For fun, for now: BMX Masters World Champ loves the dusi

2013-02-06 00:00

FROM peddling to paddling, the colourful world champion in the masters age group Cruiser BMX class, Sharlene McGilvray (52), has conquered her fear of water and is ready to compete in the Unlimited Dusi Canoe Marathon.

Yesterday, she showed off her new rainbow trademark hairdo ahead of the event.

You can’t miss her, with hair that screams for attention and sunglasses that match her hair.

The much-anticipated canoe marathon kicks off on Thursday next week at Camps Drift.

McGilvray who will be participating for the first time said she was doing it for fun and to complete it.

But next year she is in it to win it.

McGilvray, who has been practising for 11 months, said her colleague, Shelley Bloy, who is her paddling partner, always asked her to do the Dusi with her.

But her answer had always been “no” because she had a fear of water.

She finally agreed to the challenge after she was told of the Dusi’s adrenaline rush.

“I had to overcome my fear of water. That was the biggest challenge.”

When she was about 13 years old, she said she had witnessed a man dying in front of her on the beach.

She said the first time she jumped into the canoe to practise on Camps Drift, she was petrified and wore a life jacket.

“Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I’d do the Dusi and now I’m doing it.”

She praised her coach, Dusi legend Lyle Wheeler, who is also Bloy’s father, for pushing them hard.

McGilvray has dyed her hair since 1979, which has become her trademark. “My children who are 22 and 21 have never seen me with brown hair,” she told The Witness.

Before this dye job, she said her hair was white and she said people could not recognise her.

She said she has fallen in love with the Dusi.

After wrapping up the Dusi, she is planning to go back to cycling. But she is adamant she will soon return to paddling again.

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