Members of the Bendigo Canoe Club have embarked on the Massive Murray Marathon, to raise funds to help improve the health and wellbeing of farmers.
A team of four BCC members will join the CWA Yarrawonga team – Chicks With Attitude – on the five day 404km paddling marathon.
“I only decided to do the Massive Murray Marathon around four months ago, so there’s been a fair bit of last minute panic training,” BCC member Marian Blake said.
“It’s all about the CWA helping to raise funds for the National Centre for Farmer Health, it’s not about getting the fastest time.”
The other BCC members who have joined forces with the Yarrawonga CWA are Mary Beedle, Michelle McLachlan and Anne-Marie Roberts.
NCFH aims to improve the health, safety and wellbeing of farm men and women, farm workers, their families and communities across Australia.
The Massive Murray Marathon is now in its 50th year and teams from around the country converge on the river for the paddle from Yarrawonga to Swan Hill.
Some entrants paddle to crowned the fastest, others do it to raise money, while Bendigo mother-daughter duo Karen and Ebony Merlo do it to spend time together.
“We basically only started paddling in May this year,” Karen said.
“Over the year we have continued to develop our skills to become stronger paddlers.
“We are so impressed with what we have achieved so far.”
Karen recalled a time back during childhood when she would camp along the banks of the Murray with her parents and watch the kayaks go past.
“I said to them ‘one day I will be one of those paddlers’.”, Karen laughed.
“And now 40 years later, I get to do it with my daughter.”
“Everyone on the marathon has been so helpful and there’s so much encouragement among the paddlers.”
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