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Devizes to Westminster Kayak Race 2014

The Breakdown

All female crew.

One semi experienced & one novice kayaker.

Raise awareness for Epilepsy in youngsters.

The Devizes to Westminster International Canoe Marathon is a marathon canoe race in England. The race is held every Easter over a course of 125 miles (201 km) from Devizes in Wiltshire to Westminster in central London. It has been run since 1948. Starting at Devizes wharf, the route follows the Kennet and Avon canal for 54 miles to Reading, where it joins the Thames. Another 54 miles later it reaches Teddington Lock, ending 17 miles later at Westminster Bridge.

Personalities to own a DW medal are former leader of the Liberal Democrats, Paddy Ashdown, explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes, TV Presenter Steve Backshall, Olympic gold medallist rowers James Cracknell and Helen Glover, and the first British woman to climb Everest Rebecca Stephens.

  • Goal: Have fun
  • Kay

Who. What. Where. When. Why.

“I’d reached to that ‘It’s now or never stage’ regarding fitness.  I remember mourning the fact that even if I wanted to I could never be a ballet dancer as I was passed it – and I didn’t want to have that feeling again. My work colleagues and I signed up for the Race for Life and I walked round and vowed to myself that the next time I’d run it. But there’s so much contradictory advice about getting fit – so meeting Jemma was the answer.

Jemma has skillfully and sensitively taken me on a journey.  We literally started at zero but over months, with her very bespoke guidance, I learned to swim front crawl, run, cycle,  lost a stone and my bingo wings and found bloody mindedness and a sense of achievement. What’s more, I actually enjoyed it!

And then, one November morning, Jemma casually asked me if I wanted to do a tandem kayak race with her…’of course’ I replied (I’ve never been in a kayak before). She suggested I check out the DW website before I said yes…I did! 127 miles of endurance kayaking- non-stop from Devizes to Westminster, 77 portages-(I had to look this up…it’s where you have to climb out of the kayak onto the bank, lift your kayak out of the water and run over locks, bridges etc. to and then get back in the water). Jemma’s belief that I could possibly attempt it made me sign up and after some serious training,  a lot of laughter, some fear and questioning of my sanity, with Jemma’s expert guidance we completed the DW on the of April 2014. Climbing up the Westminster steps 30 hours after setting out, greeted by my family and support crew, has to be one of the proudest moments of my life and something that will always be with me.

Working with Jemma isn’t just about getting fit, supple, feeling energized, feeling alive- it’s more than that.  Jemma helped me to be the person I wanted to be…mentally and physically strong, excited, self-reliant, confident in my abilities, determined and adventurous.

And next….Xterra Norway swim-run August 2015.

And if I can do this…really…anyone can.” – Kay