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Guinness World Record set at Seaside Lagoon in Redondo Beach

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A Guinness World Record setting SUP Yoga class in Seaside Lagoon last week. Photo by Nicholas Borsodi

A Guinness World Record setting SUP Yoga class in Seaside Lagoon last week. Photo by Nicholas Borsodi

Redondo Beach can lay claim to a Guinness World Record following Sunday’s Beyond the Shore Festival, which featured the largest yoga class conducted on stand-up paddleboards (SUP) in history.

One hundred fifty-three people assembled on their paddleboards in the middle of Seaside Lagoon at the festival, which attracted over 275 people.

Michelle Gierst and Jeremy Godo Kiss, a South Bay couple that surfs and paddles, are firm believers in Jacques Cousteau’s theory that people protect what they love, and that’s why they want to encourage local people to love the ocean. It’s also why they started Beyond the Shore as a non-profit organization and organized the awareness-raising festival last weekend.

Their motto – “To save ourselves we must first save that which lies beyond the shore” – speaks to the importance of preserving and saving our oceans on a local level.

“Many don’t realize what a valuable resource our ocean is,” Michelle said. “It is unfortunate that so many enjoy it, yet so few are willing to take even the smallest step to help protect it.”

As owners and operators of Olympus Board Shop and Olympus SUP Fit, a business providing boards and SUP classes for local residents to enjoy on the water, Jeremy and Michelle found it fitting to launch their first big event, Beyond The Shore Festival, where they would provide the same services, but with all profits going towards ocean conservation.

I was lucky enough to sponsor, attend, and participate in their inaugural event and was blown away by the support of local residents and businesses.

After the record-breaking Guinness attempt came a 4.5-mile SUP race and then a SUP relay. Local restaurant Cantina Real provided delicious Mexican food for participants to refuel and enjoy, Mission Brewery provided some great beer, and a couple of local bands and a DJ provided the entertainment for the day.

To say the least, this was an incredibly impressive event that will give back to an even more impressive cause. Beyond the Shore wants to “offer a proactive means to the community to learn about protecting our oceans by hosting regular harbor and beach clean-ups and other charitable events,” Jeremy said.

Jeremy and Michelle hope to make a bigger impact on this vital issue than what has been achieved before and I have no doubt that they will do just that.

As an advocate for health and well-being, I always try to find ways of getting involved in activities that interest me but also keep me active. I encourage you to explore what’s out there and broaden your horizons.

You might find you can impact others to do the same and help yourself to become healthier in the process. If you are interested in trying out one of Olympus’ awesome classes, make sure to find their MeetUp page at www.meetup.com/Olympus-SUP-Fit/ and invite others to come along!

Maybe next year you can join in on all the fun that Beyond The Shore Festival has to offer and make history again. ER

Courtney Hermann was born and raised in Redondo Beach. She obtained a degree in Kinesiology, with an emphasis on Wellness, from CSU Monterey Ba, where she also played on the Womens Division II soccer team. Prior to graduating, Courtney attended the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and then opened her own practice, Healthy Makeovers, in Redondo Beach. Courtney currently works with clients 1 on 1, in groups, presents corporate wellness lectures and organizes programs to small through mid-sized companies.  For more information, see  www.HealthyMakeovers.com and follow Courtney on Facebook at www.facebook.com/healthymakeovers for daily tips on health, nutrition, and lifestyle, recipes, and motivation!


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