Damon Goerke shares his thoughts on 2018 UMC

Last year's individual male winner, Damon Goerke, shares his thoughts about last years race and about upcoming event on 6th of October.

How many times have you done UMC?

I did the very first one and a couple more along the way, but haven't been back for at least 10 years.

Any other remarkable stories from previous years?

Not really. I remember Rob Preston fell out of his boat the last time I did it.

What is your highlight (the best part of the course)?


The first few kms of the paddle is a lot of fun, especially when the river splits and you have to pick a branch. The mtb is good to when you can look around at the scenery.

You won last year, did you have any strategy or was it “play by ear”?

I knew I had done enough training to get through comfortably but didn't have any expectations. I'm not the strongest biker so just played the first leg safe and comfortably but when I found I was second on the water and only 8 mins behind Mr Grumpy, I knew it was on! It was then all about beating Rob. I thought I had a chance to catch him over the paddle and run as long as I didn't blow up. I also knew to save enough for the final 5km dash into town. 

What did you say to Rob when you passed him on the last run?

I passed him as we headed across the road and into the paddocks and long grass and I think he tried to rattle me by telling me to get my snake bandage ready. I asked him if he wanted a time out to have a pee as I was busting but he declined as he had gone in the boat (I hope he warned DJ Dave). Luckily I didn't stir him up too much as he passed me at the top when I couldn't hang on any longer. We ran along the ridge together until I got away again on the downhill before the final road bash when the elastic band was broken.

Will you come back this year? 

I would like to. I have to beat Rob when he is paddling a decent boat so he can't make excuses. Hopefully some others come out of the woodwork to race also.

Advice you would give to first time comers? 

Don't forget to piss in the boat. The climb up the hill can be hot too so take water.

Dually or hardtail?

I only have a dually but don't think it makes much difference. 

Kayak or Surf ski? 

Doesn't matter unless you are worried about falling out and having to get back in. I paddled my old rocket kayak which is perfect for this. I think you would need a trailing rudder unless the water level is high.

Your choice of shoes for this race? 

Salomons but it's not rocky or technical so any runners would do.