreditations and making the entries. I also look after all the trophies and medals for the National Championships and Hasler Finals and ensure that they are all engraved up to date. If elected for a further term, I would hope to continue all the above duties.

JAMES SMYTHE I’ve served a couple of stints on the MRC either side of starting a family, most recently for the last 2 years. This time round I’ve been particularly involved in Athlete Development, leading the creation of a new National Training Squad based on selected GB team athletes and those close to achieving this standard; helping to establish a stronger identity for the GB Marathon Team together with new kit and media communications, coordinating regional training activities in winter, managing the annual Gent development trip, (for nearly 10 years now), and acting as a member of the Selection Committee from this year. I also manage the MRC’s website and Facebook page to put information out to the racing community on the MRC’s behalf. Canoeing made a huge difference to me as a young person, giving me confidence and personal fulfilment. The chance to help other young athletes get the same thing out of the sport is why I enjoy what I do on the MRC, so I hope I’ll get the chance for the next two years.

NICK ADNITT Why should I be elected to the MRC?   I have been racing kayaks and canoes for many years in slalom, white water, surfing, sprint and marathon. I have completed the DW four times. I have a particular interest in encouraging the canoe side of marathon racing. Seeing the need for a light weight, sit & switch, ICF-compliant canoe, I developed, designed and manufacture a unique carbon racing C1 which was used by the first women to complete and win the 2014 Waterside Series and DW. A C2 version of the boat becomes available this year. To further encourage canoe racing, I now promote a National series of ten mile time trials, working in conjunction with Hasler event organisers at club level. I would like to focus on the interests of canoeists on the MRC.

SUE HAWTHORN I am a member of Worcester Canoe Club and have been a member of the MRC for a few years now and have been the National Marathon Champs Coordinator over the past few years. I like to think that I bring a female paddlers’ perspective to discussions as well as that of a paddler in the middle divisions who coaches a lot of juniors. I am an enthusiastic supporter of the club system and clubs and how we get both juniors and adults enthused to compete in marathon races. I believe I have a reasonably well-informed and balanced layman’s view of Health and Safety, which I try to bring to discussions around this important topic.    We rely on the many volunteers in the sport and I believe we must do everything we can to make sure they feel supported and valued both when they do the fantastic job they generally do but also when things don’t go quite to plan.

GRAHAM WARLAND I have been involved with Banbury and District Canoe Club since 1986. I am both club chairman and trustee and organise both our annual races e.g. the Banbury Hasler marathon race and the Ross Warland Memorial Canal Challenge. With respect to the MRC I am responsible for the club calendar and have recently taken over as the MRC records officer. I would like to think I represent the concerns and views of the smaller, less fashionable clubs and would like to see the MRC take a more active role in promoting athlete development at a regional level.

OLLIE HARDING I’m a lifelong paddler and junior coach at Longridge Canoe Club. I’m the club chairman too but am retiring this year. I have served on the MRC for 6 years and am currently coopted as one of the development coaches. On the MRC I have served in various roles including; calendar compiler, trailer driver, development coach and ad hoc team manager.  I have been involved with the organisation of three National Championships and many residential training camps at Longridge and in Portugal. I represent the MRC on the English Coaching Management Committee (ECMC). I would like to continue serving the paddling community and the MRC.

TREVOR KIRKHAM I am a teacher at Langley School in Norfolk, which is affiliated to Norwich Canoe Club, and I run the school kayaking team.  Student interest in both the sprint and marathon disciplines has built up over the last 5 years or so and we compete in as many events as we can.   My interest started as a supportive parent but having found that the sport is run by too few volunteers I am more than happy to offer my skills and do my bit for canoe racing. I was one of the main organisers of the National Marathon Championships in 2012, and again in 2015, as well as all the Norwich Haslers over the last few years. I also sit on the Sprint Racing Committee and am a regular volunteer regatta official at Nottingham.

KEITH MOULE I have worked with the athletes over the last year to help raise the profile of the discipline. In that time we have managed to improve the communication with the wider canoeing community both domestically and internationally via social media. This has helped to celebrate the successes of the athletes and helped to secure sponsorship for the GB squad. This year we have managed to secure support / sponsorship for clothing, nutrition and hydration to support the development of athlete at junior, under 23 and senior levels. As a result of the support for the squad, the canoe clubs in Britain are also able to access discounted clothing for their canoe clubs. I would like to continue this work and further raise the awareness of the discipline and improve the experience of being part of the sport for all levels of the discipline. My focus is mainly on the elite level of the sport; however I believe that if this level improves, it will inspire new generations of athletes wanting to be part of the sport at the top level. I am also currently a member of the GB team and feel that having an athlete representative on the marathon committee will support the diversity of the committee; I plan to be a voice for the athletes to help raise the profile and enjoyment of our sport.

DYSON PENDLE The MRC is made up of people who have a wide knowledge of marathon racing and hope to guide and promote it so that we have wide participation, develop high level athletes and it is something people like doing. First elected in 2005, my aim was to promote development in marathon racing. I introduced training days and camps for young athletes wishing to develop their racing skills. I also wanted to make marathon racing more appealing to those young athletes that wanted to explore the limits marathon could offer and hopefully keep them involved in the sport for as long as Roland! We have further developed training days so that we now have a permanent winter training venue in Milton Keynes. Main achievements: to have Gent marathon and French Nationals as part of MRC’s development package. Continue the Spanish racing connection to have an insight from the top nation in marathon and flat water racing. (Each year I visit Spain during their summer series of races and act as team manager for the MRC). I also team manage other events or drive the bus to counties like Slovenia, Portugal etc.) I supported the introduction of compulsory wearing of team kit whilst racing and age group only classes at the Nationals Championships.

CAROL PARLANE I would like to put myself forward for the role of secretary to the committee. A little about me, I have been involved in paddling one way or another since 1984 when I joined Wey Kayak Club.

New Race Records Officer

After many years of painstaking service to the MRC and to marathon canoeing, Rosemary Illinesi has handed over the task of keeping the marathon database up to date to Graham Warland
The Marathon Racing Committee would like to say a huge thank you to Rosemary for her hard work in keeping on top of the endless changes that are needed to a database of over four thousand paddlers. It is this Rankings List that makes the Hasler Series run as smoothly as it does, so is an incredibly important job. Many thanks, Rosemary.
Imagine trying to keep track of those who spend their time racing, getting promoted, changing their BC number, their name or their club with no thought to the hassle this causes – best of luck, Graham!!
Diane Bates
MRC Secretary

Report on the National Women’s and Girls Training Day

The MRC along with Lizzie Broughton and Jenny Swallow organised a female only training day to help increase participation in female canoe marathon racing. We had 37 senior women and junior girls turn up to take part in our training day. With the lack in numbers this year in all of the assessment races we feel this is an issue that needs to be addressed.

There are hundreds of women and girls across the country taking part in regular Hasler races, but the question is why haven’t they wanted to step up to be more competitive in assessment races? We had two excellent paddling sessions, the first session being in K1’s doing short races around an island in three groups. All the girls were trying really hard racing around the washes and practising the fast turns. The second was a K2 session where 19 K2’s took to the water. This session concentrated on fast changes around the washes with some races on the way back. During the lunch break we had a fantastic talk by the precision hydration boys informing the athletes the importance of hydration during training and racing.

We split the group in to smaller focus groups to have some informal conversation around participation in marathon racing. Each group were given a questionnaire to prompt the conversations. Here are some common themes found across the group.

What motivates you to go canoeing?

• Fun/ enjoyment
• Meeting new people/ making friends
• Keeping fit
• Sense of achievement
• Competition and doing well.

What do you enjoy about racing?
• Seeing new people across the country
• Competition
• Winning
• Achieving goals
• Self-improvement
• Racing on different rivers

What are your goals for this year?
• Medals at Norwich/ July regatta
• Promotion
• Selections
• Getting faster
• Getting on to a squad

What can we do to encourage more girls/women to take part in marathon racing?
• More female only training day/ training weekends/ training camps
• Facebook page
• Make assessment races less intimidating
• Publicise entries before assessment races
• Make Facebook group to help communication between girls before assessment races
• Squad set up

Here are some ideas that we can consider for the future;
• More female only training day/ weekends/ camps
• Set up a Facebook and other sources of social media to allow a space for ladies racing and interested in racing to discuss future races and allow more experience paddlers answer any questions anyone may have (this has been done!!)
• Non-assessment competitive female only races – 8-12 mile races with portages open to senior, under 18 and under 16
• Regional/national squads – something for the development of younger paddlers, university students and women coming in to the sport as a senior who may need more support and encouragement to take part

Thanks for reading!
Jenny Swallow

Future Venues for National Marathon Championships

The Marathon Racing Committee is keen to source new venues for the National Marathon Championships, in particular we do not currently have a venue for 2016 and welcome any enquiries about possible venues. We have recently drawn up a set of requirements to give those considering running the event more of an idea of what is needed. They are currently in draft being tested out his year and can be downloaded here. It is a major undertaking but can also be a challenge that brings a club together and can provide a source of income to boost club funds.

If you have a suitable venue but think you may not have enough members within your club you could consider running the event with another clubs support. Talking to Graham Warland of Banbury about how this is working for the Hasler final this year might be helpful.

If you think your club might be able to run the event please contact Sue Hawthorn (National Champs Co-ordinator) or any member of the MRC for an initial chat and / or further information.

Hargas Memorial Race, Slovakia

Invitation from the organisers of the Hargas Memorial Marathon in Slovakia:

It is our pleasure to invite your athletes to participate on the oldest canoe/kayak sport event held in Slovak Republic – HARGAS MEMORIAL, which will celebrate its 70th anniversary this year.

HARGAS MEMORIAL 2015 is four-day marathon event taking place on 23rd – 26th of September, 2015. It is located on the Danube River, in the area from Bratislava to Šamorín.


The first 8 boats in the finish will be rewarded with the prize money as follows:
15.000,- EUR for K2 Men
10.000,- EUR for K1 Men
10.000,- EUR for K1 Women
10.000,- EUR for C1 Men

5.000,- EUR for K1 Men
5.000,- EUR for K1 Women

We are kindly asking you to inform your athletes to make entries by themselves through the web page

Closing date for all entries is 13th of September, 2015.
After the receipt of the entries we will directly contact all competitors regarding further
necessary information.

Accreditation of competitors will be held in area of the ELEMENTS RESORT in Šamorín.

For more information do not hesitate to contact us by email:

Best regards,

Boris Bergendi
Slovak Canoe Association