Half-century, worth the wait


IT took Lismore's Marion Brownlie 53 years to win a medal at the Australian Championships.

But it was worth the wait.

The paddler recently claimed a bronze medal in the Veterans' 45-55 years K1 21km race at the Australian Kayaking Championships in Sydney.

But she only just got the medal.

"I pipped fourth place by two seconds," Brownlie said.

"We were in a match race for nearly the whole way.

"When we crossed the finish line I wasn't sure I had won.

"It wasn't until I got to the ramp that my son Glen gave me the nod."

But according to Brownlie, she didn't feel any immediate exhilaration.

"By the time I got to the finish I was dizzy and so sore that I could hardly move," she said.

"It's all a bit of a blur really. I used my last ounce of strength getting across the line.

"I drifted over to the ramp about 20 metres away.

"I got out of the boat and lay in the rescue position for about 10 minutes thinking about nothing.

"But by the time I got to stand on the podium, I felt fantastic."

Brownlie began kayaking about six years ago when her sons Tony and Glen Curtis started competing.

Both of the boys had good results in their own divisions at the national championships.

Tony finished 9th in the open men's K1 35km event, behind eventual winner and fellow Northern Rivers paddler Nathan Baggaley.

Tony then backed up the next day with Glen and they finished fifth in the open men's K2 35km.

It was a massive effort by Tony considering the length of each event.

It takes around three hours to finish each race.

No doubt the boys are using this as an excuse.

After all, Mum has upstaged them.

- THE first round of the H2O Sports Kayak Marathon Series will be held on on the Wilson River at Lismore on May 8.

There will be a number of categories catering for the serious competitors as well as a number of shorter distances for novices.

Up for grabs will be prizes worth $3000. Inquiries to Marion Brownlie on 6624 6998.

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