Dusi Canoe Marathon women’s title contender Jenna Ward is in a race against time as she recovers from an ankle injury picked up in a Dusi seeding race last month.
Ward was racing through Devil’s Cauldron on the Guinea Fowl portage during the recent Campbell’s Farm to Dusi Bridge race when she rolled her right ankle.
“I heard it click and I went down,” recalls Ward. “I was heart-broken and had to do some quick, clear-headed analysis. There would have been no point in worsening it, so I took the decision with my seconds to stop right there.
“Dusi has to be the priority. I was so looking forward to racing races like the 50 Miler the next day, but instead it was off to hospital for X-rays and ultrasound, then starting physio and working with the biokineticists.
“Fortunately I am part of the Elite Athlete Development Programme at Prime Human Performance Institute, so I have been getting great treatment and advice from them,” said the Euro Steel team racer.
She hobbled down to the beach to race the Marine Series surfski race with her brother Jason, who also drove her down the full uMngeni River for the Kindo Inanda Dam to Durban Dusi qualifier race on Sunday, and says her cautious approach to healing the ankle seems to be paying off.
“It was a grade one sprain, which is good news. I am now walking on it comfortably, and have taken the attitude that my approach to the Dusi will be different this year, but that it may well be a good thing.
Robyn Owen is the most dominant #MyLifeDusi record holder today! In 2013 she broke all the ladies course records for the u/23 and elite categories. Tune in on Instagram Live at 7pm tonight to hear from Robyn about her record breaking race 👏🏼#MyLifeDusi #MyLifeDusiCanoeMarathon pic.twitter.com/py3vW6NEo6
— Dusi Canoe Marathon (@DusiCanoe) March 3, 2021
“Lockdown forced me to look at my running, which may have been a weakness of mine on the Dusi, and I did a lot more work on my running.
“I am very strict about my training plans and it has been mentally hard to see the zeros in my training log in the running mileage column,” said Ward.
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“In the build-up to the Dusi I tend to really go at my training hard, which always runs the risk of over-training. Now I might come into Dusi slightly under-trained, which could be a good thing,” said Ward.
The 2021 MyLife Dusi Canoe Marathon takes place from March 18-20 2021. Entry details and more information can be found at www.dusi.co.za