Stand up is no joke

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - CLASSIFIEDS -

PORT Dou­glas stand up pad­dle (SUP) boarder Mia Messinger pad­dled her way around Hol­land at the re­cent SUP 11-City Tour The Ul­ti­mate Chal­lenge 220 Kilo­me­tre race.

Mia trav­elled to Hol­land to take part in what is known as the world’s tough­est en­durance SUP race, which also hap­pened to be her very first SUP race and in the process bagged her­self a sports­man­ship award.

The race trav­els through 11 cities in Hol­land, via canals and on open wa­ter, and has seen some of the very best com­peti­tors in the sport take their boards to the wa­ter over the five years since the event was cre­ated.

Around 180 com­peti­tors from all over the world took part, with 43 in the elite cat­e­gory who pad­dled the whole dis­tance alone, while oth­ers took part in the tour as part of a team, solo or just pad­dled cer­tain days.

Mia said af­ter read­ing about the race in a mag­a­zine three years ago she knew she wanted to take part in the race.

‘‘It was one of the most nerve-rack­ing ex­pe­ri­ences I’ve ever had, but I’m so glad I did it,’’ she said.

‘‘I re­ally learnt a lot and hope to do it again, whether it be next year or the year af­ter, and I think I will be able to knock a cou­ple of hours off my time.

‘‘I had some re­ally great sup­port in the lead up to the event, in my train­ing and also some tips on what to ex­pect from peo­ple who have done it be­fore.

‘‘You re­ally have to con­quer your mind as well as the phys­i­cal side of it.

‘‘I sur­vived on a lot of di­luted co­conut wa­ter and bananas - by the end of the day I was so sick of bananas.

‘‘Weather was re­ally on my side for three of the days as they were hav­ing a heat wave, so it was around 28 de­grees, but on the last day the tem­per­a­ture dropped a lot and that made it a bit harder.

‘‘De­spite a bit of a sore back, by the end of the fifth day I wanted to go ahead and pad­dle for another five days.

‘‘The whole ex­pe­ri­ence made me re­alise that noth­ing is im­pos­si­ble. It was fun, I met some great peo­ple and I would love to do it again.’’

Mia pad­dled the 220km in a great time of 27:50:55, less than six hours be­hind the lead­ing male com­peti­tor.

Pic­ture: JESSIE TOL­SON

PAD­DLE HARD:

good sport Mia Messinger

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