The 2nd Annual Shiver In The River is a touted as RVA's Coolest Winter Festival and raises funds for Keep Virginia Beautiful, which does great work through organized clean ups of our great state, along with other outreach programs. The festival features a Clean Up campaign, where volunteers cleanse the riverfront of trash,etc. This year a 5K race was added and then the day culminated with a chilly Jump in the James River.Â Participates who wanted to Shiver In The River had to fund raise at least $75 for the honor.
Second event on the day was the Coastals : Boats and Brews Film Fest organized by Coastal Canoeists to raise funds for the James River Park System. The film fest is held at Hardywood Park Brewery and brings together Richmond's paddling community for a fun night of entertainment.
But first, the Shiver In The River 5K. The course looped through Brown's Island, across the pedestrian bridge, across Belle Isle and then back across the bridge to the start. The Bell Isle section, Mile 2, was predominantly a sheet of ice and made for some tough going, but it still felt great to be out running. Ultimately I finished 32nd out of close to 300 runners, and 3rd in my age group. This was my first race in a couple of years, so I'll take it.
Knowing I was still out of shape, I started in the middle of the pack. I stayed motivated by the thought that every person I passed would be forced to bear witness to my advertisement, as I was wearing one of our new PaddleVA performance tops. I came through alright and enjoyed my run around the James River Park System.
Following the run, people started to show up, ready to spectate the sight of all of us jumping in the James River. I ran into Ryan Corrigan, James River Association, and his wife Mackenzie, down at the ramp and playfully confessed that I was no longer as excited to jump in. But I was. So was everyone else.
The atmosphere was pretty charged, and not just because of all the cell phones pointed in our direction. :)
As the countdown to splash down wound down, I heard Mike Baum, of Keep America Beautiful, come over the megaphone, "Please don't die."
The shock was real. The water temp was 36*. Umm, it was cold.
By all accounts, the Shiver In The River was a huge success in it's second year. 400+ signed up for the Clean Up at 10am, , 300+ signed up to race the 5K at 12pm, andÂ 200+ made the pledge to jump in the river at 1:30pm.
Afterwards the crowd hung out at Tredgar's and enjoyed music, beverages and food trucks into the afternoon. At this time Shiver In The River looks to have raised over $55,000 for Keep Virginia Beautiful, and while that money will go a long way, it was the smiles in the crowd that seemed to win the day. Good show RVA, I'll be back to Shiver In The River for sure!
Next stop was Hardywood Brewery for Coastal Canoeists Boats and Brews Film Fest. Â Inside the tasting room, RVA paddlers gathered for a night of films and beverages. The atmosphere was warm with psyche and good vibes. A couple of vendors were on site including our friends from ACA Virginia.
There was a small screen in the side room with some tables.
And a large screening area back with the barrels. Cooper Sallade, local Dagger Kayak Pro, and Ben Moore, local BIC SUP Pro, co-hosted the event and kept everyone engaged between film showings. A crowd favorite, and what I thought was the best film, came from Richmond's own Tijo Media. It featured the hometown James River in all of it's seasons, and showed what a glorious resource it is for recreation and meditation. The James River is the vein that pumps life's blood into Richmond.
Once again, for the second year in a row, I enjoyed hanging with the RVA paddling community. It is a spirited family, intent on celebrating and protecting the resources that feed their passion. Many of the films focused on that idea. It led me to ruminate on why paddlers, hikers, climbers, etc seem so keen to grab the podium and preach about the places we love.
While scientists will give you detailed explanations about the consequences of our actions in relation to our environment, it is the outdoor enthusiast who often times fervently preaches the gospel of keeping that environment clean in terms we all understand. Because the outdoor enthusiast has a dogmatic belief in the therapeutic benefits of recreating in a clean, beautiful outdoor playground. It is that simple idea of play that drives it. We love to play, and we love to play outside in beautiful places. This crew and this event exemplify that passion. The proceeds go to the local James River Park System, which provides many with an outstanding recreational sanctuary on the doorstep of Richmond's urban awesomeness.
I often come to the capital for a dose of city culture and to scratch my foodie itch, but this time, I took part in celebrating the abundant outdoor opportunity in Richmond. All day in RVA is darn good either way.
Thank You Shiver In The River / Keep America Beautiful and Coastal Canoeists / James River Park System.