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My journey started in April on a trip of a life time to the Mentawai Islands with the Blue Planet team. I had found out on the way home, that my entry into M2O was accepted, I was on cloud nine – the best location and some of the greatest news in my entire life. That news was probably the easiest part as training hadn’t even started. A little under 4 months out and the longest paddle I had ever done was 2 hours on the water. Training was kicked into gear and I hit the ground running – literally.
This is the one race all paddlers dream of completing, being probably the most prestigious and oldest running stand up races in history. It makes the 32miles for a first timer that much more special.
2 months out and training was in full swing, I was starting to get into the longer runs now and putting in some intensity, I was also trialling some new nutrition for the 5hr+ of paddling. Mornings, afternoons and everything in between M2O was all I was thinking about. Trying to fit in my school work with all this training was a good challenge.
Logistically speaking, this was the hardest part. Figuring out when to catch the plane over to Molokai, how to get a lift to the start line from the airport, who was sleeping where, what boat is yours.
Although with all this commotion and stressing, there was a calmness and relaxed vibe at the start line of the race that was something indescribable.
Before I knew it, the race had begun and I was feeling really good. Trying to keep up with the top paddlers was always going to be tough. About half way I figured out I was off course. That almost broke me. I had done so much extra paddling to go where I thought I should be and to realise it was all for nothing was heartbreaking.
After paddling for another hour, the channel of bones took another toll on some of my equipment.
After falling off, I noticed my steering had broken. This was another setback for me not only mentally, but it was another technical challenge that only slowed me up after I’d hit the wall.
Crossing the finish line was amazingly rewarding but it was sheer relief. The race is such a gruelling and overwhelming experience, I was so glad I’d actually crossed the finish line and also that I’d come 10th in the men’s division.