Terry Russell • Paddler

Tell us a little bit about yourself?
I work in GIS for the mining industry, drone surveying/mapping and fieldwork like sampling, away in the WA bush about 3 months every year.

How many Avon Descent’s have you competed in?
I have completed every race since 2004 (14) having completed 2004-2015 without capsizing my plastic kayak.

What makes you want to compete in the Avon Descent?
Because I get a huge amount of increased fitness and enjoyment from paddling, and being around a huge group of like minded people is always a good recipe for a great time. Back in 2004 when I was 20 years old and suffering depression, I had plenty of things to be sad about, but I *committed* to training for the ‘Descent, by *belonging* to a training group, and making sure I went to all the training by *acting* responsibly and showing up, even for 8am at Bells Rapids sometimes. I never looked back from there. I guess it’s pretty close to the Act-Belong-Commit ethos!

What are you looking forward to in 2018?
Maybe a SUP paddle-boarder can finish the whole race this year if the water is high enough, doing constant rain dances from now till the race!

What would you say to someone who’s thinking about Taking the Plunge and entering the Avon Descent?
They will also get a huge amount of enjoyment by paddling in a group of people while training, then a bigger group of people on race day. The camaraderie amongst competitors makes the time a pleasure! It is a great way to spend your time, good for your fitness, it’s not very far away or hugely expensive, and the bottom part of the river can be paddled all year round.

What’s a fun fact about yourself?
I have proudly held the last place finisher trophy/award since 2015 for the Nanga Challenge Multisport Adventure Race on the Murray River near Dwellingup.
This race involves paddling up then back down the river including rapids/portages, mountain biking on some State Downill MTB tracks, then trail running 10km.

I have been posting helmet cam videos to YouTube of all major moments of each race since 2013.

This year I hope to have live streaming on the river bank at a few locations.



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