Race for Recovery: Elmira woman to host kayak race to honor son

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ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) — Michelle Buchanan lost her son, C.J., to an overdose in 2016. As a way to honor his life, she is holding the first annual “Race for Recovery” kayak race on the Chemung River on July 10.

C.J. loved hiking and spending time in nature.

Racers will launch from either Bottcher’s Landing or Fitch’s Bridge. It will conclude at the Grove Street launch point.

However, Buchanan said it does not have to be competitive. Those who attend can choose to go at their own pace. At the end of the race, there will be music, food, and prizes. All proceeds from the event will go towards helping young people with substance abuse issues.

“We do have a prevalent drug issue in our community,” said Buchanan. “I am hoping the takeaway will be that you can get involved and help make a difference in your own community.”

Buchanan explained why she chose an event at the river to commemorate her son.

“I think the river is a symbol of strength and power,” said Buchanan. “[It] carries you, so that is a metaphor.”

For more information on the race, you can visit Buchanan’s website.

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