ERCA and Rotary Club of Windsor-St. Clair hold first annual South Coast Adventure Race

 

Racers bolt through the start line at the first annual South Coast Adventure Race at Holiday Beach Conservation Area on June 21. Photo by Adam D’Andrea

Racers bolt through the start line at the first annual South Coast Adventure Race at Holiday Beach Conservation Area on June 21. Photo by Adam D’Andrea

Racers bolt through the start line at the first annual South Coast Adventure Race at Holiday Beach Conservation Area on June 21. Photo by Adam D’Andrea

Racers bolt through the start line at the first annual South Coast Adventure Race at Holiday Beach Conservation Area on June 21. Photo by Adam D’Andrea

By Adam D’Andrea

 

Local adventurers and thrill seekers got a chance to hike, bike and paddle across Essex County in the first annual South Coast Adventure Race.

Around 240 racers met at Holiday Beach Conservation Area to participate in the fundraising event, which was co-hosted by the Essex Region Conservation Authority and the Rotary Club of Windsor-St. Clair. Race director and ERCA’s director of community outreach services Danielle Stuebing said the race fit both organizations’ mandates to get people active outdoors.

“It’s an opportunity to get people to connect with nature in a way that they may not otherwise do, showcase some of our conservation areas and showcase some of the beautiful places that we have in Windsor and Essex County that people might otherwise overlook or not have the chance to visit,” said Steubing.

Grouped in teams of two or three, the racers spent the day hitting checkpoints scattered throughout conservation areas in Essex County. Although the order of the checkpoints was dictated to racers, the routes they chose were entirely up to them.

“The race course itself was secret until this morning when the racers received their maps and information,” said Stuebing. “That’s the strategy around it, working with the teammates. It’s all part of the adventure race.”

Money raised through the event will be split between ERCA and the Rotary Club. According to Stuebing, the Rotary Club will put their share of the funds toward local and worldwide community service projects, while ERCA will use their money to enhance visitor services at Holiday Beach.

“It will also go into habitat protection and restoration here at the park,” said Stuebing. “So tree planting that we need to do, any things like that to make the park a better place.”

Stuebing said she hoped the event would raise around $8,000 once all expenses from the race were paid. ERCA’s next event is their annual Hawk Run, being held August 24 at Holiday Beach.

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