Pietermaritzburg – Despite a move from KwaZulu-Natal to the Western Cape in 2022, former K2 Dusi Canoe Marathon winner Jordan Peek will still be on the start line at the 2023 edition of the iconic race.
Peek, who won the K2 race with her sister Cana in 2018, has been one of the most consistent performers at the Dusi in recent years and she finished second in the last K1 edition of the Dusi in 2021.
Peek made the move to the Western Cape in March 2022 to take up a position in events focusing on the Absa Cape Epic and the FNB Wines2Whales mountain bike races.
With a change of scenery and the change of training conditions, Peek is eager to showcase her skills again at this year’s edition of the three-day epic from Pietermaritzburg to Durban.
“The preparations haven’t been as easy as they have been in the past for me, but we have a really nice training group down here in Cape Town,” Team Euro Steel’s Peek said.
“It’s not the same as being in KZN because we can’t just go down to the river and paddle. It’s been a great move to Cape Town but the paddlers here aren’t as Dusi focused as back in KZN.
“Cape Town people focus on marathons, surfski and sprints, so their training is a little different to a Dusi paddler’s training.”
Throughout her career Peek has performed well in the Dusi, in both her K1 and with a partner in a K2. Going into 2023 she is looking forward to the challenge of taking on the Valley of a Thousand Hills in a single.
“I love a K1 Dusi,” she stated. “It’s more focused on yourself and it’s a very different dynamic to a K2 Dusi, because you are by yourself and you can decide when you want to go hard, go slow and you are only worried about yourself.”
When talking about expectations, Peek didn’t hype up her ambitions for the 2023 race.
“This year I would love to get on the podium to be honest. My build-up hasn’t been as good as I would have liked – juggling work and training, but I’m expecting to have a great three days and have a clean race.
“It’s always the goal to win the K1 title but the women’s field is very strong. To win the Dusi is never an easy task and it’s awesome that there is so much competition in the women’s field, but it would be so cool to add a K1 title to my K2 title,” she added.
Being born and bred in KwaZulu-Natal and growing up with a paddle in her hand, Peek has been close to the Dusi from a young age. When it comes time to enter every year, the decision is a simple one.
“Ever since I was in Grade 10 at Epworth, the Dusi has been on my radar every year. It’s kind of ingrained in me that the December holidays are a time where we head to Underberg, paddle on the river, and get that running and paddling training in.
“The Dusi is always a great way to keep fit and racing, which is always a motivation for me.”
Entries for the 2023 event are available via the event website – www.dusi.co.za.
Learn more about the iconic Dusi Canoe Marathon here.