East Race Waterway reopens to the public

NOW: East Race Waterway reopens to the public


SOUTH BEND, Ind.-- Governor Holcomb's “Back on Track” plan for stage 4 has allowed many places to expand capacities and reopen their places back up to the public just last weekend for the first time, and today was the East Race’s long awaited reopening day.

For the past 3 weeks, the East Race has been anticipating on reopening, making sure that everything was ready and that employees were properly trained.

East Race Supervisor Bob Heiderman said that this is the first time in all of his years of working that the East Race has had to halt operations, but with the official reopening to the public Saturday, many families took advantage to have some fun in the sun.

“We ended up getting kids from all over the place; we’ve got kayakers, 25 kayakers here from different parts of Wisconsin, Michigan, Indianapolis…so a lot of people come from different areas to try this out,” Heiderman said.

Aside from the things that people should know before coming to the East Race, like wearing proper shoes, making sure you bring an extra pair of clothing and extra towels, coronavirus rules were also put in place for people to know.

Staying 6-feet apart and wearing masks is recommended to visitors and employees, and after visitors complete the 1,900 foot long course, Heirderman said that all equipment will be sprayed down.

“What we’re doing for people that are riding in contact, they wear they’re masks and at the end of the race, we have a spray and have one person down there spraying the jackets, spraying the helmets that have been used so we’re taking that precaution,” Heiderman said.

Heiderman said that he understands that people can be a little weary of going out to do things because of COVID-19, but that his staff is trained to help ease any worries.

 “All my guards are well trained and know what to do if anyone has any problems,” Heiderman said.

Heiderman said that even if you aren’t in the mood to get your feet a little wet, that just coming on by to take a walk or bike ride is a great way to get out of the house for some fresh air.

 “It’s just a nice spot to go walking if you don’t want to get in the water and get wet, it’s a nice spot—like i said we had a lot of kayakers here today, watch them do their rows.”

The East Race will be open until the end of August and as a safety precaution, visitors are encouraged to purchase ride passes in advance for social distancing.

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