Mulder takes on The Unlimited Non-stop Dusi single-handedly


Durban - As entries start to pour into The Unlimited Non-Dusi office in Pietermaritzburg last year's K1 winner Mark Mulder  was one of the first to lodge his entry, hoping that conditions favour racers in single kayaks on tomorrow.

Mulder will look to re-enact his 2009 heroics when he lines up at Camps Drift  to tackle the 15th edition of the 120km race which combines all three stages of The Unlimited Dusi into one tough days paddling and portaging.

"Whilst most people would opt for a K2 I'm just naturally attracted to a K1. A K2 can be a lot of admin and in a race like this admin is the last thing you want," said Mulder. "Besides, I'd really like to see just how close I can get to Hank's (McGregor) time he did when he won the overall event in 2006 in a K1."

"I doubt I'll be able to win overall. To compete with the likes of Michael Mbanjwa, Eric Zondi, Ant Stott who'll all be in K2s would be very difficult but to finish as the first K1 would be great," he added.

Just two weeks after the 60th anniversary of the three day Unlimited Dusi  saw Andy Birkett fending off Ant Stott's challenge to win the closest contest in many years, a select few brave souls will once again take on might of Umsindusi and Umgeni Rivers despite the lingering aches and pains.

"Fortunately I'm not nearly as sore as I have been in the past. From the advice of my running coach I recently started using compression socks and they really have helped in my recovery," said Mulder.

"The Non-stop is an incredibly tough race but I've done three before so at least I have an idea of what I'm in for," he added.

"Being more of a paddler I'd obviously much prefer a fuller water level and then will look to paddle as much as I can but I put in a 10km run the other day and the legs didn't feel too bad so hopefully all will be okay," said Mulder.

With a bare minimum of race rules paddlers are left to fend for themselves in everyway in this race of survival.

"The most important part of the Non-stop is having a good support crew. My mom and dad are there as my drivers, you've got to have mates who'll run after you with buckets of water and sponges and of course the girlfriend's always there with something great to eat," said an appreciative Mulder.

"Hydration and nutrition are vital, especially considering you'll be out there for over eight hours. I try eat potatoes and bananas as I go and I always take ten minutes or so at Tops (Needle rapid just below Inanda dam) to stop and have a sandwich, stretch the legs and rest a bit."

"From experience I also know how to pace myself. You've just got to keep going whilst still being relatively cautious because one mistake and that could easily be your race over," he added.

The Unlimited Non-stop Dusi takes place on 4 March 2011 from Camps Drift in Pietermaritzburg to Blue Lagoon in Durban.