Jo's journey toward Massive Murray Paddle 2018

Jo, a profoundly deaf marathon paddler of 10 years is preparing to take on the 404km Massive Murray Paddle between November 19 - 23 to raise funds for Expression Australia. She recently provided us we an update of her preparations to undertake this feat next week!

Jo: From the day I entered the Massive Murray Marathon, I did a lot of research on understanding about this amazing race. My paddle friends always talked about this race for many years. I have always wanted to participate in this river and I finally decided that it was time for me to challenge myself to start from Yarrawonga and finish at Swan Hill.

Many things have happened that I did not expect preparing for this race such as breaking my kayak, improving my level of fitness, getting blisters and a sore backside, my lack of preparation and what food or items I should take with me. 

Preparing for the event, I leave home at 5am heading to Barwon Heads for morning training. I always check the weather and most mornings, the weather is bit calmer between 6 knots to 15 knots before end of the day where it sometimes becoming too strong.

This is the longest river from Ocean Grove ramp to Connawarre Lake to Barwon Heads Bridge.  Total: 14km to 25km each session. My training sessions have improved my fitness each day. I always train with my friend Brendon Long who is also competing in the Massive Murray Paddle as well. 

Highlights so far:

*Paddling through thick fog like white wall, 12 km return because we find it can be dangerous if we continue paddle to the lake due to low tides.

*When the wind picks up over 30 knots, it makes us work harder to push our boat forward, control and balance is a lot of work.  It's very difficult to battle against the river current and head wind and is a good opportunity to train in preparation for the race.

*Throughout the week, I don’t just paddle all the time, I do swimming in the pool twice a week, swim in the ocean on Saturdays and join with my team mates doing outrigger training as well. 

If you would like to support Jo on her journey, you can donate to her everyday hero page here: https://bit.ly/2x220PI

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