Dordogne Intégrale 350 KM: Morene Dekker Ready for the Ultimate Challenge!

This year the Dordogne Intégrale celebrates its 10th anniversary. To mark this occasion the route will be on the entire river, a total distance of 350 KM connecting 4 departments, Corrèze, Lot, Dordogne and Gironde. Paddlers will transfixed by beauty and diversity of the landscapes the river crosses.  Paddlers will descend through wild gorges, limestone cliffs, medieval castles and pass by hilltop villages.

280 paddlers have registered for this years Dordogne Integrale that takes place on the 19th till the 22nd April 2019. Teams include 28 paddlers in a relay, 19 tandem SUP paddlers, 7 tandem relay paddlers, and an impressive 75 paddlers will do the whole 350 KM solo! Dutch paddler Morene Dekker has taken up the gauntlet to complete this challenge, paddling 350 KM solo!  Morene talks to TotalSUP about her motivation behind this challenge!

Hi Morene, Can you introduce yourself?

I am from the Netherlands, and I started paddling in 2008 and have been paddling ever since. I have opened a SUP centre  M&M SUP in Amsterdam in 2011. I operate mainly in the summer, when I work full time.

What motivated you to register for the Dordogne Intégrale 350 KM?

In 2018 I finished the 11 city SUP tour solo. This was for the 3rd time, after this I wanted to go for another challenge and this came along!  I am very nervous as I have no experience with these kind of self supported races, also paddling on  running water and currents. I have done the 11 city SUP tour 3 times solo and 4 times in a team.

I haven’t been able to train a lot on as I live in the Netherlands as the last couple of months it has been winter, where it has been freezing and often too windy to go out for paddle. So because I have not been paddling a lot. I have been doing boxing classes and running sessions but it doesn’t feel the same. The 11 cities is at the end of summer, because of this I have been paddling a lot, I  am often tired but I am super fit! This race/challenge is the other way around for me!

What will you be paddling?

I am paddling the NSP Ninja ’24 wide as that gives me stability which I rather have then a very fast but unstable board.

What are you expecting during the Dordogne Intégrale 350 KM?

I don’t have any expectations,  I really have no idea what to expect. I read that we have to paddle a certain minimum amount of KM each day, so that is  I will try to do.  I have heard that some paddlers want to finish the race on  Sunday 20th April, but I know that’s too much of a goal for me! I am a morning person so I will start as soon as we are able to hit the water. I prefer to be off the water when it’s dark. I have no idea what time I will finish but I hope to be finished before Monday 6 pm at the latest so let’s see if I can make that!
Paddlers assemble at the finish line of the 2017 Dordogne Intégrale race in France
For me it’s not a race but a challenge to see if I can make it to the finish! My finished time is not important for me. Right now I m not super fit and I feel that I haven’t done  enough paddle KM 🙂  If I feel my body is not capable of continuing I have to be honest to myself and drop out. It is such a mega long way 350 KM!

What was I thinking when I signed up for this?!?!
I have a support team with me. I rented a camper van, a good friend will drive it and will be there for me. If I didn’t have my friend and camper driving along I wouldn’t have signed up!
For more info on the Dordogne Intégrale, go to :
https://www.facebook.com/dordogneintegrale/

About the Author

Helen

SUP, OC1, V6, Surfski ... and field hockey coaching, Helen is a busy British mother of two who lives in Bretagne, France with a passion for all things Ocean. Helen runs Barrachou SUP, a SUP tour company specialized in excursions around Bretagne and Scotland.

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