Following her strong result at the recent N3TC Drak Challenge and recovering from a bout of Covid-19, Christie Mackenzie says she is fit and firing and ready to race at the 2022 MyLife Dusi Canoe Marathon starting on Thursday.
Mackenzie is the two-time defending K1 champion at the Dusi and has carved out a little legacy at the three day race from Pietermaritzburg to Durban. The Euro Steel star is teaming up with another former winner in Jordan Peek.
The super-duo have been in good form during the build up to this year’s race, however Mackenzie’s recent Covid-19 infection might have been an issue given how the differing long term after-effects from contracting Covid .
“I am feeling 100% and am ready and excited to get going this year,” the Euro Steel star said. “Unfortunately for my partner Clinton Cook, who got Covid at the same time, he hasn’t quite recovered and won’t be racing Dusi competitively this year.
“I am very, very grateful and we have been building back up slowly with my coach Andrew Booyens who has been very understanding about me getting back into things slowly.
“I feel pretty much as fit as I have ever been and I’m super excited about that.”
Given her recovery from infection, getting back to top form has had to happen quicker than in previous years which Mackenzie hasn’t seen as a problem.
“It’s definitely given me less time to get my build-up correct and that has put me under a lot of pressure to not get sick at this late stage.
“That’s because if I miss three of four days in a row then it throws out your build-up plans completely because I did start so late but we have been very careful and if I felt like I was getting sick I dosed myself up on vitamin C.
“We have been super careful because of how short the build-up period has been but compared to last year I don’t think I’m any less fit it’s just that I’ve had to be so careful and very strategic in getting back,” she added.
The pair of Mackenzie and Peek has become more than just a paddling combination with the duo deepening an already strong friendship off the water. Mackenzie has paddled Dusi with Jordan’s sister Cana but is excited to be racing with older sister Jordan.
“We have been friends since high school so we know each other well and it’s always a pleasure paddling with the Peek girls.
“I was telling Jordy that her and her sister are the only two ladies who have run the whole way up the Cabbage Tree portage with me with a K2 which shows their mental strength which I love in a partner.
“It’s great having someone that I can depend on and Jordy has been so easy to count on. I know that she is going to be strong and I know that she is going to give her all.
“We combine nicely and she is a brilliant driver so I am really looking forward to the Dusi,” Mackenzie added enthusiastically.