31st Annual Run of the Charles Date Announced
Published: Thursday, January 17, 2013
Updated: Thursday, January 17, 2013 01:01
Mark your calendars this semester to head out to the Charles River on Sunday, April 28 for the annual Run of the Charles, New England’s largest canoe and kayak event. This year marks the 31st consecutive spring where all levels of paddlers come together to enjoy Boston’s beautiful Charles River while raising money for the Charles River Watershed Association (CRWA).
The CRWA is a non-profit organization, created in 1965 that works to protect and improve the health, beauty and accessibility of the Charles River, its tributaries, and its watersheds. The organization’s mission, "to use science, advocacy and the law to protect, preserve and enhance the Charles River and its watershed," has led the group to make leaps and bounds when it comes to the vitality of Massachusetts’s most famous river, proving that they really are at the forefront of our country’s conservation and protection efforts.
This year, the CRWA’s annual Run of the Charles event is expected to bring around 1,500 racers to the chilly waters of the Charles, where they will paddle to their heart’s content while taking in some of the beautiful suburban sights along the 80-mile long river. Professionals, amateurs, and recreational competitors can participate in races ranging anywhere from six to 24 miles as long as they are at least 12 years of age.
In addition to the standard six to 24 mile races, there will also be the Professional Flat-Water Canoe Marathon where elite paddlers can show off their athletic ability on a 26-mile course. Elite athletes train hard throughout the year in hopes of winning the $5,000 prize awarded to whoever comes in first place.The Run of the Charles is known to be an event that brings the city of Boston together while celebrating the natural beauty of the river. Bob Zimmerman, the CRWA Executive Director, said, "We are pleased to bring spectators and competitors together again for a day full of sportsmanship, recreation, and the chance to renew our determination to keep the river we all love, beautiful and clean." According to Zimmerman, it is partially due to the large scale paddling event that, "the Charles River has transformed from being one of the dirtiest rivers in the nation, to one of the cleanest."
Clean is an understatement. The pristine Charles River and the CRWA won the world’s most prestigious river award in Brisbane, Australia in 2011. The award, given out by the International River Foundation, applauded Boston’s very own for, "visionary and sustainable excellence in river management." The award would not have been possible if not for participants, supporters, volunteers, and the environmentally conscious Boston community.
So, when April rolls around and the Boston air becomes balmy and warm, grab your friends and head on out to the Charles River to cheer on the paddlers. The CWRA encourages spectators to line the riverbanks during the races and you might be lucky enough to witness a few friendly BC faces taking part in some of the races.
And don’t miss the popular 6-mile race, which is known to host the broadest range of experience levels. It might be the only time you ever see 12-year old juniors racing against 60 and 70 year old seniors.
The public is also invited to celebrate the Run of the Charles at the free Finish Line Festival at DCR’s Artesani Park on Soldiers Field Road. The festival will include food, live music, awards, outdoor sports demonstrations, and post-race picnics. Sponsors of the event, including Boston Duck Tours, Wicked Local, and Charles River Canoe and Kayak, will also be around to show off their products and services. For more information about the event, visit www.charlesriver.org or send a quick email to firstname.lastname@example.org.