Schoeman is paddling for pleasure

2012-12-21 00:00

PIETERMARITZBURG — Former marathon world champ Cam Schoeman is happy to remain under the radar going into the 2013 The Unlimited Dusi Canoe Marathon, which takes place on from February 14 to February 16, despite a string of top results in recent weeks.

A host of impressive performances recently has made fellow top 10 contenders sit bolt upright and take notice, but the former sprint hopeful is adamant he is more than happy to sit in the background and enjoy his paddling.

“To be honest, I’m not out there for anyone else but myself at the moment and because of this, I’m stress-free when I’m paddling and am just enjoying being back on a river again,” said Schoeman.

“Sprinting wasn’t working out for me and with my love for paddling rivers, it was great to be able to get back into things. I consider my paddling a jol and, even though I’m competitive in everything I do and I’ll always be out there to do my best, I’m having a hell of a lot of fun at the moment,” he added.

Despite his “paddling for pleasure” attitude, it is this competitive nature which helped Schoeman achieve gold in the World Marathon Champs with Ant Stott a few years ago. This is something he will battle to ignore on Dusi race day.

“I’m competitive in anything I do. It’s just how I am. Whether it be wake boarding or riding motor bikes, I’m always pushing to go faster, higher or further. That’s just me,” said Schoeman.

“I guess that sort of approach is helping me a lot in races at the moment because I never give up and never stop enjoying myself out there. The 50 Miler was a good example of this. I swam at the first rapid of the race — Mission Rapid — on day one and got stuck in Tops Needle early in day two, yet still managed to get fourth.

“It probably just comes down to pride for me. I love being able to take part in the sport and it’s always great to do well,” he added.

It is this relentless determination that has seen some in the paddling fraternity referring to him as the “diesel engine” of the sport at the moment, as he consistently keeps grinding away, always giving his all.

Despite his recent run of good form though, Schoeman is adamant he isn’t a dark horse going into the 2013 Dusi and points to fellow former sprinters Shaun Rubenstein and Nick Stubbs as those who could possibly take on this title.

“Ruby and Stubbs are two guys I would say are much more like dark horses for Dusi if they end up entering,” said Schoeman. “I wouldn’t quite put myself in that category though. I feel I’m paddling really well at the moment and I’m sure a couple guys are worried about me from a paddling point of view, but not so much when it comes to running.

“I hate running, with or without the boat. That’s why I’m really looking forward to the Drak Challenge next year. Unfortunately for Dusi, you can’t get away from it though, so I’ll really try to work hard on it in the upcoming races.”

With work demands taking much of his time, Schoeman prefers to see races as more of an opportunity to break his lonesome training regime and train with others around him rather than competing to win.

“With work I don’t get to train anywhere near as much as I did when I won worlds. I predominantly train on my own when I can fit it in and to go out there and paddle with other guys at races is great. It can get pretty lonely on your own and you don’t quite know how you’re going, so I’m definitely trying to take every opportunity to paddle against others in races.”

Regardless of Schoeman’s training schedule, the results are on the board as far as recent races go and he will undoubtedly be in the mix in February, lying in wait to pounce on any opening some of his more favoured rivals give him.

“It’s good to be able to go out there without the pressure that comes with others’ expectations,” said Schoeman. “Natal Canoe Club have been good to me recently, so it would be great to be able to get a good result in their major event on the calendar, but I’m basically just out there paddling for myself and for fun,” he added.

• More information can be found at

Join the conversation! 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. 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
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

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


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 network.


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.