Mathieu St. Pierre returns to watch AuSable Canoe Marathon

GRAYLING – A mainstay at the AuSable River Canoe Marathon, Mathieu St. Pierre is back in Grayling.  However, he is not competing in the water this year.

Doctors told St. Pierre that he will never walk again because of injuries he suffered during a logging accident in February.

So St. Pierre attended the event in a wheelchair to meet with his former competitors and fans.  He also cheered on his best friend and former teammate Ryan Halstead.  Halstead is competing this weekend with Kevin Kolonich.

"I want to race, but I'm very happy to talk with the people who support me, the people from Grayling." St. Pierre said.  "(The logging accident) changed my life. I am very lucky.  It is my second chance in my life, and I feel very good."

Thanks in part to the money raised by the AuSable race fans and competitors, St. Pierre has a canoe that allows him to paddle in the water again.  However, the LeMans-style start which has competitors running through the streets of Grayling means St. Pierre is a spectator this week.

Halstead and St. Pierre finished the race in fourth place last year.

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