Our Lady of Fatima pupil finishes 2nd at Dusi

Christie Mackenie, finished in second place in the ladies race at the FNB Dusi Canoe Marathon. PHOTO: Anthony Grote (Gameplan Media)
Christie Mackenzie, finished in second place in the ladies race at the FNB Dusi Canoe Marathon. PHOTO: Anthony Grote (Gameplan Media)

CHRISTIE Mackenzie put in an incredible performance at this year’s FNB Dusi Canoe Marathon to finish second in the women’s race. The local resident and Our Lady of Fatima matriculant, found herself wedged between two of South Africa’s paddling royalty, Abby Solms, who was crowned the Dusi queen, and former Olympic bronze medalist, Bridgitte Hartley, who finished third.

Incredibly Mackenzie who is in the U18 category managed to pull off an impressive finish in the open women’s category. Incredibly, the youngster who started 12 minutes behind Bridgitte, managed to overturn the deficit.

“I’m so chuffed, it’s only really starting to sink in now. I’m so happy and exhausted at the same time. I was aiming for a podium finish and had my eye on third. I knew that Alex Adie is an extremely good paddler so to secure a second place finish is amazing,” she said.

Mackenzie who is part of Lee McGregor’s MacSquad, said despite paddlers doing more running than usual on the final day, it didn’t phase her.

“I actually like running, my mom is a top trail runner and though it was tough it wasn’t something that phased me. The heat was intense on the last day but it was tough for everyone.”

Mackenzie showed incredible promise earlier this year when she finished second to Hartley at the Umpetha Challenge and third behind Solms and Hartley at the Ozzie Gladwin.

In the men’s race, Andy Birkett, who led the race from start to finish‚ won in a time of just over 8 hours‚ 32 minutes.

Shiraz Habbib

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