Keep Florence Beautiful competitors run, paddle to victory in adventure race | Local News

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STAFF REPORTS

COWARDLYCS – Three types of teams took part in a two-stage race on Saturday in which participants started a 5k and rowed home along five miles of river – the Keep Florence Beautiful Adventure Race at the Lynches River County Park.

Participants raced either individually (one racer and the same racer as a paddler in a kayak), as a relay team (one racer, a different paddler) or as a tandem team (two racers together, two paddlers in the same kayak) .

The race started in the parking lot above the canoe launch and ended at the landing on US 52 on the Lynches River.

“It’s our annual fundraiser,” Bobbie Moore said. “A portion of the funds goes directly back into the park. We also put funds to keep the river clear and we put funds to do various projects around Florence and Florence County.

Moore, vice president of Keep Florence Beautiful, said the trail run toured the Lynches River County Park trail system. After that, the runners raced to the park’s boat launch where volunteers helped them put on a personal flotation device and launch their kayak.

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That was the tricky part.

Many paddlers have gone like pros. Others paddled out and quickly swam back to empty their kayaks and try again.

At least one paddler rolled the kayak before launch.

The South Lynches Fire Department and the South Carolina DNR had crews on the river as well as along the running trail.

Ninety minutes into the race, the only casualty was a broken paddle. A South Lynches crew pulled out a replacement paddle and the rider was back.

Keaton Billings finished first overall in the race as an individual runner in 1:06:02. Team Pink Llamas finished first in the relay with a time of 1:29:23 while Rory and Dylan Frederick – Team 1776 Patriots – won the tandem team competition at 1:17:43.

More than 80 people signed up for one of the race’s three competitions.

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