On the 22nd and 23rd August, the National Marathon kayak and canoe Championships took place in Norwich. This is a huge event for athletes within the sport, and is hosted by a different canoe club each year. People turn up to race in different age categories, all with a vision of winning their race and becoming National Champion for their age group.
This year, 11 members of Reading Canoe Club competed in this national event with some fantastic results.
In the Under-14 races, Fred Kemp and Stephanie Hutchinson were representing their club. Fred won a Silver in his K1 race, and Gold and National Champion in his K2 race with his partner William McCracken of Banbury Canoe Club, making them the fastest Under 14 K2 partnership in Britain.
Similarly, in the Under 14 girls races, Stephanie came 2nd in both her K1 and her K2 race with Flossie Ball of Wiltshire Youth Club. It is an excellent achievement for Reading Canoe Club to have two of their juniors on the podium and more great results followed for the rest of Reading’s competitors.
Alex Lane finished the Under 23 Ladies K1 race in an impressive 3rd place, and promotion to division 3. She then went to to earn another bronze medal in the Senior Ladies K2 race with Nottingham paddler Katherine Burbeck.
One of the best performances of the weekend came from Brian Greenham, winning National Champion for the Over 64 Men’s race against some tough competition. Brian is a coach at Reading Canoe Club, and is a very inspirational figure for the juniors. Nigel Frankland, another brilliant coach at the club, partnered up with Brian and they competed in the Over 54 Men’s race in which they came 3rd after an exciting sprint finish.
Also racing for Reading, Sam Newlands came 7th in Senior Men, which was his last race in the UK before heading back to New Zealand. Stefan Senk raced in the Over 34 category finishing 4th. Brian Greenham raced again, this time in the Over 49 category coming an impressive 6th.
In K2, Fred Kemp also raced up in the Under 16 category with Tim Dowden to finish a very impressive 4th. Imogen Collins partnered up with Emily Illinesi from Elmbridge to come 4th in Senior Ladies. In the Mixed K2 race Reading fielded 4 boats, highest placed where Radek and Alex, who came 7th. Having stormed through the field Ro and Brian had a swimming adventure at the bottom turn on the last lap, but they carried on to finish 25th.
Finishing 8th in the medal table out of 48 clubs, including one from Spain, was a great result for Reading Canoe Club.
Results: Final Results