National Marathon Championships 2018, 21st/22nd July Hosted by Reading Canoe Club – What a scorcher!

1080 boats from 55 clubs gathered prom side on 21st July for a National Marathon Championship of a lifetime. Glorious blue skies simply added to the occasion. It was an amazing weekend and supremely organized by a small team at the club, headed up by Amber and Paul. Main team players were Immi, Kat, Jim, Jo, Evan and Brian, with considerable support from Stefan and Dan in the last week. It was a formidable team that ensured that the event ran seamlessly and calmly. Smiles all round from their team of 85 volunteers and all the competitors and supporters.

Reading put out an impressive team of boats – 29 K1s and 29 K2s – bagging 6 medals and an amazing 3rd overall in team points, well in front of Wey and Richmond and only behind Nottingham and Norwich.

Top podium position for Reading was, of course, Brian with his Gold for O64 VMK1. Last minute entry Noel with Ethan Hunt gained a Silver in U10 hody. Bronzes went to Catherine Gaffard in K1 and in K2s a Bronze to Dan S and Stefan, Brian and Dave S, and Fran and Manon (ADS).

The largest event of the day was, unsurprisingly, the Mixed K2. That is a formidable event – for spectators watching the crazy start and for paddlers daring to enter it! 81 boats in total entered – a record … just try to imagine the wash at the back of that!

Jo Shephard did an amazing job in the catering tent – serving 1760 portions of paddler food, plus 350 burgers, 160 sausages, 20kg of bacon for the butties and endless cups of teas, coffee, cakes and much more.

Great commentary ran throughout the weekend from Brett (you’ll have heard him at Nottingham sprints) Kat and a few others besides. A most successful weekend on all fronts – thank you Nationals Team and all the many club volunteers who helped to make it run so smoothly.