2022 Fish River Canoe Marathon Media Service  No: Fish2208

 04 Oct 2022

 Embargo: None Written by: Nick Tatham

Mackenzie in a rush to get back for Fish 2022

Cradock - Following her bronze medal at the recent ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships in Portugal, South African marathon queen Christie Mackenzie will be on the start line at Grassridge Dam on Friday despite a mad rush from Europe to the Eastern Cape.

Mackenzie was still in transit and is only expected home late on Tuesday before she packs her river marathon boat and heads to Cradock for a shot at the South African K1 River Marathon title.

It is not the first time that Mackenzie, and a number of other marathon stars, have had to speed home for the Fish. She is used to the challenge and this year's travel has been difficult but not as tough as previous years.

"We've rushed back for the Fish before and last time it was incredibly difficult," Mackenzie said candidly. "I was trying to juggle university, work on the side, World Champs and getting back for Fish so that was difficult both mentally and emotionally.

"This time has been mostly physically draining with a three hour delay on the runway so it's been a bit of a mission. This time has been stressful with regards to the flying and my body is feeling really tired."

Heading to Fish after a period of intense international competition can be mentally draining, however Mackenzie's body has taken strain too.

"Unfortunately I have done something to my calf muscle," the Euro Steel star said. "It happened on the beach portage at the World Champs and it was tough, so that's taken its toll.

"I will rush back for a physio appointment and hopefully everything will be sorted for me to race Fish."

The women's field this year has been hit with the ICF Ocean Racing World Championships taking place over the same weekend. The likes of Jenna Nisbet and Nikki Birkett won't be fighting it out, however, Mackenzie will have her defending K2 champion partner Bridgitte Hartley as well as Jordan Peek to compete against.

"With Jenna, Nikki and a whole bunch of other girls racing the surfski world's I am hoping that the pressure won't be on as much.

"With that said, Bridgitte and Jordan Peek and a whole bunch of other girls will be there to make it relatively tough."

After a long season of preparation for the flat-water marathon world championships, Mackenzie is looking forward to getting back into the river.

"I am super excited to get back into a river boat and get back to the Fish," Mackenzie mentioned. "The water level is always good and it's a nice change of pace from marathon racing.

"It will be more endurance based and not as high paced which I am looking forward to and I'm really excited to start the new river season."

The Fish River Canoe Marathon takes place from 7-8 October.

More information can be found at www.fishmarathon.org.za.


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After bagging a second bronze medal in the Under 23 women's K1 race at the ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships last week, Euro Steel star Christie Mackenzie is jetting back from Europe and will be on the Fish River Canoe Marathon start line on Friday. Anthony Grote/
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