Wykeham girl makes Non-Stop Dusi history

2015-03-11 00:00

A WYKEHAM Collegiate matric pupil made history when she became the first schoolgirl to complete the Non-Stop Dusi Marathon.

Holly Edmonds (18) finished the Non-Stop Dusi Marathon last Friday along with her coach Les Willows in just under 12 hours.

This makes Holly the first schoolgirl in the race’s 19-year history to complete the marathon.

Paddling together, Holly and Willows took on the daunting task of finishing the normally three-day Dusi Canoe Marathon route in one sprint to Blue Lagoon.

Last month, she completed the Dusi Canoe Marathon in third place in the Under-23 division.

“Canoeing has been in my family and I’ve been doing it all my life but only seriously since the ninth grade,” Holly said.

She described the Non-Stop race as “more relaxed” than the larger three-day marathon.

“In the first hour I had my doubts because we damaged our boat but we managed to patch it up,” she said.

Willows, a Dusi veteran who has completed the marathon 21 times and the Non-Stop event 14 times, said he believed in Holly’s ability because of her backround and her success in canoeing.

“Many people may say I was foolish to take a schoolgirl onto a 12-hour race, but I was confident in Holly’s capabilities as a paddler and I hope to finish the race with her again in the future,” Willows said.

Holly said she trained every day during the holidays to boost her fitness for both races and she takes part just “for the fun of paddling”.

“I was so surprised when I got third place in the marathon. I didn’t even know at first. And now to be the first schoolgirl to finish the Non-Stop race, I feel really nice. I had a good teacher,” Holly laughed.

Holly said that she plans to continue canoeing for years to come, but right now she has her mind set on conquering her final year at school.

• amil.umraw@witness.co.za

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