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Memorial Paddle for Eppie Johnson July 13

Jul 10, 2014 04:41PM ● By Brenna McGowan
The Paddling Community, family, and fans of the late Eppie Johnson, Founder of “Eppie’s Great Race”, will execute a Memorial Paddle on Sunday, July 13, on the American River, in honor of the famous Paddling advocate.

Taking place at 10 a.m. near the Sunrise Footbridge on the American River Parkway, and following a short address from the Johnson Family and community leaders, Eppie’s family will drop a flower wreath - and friends and community members will and are encouraged to drop flowers as well – on to the American River.

Over 100 people in kayaks and other boats will then paddle past the wreath/flowers in Eppie’s honor, completing their trip at River Bend Park, Rancho Cordova (the Finish Line location of the annual Eppie’s Great Race).
Former restaurateur and Eppie’s Great Race Founder Eppie Johnson (who passed away in September 2013), was an enthusiastic paddling advocate, leader in the paddling community, and frequent spokesperson promoting the beauty of the American River Parkway, for over 40 years.

Eppie launched “Eppie’s Great Race” (EGR) 41 years ago, as a triathlon featuring running, biking, and paddling. Since its inception 41 years ago, EGR has grown into the largest single-day, annual kayaking event in the world. And through Eppie’s Great Race, Eppie raised and donated over $1.4 Million to support recreation programs for Sacramento County’s disabled.
The Paddling Community and fans of the late Eppie’s Great Race Founder want to honor Eppie with the July 13, 2014 Memorial Paddle in Johnson’s honor; as well as celebrate Eppie’s continued community legacy by preparing for and promoting the upcoming, 41st Annual Eppie’s Great Race (scheduled for Saturday, July 19, 2014).

The Eppie Johnson Memorial Paddle Event will take place on/next to the Sunrise Footbridge over the American River Parkway: from U.S. Highway 50, exit at the Sunrise Blvd. off-ramp. Head north; just before the American River overpass, turn right into the park entrance, which is marked by a sign. Past the entry kiosk, turn left to get to the Footbridge near Lower Sunrise. The participating paddlers will launch from this location, and paddle 6.35 miles (the traditional Eppie’s Great Race paddling leg), on the American River, landing at River Bend Park, Rancho Cordova.
Anyone wishing to paddle in the event, drop flowers from the bridge, or attend as a spectator, is encouraged and welcomed to join the group at 10 am on Sunday.
For more information, please visit or call 916-480-0270.