Runners, paddlers, walkers unite – the World Run-Paddle Biathlon Championship is about to return to the Merrimack River in Concord for a third year next Thursday (July 19).
The event combines the disciplines of running and paddling, and is a fun workout for anyone. In total, there’s a 4K run, a 4K paddle and a 40-meter portage (which is you carrying your canoe, kayak or paddleboard) to the finish line.
It will all take place at the NHTI boat ramp on Fort Eddy Road and proceeds of the event will benefit the NHTI cross country team.
Participants can choose to do the running and paddling alone or with a teammate or two. The race will begin with a 4K trail run, followed by the 4K flat-water paddle and ending with the 40-yard dash to the finish while carrying your craft.
For the paddling portion of the competition, participants can use a kayak, canoe or stand-up paddleboard. If you don’t have any of those things but would still like to participate, some loaners will be provided by the Contoocook River Canoe Company. Since supplies are limited, if you’re going to need a loaner, you should contact event organizer Tom Walton at TWalton@nedelta.com by this Friday.
New this year is a kid-friendly cardboard boat regatta and parade, as well as a Fun Paddle Run course including a 1K run and a 1K paddle.
For the cardboard boat regatta, participants can build their own watercraft out of cardboard following a set of guidelines concocted by engineer Claire Lund, who you may recall from our story about kids at Christa McAuliffe School building cardboard boats – she’s practically Concord’s resident cardboard boat expert.
Basically, the boats have to be built primarily from cardboard, with the only exception being the use of adhesives, and must be able to hold one or two people. Walton said the inspection process will be pretty loose – they’re not looking to turn people away, cardboard boats in hand.
For the Fun Paddle Run, it will just be a shortened version of the main competition.
All participants 17 and younger will pay nothing, Walton said. For adult individuals the registration fee is $20. Personal flotation devices must be worn by all participants 12 and younger, and everyone else must have one per person on board.
The event is next Thursday, July 19, and begins at 4 p.m. with the cardboard boats. The 1K race will begin at 4:45 and the main race will start at 5:30. Email Walton to register, or register the day of the race starting at 3 p.m.