2010 over and out

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Did you feel it?

2010 was one jam-packed year! It always seems like the more busy you are, the longer the year. 2010 was one pretty long year! Add to that the fact that time flies as you get older and I am left with one long, fast year:)

It was my 2nd year “post-Olympics”, and another chance to race as much as I could. I also took on a coaching job in Port Elizabeth which let me get to meet a whole bunch of new, excited-to-paddle people. I have much to be grateful for, and here is just a short highlights package of my year…

1. Moved cities. Not sure whether to put this in the “lowlights” section! PE is a very different place, you either love it or hate it. Luckily, the people there are super friendly and nice. Moved back to the Land of Milk and Honey-Plett:)

2. Spent a lot of time in East London, which could be the jewel of South Africa, but shhh! Let’s not let that secret get out. Beautiful coastline, and great people.

3. Became the owner of Splash, the Staffie puppy on one of my coaching trips to East London. A total handful, but worth every vet bill and ripped up piece of furniture. I have been on more beach walks than ever before, and he is a great running partner, and forever happy and forgiving companion.

4. On the sponsorship front, I was fortunate enough to become a part of Team Nelo, and the move has been the best thing. I am loving paddling my NeloSki so much, that the majority of my training is now done in the ski rather than the K1. I have also managed to sign on for 2011 with all my current sponsors. Thanks for your ongoing support PVM, Knysna Racing, New Balance! and Rudy Project (and all your support and generosity Thule).

5. I got to go to Portugal (and Spain and Dubai) and spent a few weeks in that great country, and do some pretty cool new races.

6. I won my 3rd Dubai Shamaal, 3rd Cape Point Challenge and my 3rd SA Surf Ski Title.

7. I FINALLY won the Fish River Marathon!

8. I had 2 very solid performances at the Marathon World Champs (Flatwater), coming 4th in the K1 and the K2, which makes me fired up for the 2011 Worlds in Singapore! Time to change those Wooden medals into real ones!

9. My parents came and watched some international Surf Ski events! Great to have their support.

10. Last but not least, the Soccer World Cup. What an event, and what a success for South Africa as a nation!

The year is over and I am still so stoked on paddling. Here’s hoping you all have a great 2011!

Here is a great slideshow of some photo highlights for 2010:

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Own Domain

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Yip, this blog is now www.micheray.com

 

Finally! You can still get to it by typing in the whole “wordpress” vibe… But that will take longer 🙂 And today is the age of Instant Gratification yes?

Still battling with some leftover sickness from Dubai trip. Managed to get a sneaky downwind in yesterday arvie, hoping the wind will blow some more, as it doesn’t actually feel like training when you’re hardly paddling, and just surfing runs!

Peninsular Marathon & Thule bags :)

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Photo by John Hishin

This past weekend was the Peninsular Marathon in Cape Town. It was made up of 2 of the Discovery Series races, namely, the Daniel Conradie Memorial at Strand and then the Milnerton to Melkbos Downwind.

The Dan Conradie is special to me as Daniel was the guy who coached me when I was a junior, and helped me become the paddler I am today, He had an incredible work ethic, and was an incredible paddler and person. I miss him still.

The race went very well. Even though it was pretty flat, I made the most of the double ski’s that were allowed to race with us, and hooked some great wash riding. I managed to finish in 96.5% of the winning man’s time. This is the first time a woman has achieved Elite Grade status in the history of the Series. (Elite is 95% or up, A Grade is 90% or up, B Grade 80% or up, etc. )the grading idea is great because then everyone gets to be competitive in their own grade, and not just have to race the Top guys.

The second day was a lot more fun, as there was a lot of wind. I had a total ball, and managed to put my paddles down a lot and surf the runs. I finished the Peninsular Marathon in 1st place and 4th Overall in the men’s event. All in all a great weekend. Well done to Richard Kohler and his team for organising, and congrats on his and Judy’s engagement!

I am now about to hop on a plane to Dubai, to try and defend my title there. Wind predictions are looking small, but let’s wait and see…

I got a fantastic surprise this morning when Janine Baxter from Thule sent me one of their new travel bags.

It is awesome, and so much thought has gone into this bag. There are compartments for everything, even a protective case part for sunglasses and Ipods. There is a zip-off Day pack too, as well as some pretty funky and indestructible looking wheels. thanks Thule, its packed and ready for Dubai!

I have been staying at Graeme Soloman’s place on the water here in Cape Town. It’s been so awesome to be able to just hop straight in my K1 and train, right from the front lawn! Thanks for having me Solly! I am glad to be one of the many “champions” who have stayed and trained from his base 🙂 Hanging with Megs and him and has been so awesome, and it has been such a help. Megan has a very interesting vet practice, called Holistic Vet, where she specialises in animal reahabilitation.

OK, I better get cracking and head to CT INternational, don’t want to miss my flight!

Oh yes, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my mom today! Mom: you are an inspiration to me, and I love you so much!