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VIRTUAL Run of the Charles: Boston's Premier Paddling Race

Sun April 25 - Sun May 23 Weston, MA 02493 US Directions

Race Website

Additional race information can be found at


190 Park Road
Weston, MA US 02493


We are excited for you to join us for this year's Annual Run of the Charles with a virtual twist! While we had high hopes to do our beloved event in person, we have put together a fun and interactive event to get you out on the Charles enjoying the sights and sounds of Spring. We look forward to keeping the competition alive!

For this year's paddle race, individual paddlers and teams have the option of four different routes, some taking you to areas of the Charles where you may have never paddled before! During the registration process, you and/or your team have the option to register for one, two, three, or four races. You may sign up for more than one race when registering. If you only want to register for one race now, but then decide at a later date that you are interested in competing in a second race, all you have to do is log back into RunSignUp and register for "One Paddle Race: Any of the four routes provided." 

*Please note: Every paddler in your boat needs to register independently before they can be considered official participants. No results will be processed unless all paddlers are registered. 


    • See Relay Race for paddling directions. This route and the Relay Race route will be the same. 
    • Eliot Bridge to Lechmere Canal Park (counterclockwise turn around the fountain)
    • Charles River Park to Nahanton park (one way)
    • Charles River Canoe and Kayak launch, Millis to South Natick

What is ROTC without the relay race?! We were up to the challenge of setting up the perfect relay route for you and your team, now it's time for you to take on this challenge! 

  • Description: A 25-mile relay race completed in 5 legs - 2 paddlers per leg
  • Start  and Finish Location: DCR Parking Lot across from Charles River Canoe & Kayak: Newton Historic Boathouse, 2401 Commonwealth Ave Newton MA 02466
  • Portages: 0 (Due to our virtual race this year, there will not be any portages.)
  • Race Directions: 
    • Start at the downstream end of the parking lot and go downstream to the Prospect street bridge (first Bridge).
    • Enter through the right arch and then make a 180 degree turn and head back upstream through the center arch.
    • Continue all the way back upstream and continue upstream past the Start.
    • Paddle under 6 bridges -- the 7th bridge is a low footbridge.
    • Paddle under the bridge so that the stern of the boat clears the footbridge.
    • Paddle back downstream and finish at the downstream edge of the parking lot (Same as start)

Photos will be provided for all the routes to add clarification on directions. 

**If you are part of a company that is sponsoring this year's ROTC, please contact Meg Rivett, Race Coordinator at or (508) 498-8020 before you register.

Equipment Rentals: 
If you are interested in renting equipment, please contact Paddle Boston

Tracking your Time & Reporting Results: 
You and/or your team will be responsible for tracking your own time out on the water. When you are finished with your race you will head to,  and fill out the form to report your results. Only one member of each team needs to report the results, but ALL team members MUST be registered before results will be counted. Results will be updated regularly throughout the month at

A Note for All Paddlers:

  • Life Jackets
    • Massachusetts law requires life jackets to be worn by all paddlers on the water before May 15. Every paddler must wear a Coast Guard Approved life jacket at all times while on the water during the race. A seat cushion is not an approved device. Paddlers are to supply their own life jackets unless renting boats through Paddle Boston.  You are paddling at your own risk – please be safe!
  • Wetsuits or Dry Suits
    • The American Canoe Association (ACA) recommends that paddlers wear a wetsuit or drysuit when the water is below 60 degrees F. The Charles River water temperature can be found at here for ACA safety information.

For the first time, we are adding a virtual 5k to RUN the Charles! Lace up your favorite kicks and run the banks of the Charles. Timing and tracking your run will be based on the honor system. CRWA Board of Directors, Board of Advisors, and staff members have compiled a list of their favorite watershed trails that we look forward to sharing with you soon!

In partnership with the Mystic River Watershed Association and the Ipswich River Watershed Association, we bring you the 3 Rivers Challenge! This spring, get excited to get outside and enjoy the Charles, Mystic, and Ipswich rivers. Whether you paddle, walk, bike, fish, or simply skip rocks, make sure to track your hours on and by the river in our tracking spreadsheet. The individual with the most hours logged wins! Prizes include a Lincoln Hide-a-way solo forest green fiberglass canoe, watershed group swag, adult craft beverages, and more. For more information check out our webpage

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 9th - 23rd) and end on the Ipswich’s Paddle-a-thon on Saturday, June 19.

Make sure to check out our 3 Rivers Challenge Facebook Group, a place for our paddlers, runners, walkers, and bikers to connect and share your river stories. More details on the challenge coming soon!

Race Contact Info

If you have any questions about this race, please contact the race director at



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