Meet Dusi’s dark horse

2013-01-03 00:00

AS the start of the Dusi 2013 inches closer, the dark horse to watch in the women’s racing will most certainly be Jen Theron.

Although she was born and raised in KZN, the home of the Dusi, Theron is living and training in Johannesburg. She is best known for her flatwater paddling prowess, having raced both the women’s K1 500 m, and the K4 A final at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games under her maiden name Jen Hodson, and having won the last edition of the tough Berg River Canoe Marathon in very impressive style.

What is often overlooked, however, is that Theron has also won the last two Lowveld Crocs — a race that is run on possibly the most technical section of river that is raced in South Africa.

Although Theron is no stranger to the ­Dusi podium, having placed third with ­Hilary Pitchford back in 2010, she is the first to underplay her chances.

“My best result so far in the Dusi Canoe Marathon is third in a K2 with Hilary, but that was mostly thanks to her skills and knowledge. We shot both Tops Needle and Island — what a rush!”

Despite her modesty, Theron has already proved that she will be in the running for the Dusi podium after placing third in the Best 4 Healthcare 50 Miler in early December. Theron was only 12 minutes behind the in-form Robyn Kime and Abby Adie at the end of the two-day race. However, in comparison to the Dusi Canoe Marathon, the 50 Miler is a paddlers’ race — a format which Theron claims suits her more, with running being her weakness.

“I battle on the first day of the Dusi as my running is so weak, but even worse than that, the running really takes it out of me so I am really tired when I get back in my boat to paddle.”

“I am going to have to use my strengths — paddling on deeper sections like the dam and into the finish on Day 3 to make up for time lost on the portages”.

Theron is married to stalwart Gauteng racer Jacques Theron, who has been a consistent presence in the Dusi men’s top 10 for more than a decade, and has added a new dimension to Jen Theron’s training regime.

What she might think she lacks in running ability, Theron certainly makes up for in enthusiasm for the race — and this will stand her in good stead come the Unlimited Dusi 2013.

“My Dusi highlights over the years have been paddling with my dad and my sister Linda.

“In fact I can’t think of anything I don’t like — it’s just awesome out there!”

Competitors line up for the start of the Dusi on February 14 at Camps Drift. The race ends in Durban on February 16.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.