East Race Whitewater kayak club hosts first festival

NOW: East Race Whitewater kayak club hosts first festival

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Catching some waves and getting back out on the water is how some spent Saturday on the St. Joe River for the first ever East Race Whitewater Festival.

“You guys have amazing talent here. This river needs more notice. Next years race is gonna be a lot bigger than this," said Spectator Andrew Kovacs.

While most were excited to just get back on the water this race was even more special for competitor Elizabeth Burns since it’s one of her first group ones since overcoming her cancer battle.

“It’s nice to see everyone come together today and just not have the restrictions and be able to get out and paddle again and do some stuff we love," said Bruns.

Although it’s been a difficult journey for Bruns she says getting back out on the water has been one of her biggest motivators.

"You have to learn how to overcome challenges and obstacles and make the most of whatever comes your way," said Burns.

While this is just the first year for the festival, spectators are excited to come back again next year.

“I’m hoping to shake some hands with some Olympians who haven’t seen their first Olympics yet," said Kovacs.

Event organizers say this will become an annual event and for those interested in signing up for next year’s event click here.

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