Catawba Riverkeeper plans to get the community active outdoors by holding a countywide adventure race next year.
“We’re excited to get people outside because they really start caring about the environment more after they attend these events,” said Catawba Riverkeeper Executive Director John Searby.
The nonprofit prioritizes maintaining the health of the South Fork River through educating the community with cleanup activities, providing outdoor events and services and more.
The multisport adventure race called The South Fork Sampler will be co-hosted by the Human Power Movement and will consist of three races involving biking, kayaking and running.
“Everything we do goes into protecting the South Fork River so when you support events or buy from us, it goes back into water sampling for water quality,” Searby said.
Three races will start and end at the Catawba Riverkeeper boathouse located at 115 Willow Drive in McAdenville between Friday, April 1 and Saturday, April 2.
The races will span an area between Spencer Mountain and Cramerton, where participants are expected to run, bike and kayak to checkpoints.
Businesses are encouraged to register for the corporate race held Friday, April 1, and the public may register for the short and long races held Saturday, April 2. Human Power Movement will have more details about registering for the event and cost in January.
All races are time-based to challenge participants to meet all of the land and water checkpoints under three or eight hours depending on the race.
The distance and locations of the checkpoints will only be revealed once the race begins.
Participants can register for the race as a solo-participant or on a team.
“It’s not just about endurance,” said Adam Bratton, founder of the Huntersville-based Human Powered Movement. “People are going to have to really think about how to be effective.”
Bratton founded the Human Powered Movement to get people moving through online fitness challenges, in-person events and purchasing eco-friendly merchandise.
He has partnered with Catawba Riverkeeper on past fitness events such as date night paddling, self-guided kayak tours and more.
Bratton says he wants the races to help people appreciate natural resources.
“I think that there’s a different appreciation people gain about the environment when kayaking under a bridge versus just driving over one,” Bratton said.
He invites guests to bring their own kayak and bikes but rental kayaks will also be available for $20 from Catawba Riverkeeper.
Prizes will also be given to those that complete all checkpoints in the shortest amount of time, Bratton says.
Prices have yet to be finalized for the race but all proceeds to Catawba Riverkeeper will go toward its efforts to protect the South Fork River’s water quality.
Bratton and Searby hope to expand the race into more fitness challenges in Gaston County throughout the upcoming year.
Reach Janiya Winchester at 704-869-1842 or firstname.lastname@example.org.