The Erne Paddlers marathon race turned out to be a cracking one with perfect conditions for racing with light winds, sunny but not overly warm. Some of the top marathon paddlers from all over Ireland competed on the 5km circuit around Enniskillen. Div 1 and 2 paddlers had 4 laps and 3 portages at the Lakeland Forum.
The squads from Kilcullen and Salmon Leap dominated the top divisions with Ronan Foley from Kilcullen continuing to show great form by winning the Div 1 race and David McConnell Kilcullen Div 2. Salmon Leaps Eddie Martin pushed through to win Div 3, with Gerry Murphy of Erne Paddlers coming a close 2nd.
It was great to see a few of the Erne Paddler women who started off last year in the Blueway 10k last, who also went on compete in the Irish 5k Time Trial earlier in the year and now competing in Div 5 marathon racing. They all put in very commendable times in sea kayaks, but it was Sophie Lazarescu from Lisburn that came out the clear winner this time. Also making their debut in racing where a few junior girls from the Erne Paddlers who did themselves proud with Sinead Collins just only being pipped by one of the senior lady competitors though there might have been a bit of pushing going on to get that place and the inquiry still goes on!
Thanks again to Waterways Ireland, the sponsors of the event, also to all those who travelled from afar to compete.
Thanks also to the safety crews, marshals and Tom Egan who stepped into doing the timing to make this venue one of the great canoe marathon races in Ireland.