Mystic River logo

Come run with the herring virtually: Join the Mystic River Watershed Association (MyRWA) from May 9 through 25 to celebrate the annual return of the herring.

Each spring more than 700,000 herring swim from Boston Harbor to the Mystic Lakes--the Herring Run and Paddle celebrates this spectacular wildlife migration. 

The Herring Run and Paddle is to take place at the Blessings of the Bay Boathouse in Somerville with the 5K route passing through Medford’s scenic Macdonald Park. The paddle race route takes paddlers up to Medford’s Mystic Lakes and back to the boathouse.

The race this year, as it was in 2020, is “virtual.” That means participants can go to the race course at their own convenience any time from May 9 through 23. Run, walk, paddle, bike or cheer—this race is for all.

River challenge launches April 25

As part of the race, you are also invited to join the brand-new “3-Rivers Challenge,” brought to you by MyRWA, in partnership with the Charles and Ipswich Watershed Associations. Whether you paddle, walk, bike, fish or simply skip rocks, make sure to track your hours on and by the river.

The individual with the most hours logged wins. Prizes include a Lincoln Hide-a-way solo forest green fiberglass canoe, watershed group swag and adult craft beverages. The challenge will launch on Sunday, April 25, with CRWA’s Run of the Charles; it will run through the Mystic’s Herring Run and Paddle (May 9 through 23) and end on the Ipswich’s Paddle-a-thon on Saturday, June 19.

 Make sure to check out the 3 Rivers Challenge Facebook Group, a place for our paddlers, runners, walkers, and bikers to connect and share your river stories. More information and how to track your hours can be found at

Scanner Cheung, past winner of the Herring Run and Paddle’s Iron Herring Award, said in an April 16 news release:

“I think the Mystic River Herring Run & Paddle really brings together some of the best and most unique parts of Boston: the waterways and the tight-knit running community. Some of the biggest events here are the Head of the Charles and the Boston Marathon, but not many races can claim to combine the two...  I could tell this race was really a grass-roots event--sponsored by local companies (with great prizes!)--and dedicated to protecting the natural resources (like the Mystic River) that make exercising outside in Boston so great.” 

“I had raced it a couple years earlier and remembered it being a fast, flat course,” said Beverly Atunes, winner of the Herring Run and Paddle women’s 5K; “it is a really well-organized community event.”

Registration is open until through May 23  is only $10 per person. For more details about the event, or to register online, head to

About the Mystic River Watershed Association: The Mystic River Watershed Association (MyRWA) works to improve the lives of the more than half million residents of Mystic River communities through its efforts to protect and restore water quality, natural habitat and open space throughout the 76-square-mile watershed.

For more information see,  

Oct. 8, 2020: 24th Herring Run (1st virtually) raises $28,000

This news announcement was published Saturday, April 17, 2021.