Week one of ICF paddle challenge sets bar high
The first week of the ICF’s 5 kilometre virtual paddle challenge has come to an end, attracting competitors from around the world paddling in a variety of craft and in a wide range of environments.
Hungarian canoe marathon world champion Sara Mihalik posted the fastest time over five kilometres in the first week, recording 17 minutes and 23 seconds in a kayak on a local waterway. Mihalik won K2 gold at the 2017 marathon world championships and finished second in the K1 at the 2018 world titles.
But the event also attracted stand up paddlers, canoeists, and people on ergometers who are not yet able to venture outdoors because of Covid-19 restrictions.
While the ICF is thrilled with the response to the challenge so far, it is urging paddlers around the world who have not yet signed up, to do so.
There youngest competitors in week one were 13-years-old, while the oldest were 73. More than 25 per cent were women.
There were paddlers on rivers, lakes, oceans, creeks and on indoor ergos all over the world, including Brazil, USA, Bermuda, the Canary Islands, Australia, New Zealand, Europe and South Africa.
The 5k challenge is open to paddlers of any level all over the world. The ICF is urging all participants to follow local safety instructions and to paddle only where it is legal to do so.
The challenge is also raising money and awareness for Doctors Without Borders (MSF), who are on the frontline of the fight against covid-19 around the world. All entrants are being asked to make a donation if possible. All donors will be entered in a weekly prize draw.
Australia’s canoe marathon, SUP and canoe sprint athlete Reka Abraham was the winner of the Braca paddle for week one.
Each week an updated leaderboard will be published, and prizes will be given away. All the competition rules and the entry form can be found here, and more information about the work being carried out by Doctors Without Borders can be found here.
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