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Participate in the virtual Berg

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a lasting impact on sports events around the world, and organisers have had to create ways for participants to take part in them.

The organisers of the annual Berg River Marathon are no exception. They have had to come up with a way to provide paddlers with an opportunity to paddle the race, for the event had been provisionally postponed to July 2021. They proposed the novel idea of having a virtual Berg Marathon open to paddlers locally and around the world. The three options allowed paddlers either to complete 240 km in four days or 240 km between 8 July and 31 July.

A shorter option offered a chance to paddle 50 km in the same period. The paddlers could choose a body of water suitable to their location. All finishers will receive a certificate.

Martin Brousse de Gersigny, of Riebeek Kasteel, accepted the challenge and opted to cover a minimum of 50 km in the short time frame before the end of July. Martin, who is the chairman of the Riebeek Kasteel Kanoe Klub (RKKK), set a goal of 120 km in 11 days. By Sunday he had completed 71 km with a few more days to go. The response to this virtual event was unprecedented and demonstrated the commitment of participants willing to take part for themselves and for a good cause. The 60th anniversary of the Berg River Marathon will be held in July 2021. Money from the participation will go towards Canoeing South Africas’ ongoing relief program.

*Article and photos courtesy of Martin Brousse de Gersigny.

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