First Descents is a very unique charity. According to their website (here), this is their story and what they do:
"In 2001, ten young adults took to the rivers of Colorado in whitewater kayaks. For seven days, they learned the basics of the sport, eventually conquering Class III rapids before the week’s end. They were there to prove a point: that cancer, no matter how aggressive, dormant, advanced, or invasive, would never be stronger than they were." "First Descents offers young adult cancer fighters and survivors (ages 18 to 39) a free week-long outdoor adventure experience designed to enable them to climb, paddle and surf beyond their diagnosis, defy their cancer, reclaim their lives and connect with others doing the same."
A little closer to the hearts of those of us in Chattanooga is a story of a dear friend who ended his battle with brain cancer last year. He spent his last months of life on the river, traveling, and living life to its fullest. The TVCC rallied around him and allowed him to live his final days how he wanted to: paddling on the river. They gave him his very own First Descents experience. All funds raised at this race are given to First Descents in his memory. I can't think of a better cause.
Here are some of my favorite shots from the day:
|One of the play boaters. He wasn't actually racing but spent a lot of time playing in the rapids. They can do some pretty awesome stuff.|
|Another play boater. This image is available as an art print at the link given above!|
|Now on to the race photos! This guy won a medal. He just plowed through Hell's Hole (the rapid I was at)!|
|Not only was that guy a paddler, but he's also a photographer. He was nice enough to take this picture of Lucas and I at the race.|
|My niece came with us to help out. This was her favorite from the day. I love the splashy ones!|
|I like how you can see the water from his hand paddle!|
|Oops! Lost one. He's the only one that flipped at Hell's Hole. I'm pretty impressed that no one else did!|
|Talk about a serious race face...|
Congrats to all the paddlers in the race! You are MUCH braver than I am for sure. Unless I'm in a raft, I'll stay on the rocks and take photos:)
To see more of Christine's lifestyle portraits and fine art prints, click here.