PINE KNOLL SHORES, N.C. --
Active duty, prior and retired service members participated alongside local community members in the sixth annual Kayak for the Warriors race Saturday at Pine Knoll Shores.
The race was 3.2-miles long and began at Garner Park. The race followed the Pine Knoll Shores canals and ended back at the park.
“It’s a really tremendous turnout this year,” said Bud Pitzer, the race organizer. “It’s a great event and we appreciate the support. We are really hoping this really supports the warriors.”
The race had about 140 participants, a noticeable increase from the seven that signed up its first year, said Pitzer.
“It was a beautiful ride this year,” said Brian Kramer, a retired Marine Corps lieutenant colonel and the town manager who participated in the race. “Three miles doesn’t sound like that much to a Marine because we run that almost every day, but it’s different with paddling.”
Marines from Cherry Point volunteered at the event and helped with the kayaks by removing them from the water and putting them away after the race was finished.
“I was surprised with how many people there were,” said Lance Cpl. Legiah Strickland, an aviation operations specialist with Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron. “It’s a good feeling to help out, we were not asked to do this. We are Marines so it’s a good thing to come out and support those that support us and help out the wounded warriors as well.”
After the race, participants enjoyed a hot dog lunch and listened to a small band perform. The event brought together members of the community and military installations surrounding the town of Pine Knoll Shores.
For Kramer, the event was a way for the community to show its appreciation to service members.
“We just hope that service members know that people out there care about what they do,” said Kramer.