On your marks...get set...SUPYACS!
Sunday July 26th marked the 4th annual Chicago SUP YACS Classic, which gave everyone in the Chicagoland area a chance to come down to Montrose beach and STAND UP for Young Adult Cancer Survivors (YACS) through stand up paddle board (SUP) races, relays and family-friendly beach activities.
This event was co-founded and hosted by True North Treks and Surfrider Foundation-Chicago. True North Treks is a non-profit organization dedicated to support teens and young adult cancer survivors and Surfrider Chicago is a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of our lakes and beaches for all people, through conservation, activism, research and education. Together, and with the support of Kayak Chicago and Robert H. Lurie Cancer Center it is a thrill to be having this annual event, from which all proceeds will benefit young adults with cancer.
The race event features a men's and women's sprint and long distance races for recreational and elite competitors. But the one race everyone looks forward to, is the annual 4-person relay. This race gives Chicago companies the opportunity to register their 4-person team and compete against other companies or organizations. It's the final event and everyone's attention is on this race. The stakes were high this year but team Pacifico managed to take the victory flag! If you want to have a blast with 3 of your co-workers and represent your company or organization for an amazing cause, check out the SUP YACS website for more info.
But as I previously mentioned, this event had family-friendly beach activities as well. For example Matt Lennert from BlkBox surf brought a few paddle boards for people to sample and purchase if interested. I live in an apartment and I cant fit a regular board, so I tried out the inflatable ones he brought and they were just as good as the regular ones. Kayak Chicago gave out SUP clinics for people who've never tried paddle boarding before. It was interesting to see my friends get on the boards for the very first time. It was like they were learning to walk again! Mary Lou Cerami from Chicago SUPYoga gave a free beach yoga class and Jason Phillips from The Fitness Surgeon also gave a free Beach bootcamp session for all to enjoy. It really was a good turn out this year and even WGN news' very own Lourdes Duarte took time to give paddle boarding a try and share the story of SUP YACS with the city: wgntv.com/2015/07/27/wgns-lourdes-duarte-paddle-boards-for-a-good-cause/
After a day of racing and the trophy awarding, now it was time to relax and unwind at The Dock at Montrose Beach for the after party. We listened to the tunes of The Luxmen and enjoyed cold Pacifico beer. During the band's break a raffle was held and many prizes were given away that included: Chicago Cubs tickets, Jack Daniels single barrel, a Blk Box paddle, a Pacifico bike, backpacks and gear, gift cards from Windward Board shop and more.
All in all this was in my opinion a great day to spend with friends and family, having a good time for a good cause. Through this event the organization was able to raise over $10,000 dollars for the True North Treks and the adolescent and young adult program of The Lurie Cancer Center. As a member of Surfrider Foundation Chicago I would like to thank everyone who supported and participated in this event. And hope that you continue to help spread the word and make this a bigger and better event each year!