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Bethany seniors paddle to the beat of their own drum

A dragon boat team from Bethany plans to compete in the Stars & Stripes River Festival on June 29 on the Oklahoma River
by Adam Kemp Modified: June 20, 2013 at 10:29 pm •  Published: June 20, 2013

“If one guy messes up, then it messes up the whole boat, so everyone has to be accountable,” he said. “When we are all doing it together, it feels really good working as a team. We may not win the regatta, but we will be in there trying. Never give up.”

The group from Bethany has 22 members, enough to fill two boats. Normally they practice at Lake Overholser, but because of recent storms flooding the area, they were forced to move to the river.

“This is something we are all really enjoying,” Cramer said.

“It's even gotten our husbands off the couch. There's just something about feeling the wind through your hair and the mist of the water spraying, it makes me feel strong and healthy.”

Pace, 16, works with Riversport and is the coach for the Bethany YMCA team. He pushes the team harder than one might think considering most of the participants are nearly 50 years older than he is.

“They are definitely overcoming the limitations that I thought they would have,” Pace said. “There is another group I coach, but they blow them out of the water.”

Cramer ended up convincing her husband, Jerry, to join her in the boat, and she said he has ended up loving it more than anyone.

“It's a great whole body workout, and it's a lot of fun,” he said. “To me, the best experience is when we are approaching the finish line and we are all going as fast as we can. It's like all of these pistons hitting simultaneously. It feels like you are powerful.”

by Adam Kemp
Enterprise Reporter
Adam Kemp is an enterprise reporter and videographer for the Oklahoman and Kemp grew up in Oklahoma City before attending Oklahoma State University. Kemp has interned for the Oklahoman, the Oklahoma Gazette and covered Oklahoma State...
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