FIVE hundred rowers and kayakers will take part in this year’s Murray Marathon.
The five-day event, which starts today at Yarrawonga and ends at Swan Hill, covers 404 kilometres of the Murray River.
Among the paddlers will be the CWA team, making its seventh consecutive marathon appearance.
Team member Adele Church, 77, of Yarrawonga, said she was ready to get stuck into the long days on the water after nearly two months of training.
“My daughter did the marathon in 2003, and when she finished she came up to me and told me that I should do it, and eventually I did,” Mrs Church said.
“You meet and get to know so many people through doing the event, it’s a really good experience.”
For the first time this year, the CWA team was able to raise the money to cover entry fees and other costs without having to use their own money.
Mrs Church said it was great to be able to contribute to such a good cause.
“If we can influence other people to get involved in this event then that’s a win for us,” she said.
Murray Marathon chairman Scott Chapman said people were happy about the forecast for the first two legs of the event.
“The temperature isn’t going to be too high and the river is flowing pretty nicely at the moment, so things are looking good at this stage,” Chapman said.
The event has drawn competitors from as far away as France and Canada, with one competitor driving 4000 kilometres from the Northern Territory.
“It’s absolutely great to have people come from so far away to participate in the event,” Chapman said.
“The support we’ve had for the event has been really encouraging.”