Run, herring, run! Run for the Herring!

The river herring are back in force for their annual journey to their spawning grounds in the Mystic Lakes. To celebrate these tenacious fish and the Mystic River, the Mystic River Watershed Association hosted our 21st annual Mystic River Herring Run and Paddle on Saturday, May 20th, 2017. With beautiful weather more than 325 racers participated in the 5K road race or the 3, 9 or 12 mile paddling races along the Mystic River in Medford and Somerville.  Arlington’s David Barlow claimed the Iron Herring award for the second year in a row – boasting the fastest combined time for the 5K road race and 12 mile paddle race.

(Photos by Sara McCabe & © David Mussina)

In addition to the races, bubble fun was had by all with The Inventor Mentor. Artist Kari Percival led an interactive art exhibit reflecting natural cycles along the Mystic. Racers were met with wonderful prizes donated by local businesses, complimentary massages and stretching with Cambridge Health Alliance, and cold beverages from Bai Drinks. All activities took place at Somerville’s Blessing of the Bay Boathouse, home to the new canoe and kayak rental facility operated by Paddle Boston.

As part of the festivities, Bike to the Sea led a bike ride along existing paths on both sides of the Mystic River through Somerville and Medford, in addition to the Park at River's Edge along the Malden River. The ride also featured the Wellington Greenway as well as the southern-most Bike to the Sea segment in Everett.

The day was made possible by our generous race sponsors, listed below, the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, as well as the many volunteers who helped plan the event and helped on race day. A special thanks to Mark Jacobson for his incredible dedication to this event.

Thanks for another great Herring Run and Paddle!

Platinum Sponsors


Gold Sponsors


Silver Sponsors


Bronze Sponsors

Horsley Witten Group, Inc. | P. T. Kelley Inc. | Saltmarsh Insurance Agency | The Flatley Company | Boston Sand and Gravel Co. | North Water Paddlesports Equipment | Patagonia | MTI Adventurewear | Darn Tough Vermont


Additional Support From: 

A Tavola Restaurant, Arlington Bait and Tackle, Atlas Liquors, Bai Drinks, Belmont Wheelworks, Berman’s  Wine and Spirits, Bertucci’s Brick Oven Restaurant, Boda Borg, Book Ends, Boston Red Sox, Capitol Movie Theater, Christopher’s Restaurant and Bar, Darn Tough Vermont Socks, Dave’s Fresh Pasta, Dunkin' Donuts, Flatbread Pizza, Hair Say II, Harrow’s Chicken Pies, JP Licks, Kelly’s Roast Beef, La Posada Restaurante, Lakota Bakery, Magic Bites, Margarita’s Mexican Restaurant, Massage Envy, Mystic Coffee Roaster, Pairings Wine and Food, Pizzeria Regina, Quebrada Baking Co. & Coffee House, Rancantore’s Ice Cream, Real Gusto Restorante & Pizzeria, Reading Cooperative Bank, Redbones Barbeque, REI, Roland’s Jewelry, Rudy’s Café & Tequila Bar, Scoopalooza Creamery, Short Path Distillery, Starbucks,Tango Restaurant, Teddie Peanut Butter, Trader Joe’s, Wedgwood Crane and Connolly Insurance Agency, Inc., Wegmans, When Pigs Fly Bread, Worldwide Wolverine Foundation