Hawke's Bay's Ben Bennett won two medals at the recent Kayak Marathon World Championships in Singapore.
Bennett, 60, won a bronze in the K1 60-64 years 17.2km event and a silver when he combined with Keith Alderson of Christchurch in the K2 55-59 years event raced over the same distance.
"Because Keith is in the younger age group, I had to go down to his age group," Bennett said.
He pointed out kayak marathons were a lot more gruelling than sprint kayaking events.
"They begin with an extended sprint as paddlers jostle for position at the start of the race.
"During the race, there is a lot of tactical manoeuvring going on much like in cycle racing and then there are a number of portages in which the competitors run with their boats for stretches of 120 metres or more," Bennett said.
Olympian Ben Fouhy gave this quote to the Sunday Times in Singapore last week when asked what is required for kayak marathons:
"There's an interesting combination of strengths you need for the sport, you need a lot of balance and agility to paddle well. You also need the physiology of a distance runner, except that you need a lot more strength."
The more strength Fouhy was referring to was no doubt the strength required to carry the boats.
"At each of the four portages, we got out and ran the length of a soccer field with our boat," said Bennett.
He was one of three Bay paddlers in the nine-strong Kiwi contingent. William Wilkins was 12th in the under-23 K1 race and Ryan Welch combined with Wanganui's James Anderson for a 15th place in the open men's K2 30km event.
The Bay trio's focus will now turn to the sprint season and Bennett coaches paddlers in kayak racing events as well as surf lifesaving events.