Team River Runner have their first paddle of the season

Team River Runner have their first paddle of the season

Team River Runner held their first paddle of the season on the St. Louis River at the Munger Launch on Sunday, April 14th.

On Sunday April 14th, the Duluth Team River Runner held their first paddle this spring at the Munger Launch. Several members of the organization are veterans, active military, or family members of veterans.

Melissa Crandall, a member of Team River Runner said they have been preparing for kayaking the St. Louis River for months.

“Team River Runner has been getting together at the Hermantown YMCA all through winter. Then once the weather is nice enough, we transition to rivers and lakes locally,” Crandall said. “As well as try to keep a couple pool sessions for beginners, to understand kayaking, the basics, different strokes, saves, and rescues.”

Crandall said reintegrating back into civilian society can take a while for veterans. Although organizations like Team River Runner can help veterans get reconnected with the community.

“If you’re looking to get out and join some like-minded people, it’s a great opportunity. We work in the pool first with capsizing, as well understanding what it feels like to be under the water,” Crandall said. “So if there’s any fears there, our group provides support to work past those. So I say come out and give it a try.”

Crandall also said they make kayaking accessible to all veterans, and active military who may have disabilities.

“The best part about Team River Runner is it’s an adaptive sport, an adaptive organization itself. So amputees, anyone with injuries, can participate,” Crandall said. “Even though there are some worries because of the winds, there’s a handful of volunteers who have a long history of being on the water and provide support as needed.”

For more information about Team River Runners in Duluth you can read more here. Also for other stories with the St. Louis River you can read more here.