Herring Run & Paddle; another SUCCESS for the Mystic!

Photo by Arturo Gossage

On Sunday, May 17, 2015 the Mystic River Watershed Association (MyRWA), along with 35 community volunteers, 19 local businesses and organizations, and over 400 racers from near and far all gathered at the DCR Blessing of the Bay Boathouse in Somerville, MA to celebrate the return of the river herring. 

Community volunteers, MyRWA staff, and staff from Platinum Sponsor, Charles River Canoe & Kayak arrived bright and early Sunday morning to begin set up distributing cones and mile markers for the 5K race, buoys for the 3 mile, 9 mile, and 12 mile paddling races, and set up registration tents and tables.

At promptly 7AM, Gold Sponsor, Our Outhouses arrived to set up their brand new units, hand sanitizers and all. Not only was their company timely and efficient, but their maintenance man even stayed ALL DAY to service and clean the outhouses periodically and then he went above and beyond to help with the event breakdown! Thank you Our Outhouses for providing such great service!

7:30AM Title Sponsor, Assembly Row arrived to set up an outreach table handing out bags, notepads, coupons, and refreshments to all participants. Other sponsors and donors also arrived with healthy energy re-boosting snacks for distribution: bananas and popcorn from Medford WholeFoods Market, both caffeinated and non-caffeinated refreshing herbal teas from David's Tea, non-carbinated, tea-based, electrolyte filled rehydrating "Rehab" drinks from Monster Energy, water bottles from Platinum Sponsor Rockland Trust, individually wrapped cheeses from Cabot Cheese, chocolate and vanilla organic protein yogurt smoothies from Stoneyfield, 20lbs of pasta salad from Dave's Fresh Pasta, and donuts and coffee from Dunkin Donuts in Somerville.

Local businesses and sponsors like Platinum Sponsor, Boating in Boston, Gold Sponsor, Sunrun, Elements Massage, Ameriprise Financial, Chelsea Collaborative, Next Step Living, Gentle Giant Rowing Club, Boston 2024,Terry the Inventor Mentor, and DragonFly N Snail also joined in to set up outreach tables and kid friendly activities.   

At 8AM registration opened and participants started arriving. Both pre-registered and day of registrants began to gather picking up their bibs and checking out all the refreshments and outreach tables. 

9AM was kickoff for the 5K race which continued along the Mystic River bike path and through DCR Torbert MacDonald Park in Medford; there were no street crossings on this flat course. Volunteers, family, friends, and community members gathered along the path to cheer on runners as they flew past. To check out all race finishing times click here: RaceWire. Following the finish of the 5K, prizes donated from local businesses were given out to first and second place finishers in nine different age categories!

11AM was kick off time for the 12 mile paddling race including a portage at the dam between lower Mystic Lake and Upper Mystic Lake. Just 15 minutes later, 12 racers gathered in the water for the nine mile paddling race and then at 11:30AM, 32 paddlers and paddling teams started up river for the three mile paddling race. All paddling race times can be found via this link: RaceWire. For an awesome video of the three mile paddling race from water level, check out this GoPro shot by participant, Scott Ide: Vimeo. Following all paddling races, top finishers in all categories including: double kayaks, sea kayaks, tandem canoes, recreational kayaks, and stand up paddleboards were all awarded awesome prizes from local businesses. 

For more event day photos visit our flickr. 

We would like to thank all of our generous race sponsors:

Boston Line and Service, Boston Sand and Gravel, Cambridge Savings Bank, Copley Wolff Design Group, Law office of Michael Fager, MTI Adventurewear, P.T. Kelley, Saltmarsh Insurance Agency, The Flatley Company, Winchester Savings Bank, and East Cambridge Savings Bank 

MyRWA thanks our generous sponsors: (prize donations)

Wedgewood-Crane & Connoly Insurance Agency, Inc., Century Bank, Ameriprise Financial, Hyatt Place Boston/Medford, Whole Foods Market Medford, Monster Energy, A Tavola Restaurant, Art Beat Creativity Store, Atlas Liquors, AVEDA soma Salon and Spa, Berman's Wine and Spirits, Bertucci's Brick Oven Restaurant, Big Picture Framing, Black Crow Yoga, The Book Rack, Borealis Community Yoga, Boston Massage Associates, Boston Sports Club, Capital Movie Theater, Christopher's Restaurant and Bar, Colleen's Ice Cream & Sandwich Shoppe, Darn Tough Vermont Socks, David's Tea, Elements Massage, Elephant Walk, Elizabeth Grady - Face First, FEI Theatres, Franklin Park Zoo, Gingerbread Construction Company, The Great American Wine Co., Greater Boston Running Company, Harrow's Chicken Pies, Heights Barber Shop, Henry Bear's Park, Homewood Suites By Hilton, Hyatt Place Boston/Medford, Irving Oil gas card, Johnny D's Uptown Restaurant & Music Club, JP Licks (Davis Sq), Kelly's Roast Beef, Lakota Bakery, Laura Morrissette, Dragonfly and Snail, LL Bean, Margarita's Mexican Restaurant, Mela Indian Restaurant, Merrell (Worldwide Wolverine Foundation), Mike Rivard - Music, MG Fitness Center, MTI Adventurewear, Mystic Coffee Roaster, New England Coffee, Nick & Lizzie's, Not Your Average Joe's, Orvis, Patagonia, Quebrada Baking Co. & Coffee House, Redbones Barbeque, Regina Pizzeria, REI, Roland's Jewelry, Rudy's Café & Tequila Bar, Soma Salon & Spa, Teddie Peanut Butter, Tenoch Mexican Taqueria, The Book Rack, Tom Yum Koong - Thai Restaurant, Trader Joe's, Tweet Tweet Toy Shop, Vincent's Barber Shop, When Pigs Fly Bread, Wheelworks, WhichWich, and Zoo New England.

Special thanks to: the Mass. Department of Conservation and Recreation, the City of Somerville, Cataldo Ambulance, Bike to the Sea, and to the many volunteers who made this event a success!