Saturday, May 20, 2017 - Run, Walk, Paddle or Bike for the Fish! *Note updated date

The Mystic River Herring Run and Paddle includes a 5K run/walk race, three paddling races (3, 9, and 12 miles), educational booths, children's activities, and more. All events are held at the DCR Blessing of the Bay Boathouse in Somerville. The 5K course continues along the Mystic River bike path and through DCR Torbert MacDonald Park. There are no street crossings on this flat course.

event Details

When: Saturday, May 20, 2017
8:00AM Registration starts
9:00AM 5K run/walk starts
11:00AM 12 mile paddling race starts
11:15AM 9 mile paddling race starts & Bike to the Sea Mystic bike tour departs (bring your own bike)
11:30AM 3 mile paddling race starts

Where: DCR Blessing of the Bay Boathouse, 32 Shore Drive, Somerville, MA 02145.
Parking is available at the Somerville District Courthouse, 175 Fellsway, and a free shuttle bus is provided from 7:30AM - 2PM.

Boat Classes: Single Kayak, Single Racing Kayak, Double Kayak, Tandem Canoe, Tandem Racing Canoe, Solo Canoe, Stand-Up and Prone Paddleboard. Additional classes may be created based on registrations. 

Boat Reservations: Do you want to paddle but don't have a canoe, kayak, or stand up paddleboard? Charles River Canoe & Kayak will deliver the boat or board to the race for you. Call Mark at 617-965-5110 or click here for details and to reserve a boat.



There's a lot to do and volunteers make this event a success! Please fill out this volunteer FORM. Email Beth to find out more and get involved.


Get your company's name and logo on the race website, T-shirt and included in all promotional materials! In-kind donations of items for race prizes are also encouraged. Your tax-deductible sponsorship covers race expenses and supports this fun community event. Contact Shelly or view the sponsorship packet.

2017 Sponsors




The Uniquely Marvelous Jane Reinhardt





P. T. Kelley Inc.


2016 road and paddle race results  - Event photos

2015 road and paddle race results

2014 road and paddle race results


Did you know herring is a type of fish?

There are two types of herring in the Mystic River Watershed: Alewife Herring (Alosa pseudoharengus) and Blueback Herring (Alosa aestivalis). Herring spend their lives in the ocean except when they swim upstream to lay their eggs, or spawn, in rivers such as the Mystic River. The Mystic River Herring Run and Paddle celebrates the return of this anadromous species to the Mystic River each spring. In the past, millions of herring swam through the Mystic, but their numbers have dropped considerably due to offshore fishing, pollution and the building of dams on the river.  But no matter what hurdles they face, the fish keep returning year after year.  For the past 16 years, local residents have been running along the banks and paddling up the river to show their support of the river and the tenacious herring and alewives that call it home. MyRWA also runs a Herring Monitoring Program that counts the returning herring each spring.