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Businesses and Organizations Invited to Enter Teams and Sponsor Charles River Watershed Association’s Run of the Charles Canoe and Kayak Race Charles River Race Ideal for Corporate Team-Building

Businesses and Organizations Invited to Enter Teams and Sponsor Charles River Watershed Association’s Run of the Charles Canoe and Kayak Race Charles River Race Ideal for Corporate Team-Building

Weston, MA—March 11, 2014—The 32nd Annual Run of the Charles Canoe and Kayak Race, scheduled for Sunday, April 27, 2014, is an excellent way for companies and organizations to support a great cause and to foster greater team spirit within while also supporting the Charles River Watershed Association (CRWA). The event is an opportunity for organizations and companies to interact in a non-work setting to generate a strong sense of satisfaction—providing a meaningful contribution while having fun too.



For thirty-one years, teams have eagerly participated in this springtime community event.   There are generally over 1,000 paddlers who participate as part of corporate and organizational teams, and an additional 500 who participate as individuals in the recreational and amateur races.  Grab your teammates and sign up now.


Businesses and organizations are invited to form teams for the corporate relay event.  No previous experience is necessary and participation helps build camaraderie and a strong bond with office colleagues.  Racers and co-workers can also enjoy a picnic at the race’s Finish Line Festival at DCR’s Artesani Park in Brighton, all while helping celebrate one of the gems of Boston’s urban environment. 


“The Run of the Charles is an extraordinary bonding experience for corporations and organizations, and it’s also a day filled with learning and fun,” said CRWA Executive Director Bob Zimmerman. “The Finish Line Festival gives all participants and volunteers a chance to enjoy themselves and the beauty of our Charles River after a long day.” 


Many of the region’s engineering, law, and consulting firms are represented every year in the corporate relay race at the Run of the Charles. Local colleges, government agencies and neighborhood groups compete in their own relay divisions.


For more than 65 years, CDM Smith has provided lasting and integrated solutions in water, environment, transportation, energy and facilities. A full-service engineering and construction firm, CDM Smith takes prides in delivering exceptional client service as well as supporting employees who volunteer to better their communities. “For more than 20 of those years, we have proudly supported the Charles River Watershed’s Run of the Charles canoe race, engaging in a little friendly competition to preserve one of this region’s most precious resources,” said Eric Spargimino, CDM Smith environmental engineer and event champion.  “Through our CDM Smith Cares program, our employees contribute thousands of hours annually to civic and charitable causes—and we are proud to once again participate in this fun and vital river-sustaining event.”


“CDM Smith has been participating in the Run of the Charles since its inaugural years in the 1980s.  We’ve always felt that it is a great opportunity to bring employees together and embrace the company’s core values of excellence, initiative, teamwork, shared commitment, and integrity,” said Spargimino.  “It is also a great opportunity for us to enjoy the local resources like the Charles River that we work hard to protect and improve.  Each year we bring between 60 and 100 employees to participate in the race and enjoy the festivities at the finish line.”


Suffolk Construction is one of the most successful privately held building contractors in the country. With annual revenue of $2 billion, Suffolk provides preconstruction, construction management, design-build, and general contracting services to clients in the healthcare, science and technology, education, federal government, and commercial sectors. Engineering-News Recordranked Suffolk #41 on its 2013 national list of “Top 400 Contractors.” Suffolk’s corporate office is based in Boston, Massachusetts, and the company has a strong national presence with main offices throughout the Northeast, Southeast, and West regions.  Suffolk is a community-conscious organization dedicated to environmentally friendly and sustainable business practices, and is committed to making a positive impact in its local communities through grassroots volunteer work, employee fundraising, and corporate giving.


Suffolk Construction has participated in the annual Run of the Charles 24-mile relay canoe race for the last 12 years. Over the years, their participation has continued to rise and they now send at least five teams of 10 paddlers to each race. Suffolk, as a company, is very committed to employee engagement and actually has an internal teambuilding group, called Team Suffolk, that explores, organizes, plans, and executes events just like the ROTC throughout the year in each of their regions to keep employees engaged and collaborating. Many of these activities are focused around athletics because Suffolk’s culture is very team and sports-oriented. The group is also very competitive! The Suffolk team not only views this race as a way to bring employees closer, but also as a way to foster relationships with industry partners. Suffolk has paired with BR+A for the last three years at their picnic spot after the race.


“We are excited to be involved again this year and can’t wait to get on the water,” says Northeast Superintendent Feargal O’Donnell. “I have been racing in the Run of the Charles since Suffolk started being involved years ago. I have been on the same team for all of my racing years and we go head-to-head with another Suffolk team every year. The competitiveness and Suffolk-spirit that this race brings out in all of us is very representative of how we approach our work and, parallel to that, the event is always a great success! ”


Bard, Rao + Athanas Consulting Engineers, LLC (BR+A) – a building design firm based in Boston – will be returning for a fourth time in 2014 to compete in the 24-mile corporate relay race.  BR+A was founded in Boston in 1975, and has become a leading national mechanical and electrical engineering firm, specializing in healthcare, academic, and corporate facilities design. The company has over 250 employees with branch offices nationwide, but their Headquarters remains on the banks of the Charles in Watertown. 


BR+A’s Greg Shenstone notes that while many staffers have enjoyed the shore-side paths for a quick walk/run during lunch, he felt that too few of them appreciated the river beyond the view from their window.   In the deep-snow winter of 2011, he and fellow engineer Eric Edman -- both paddlers of the upper Charles -- decided that a BR+A race entry would raise awareness and spark some fun. 


Eric Edman said, “To up the ante, we called our friends at Suffolk Construction, and offered to race them in the 2011 Run of the Charles.” With our challenge accepted, we gathered a team, borrowed a canoe, coordinated relay logistics, pointed our novices downstream, and chased our rival team to a close finish.  They graciously hosted us at their post-race picnic! In 2012 we added a second team, and also finished within seconds of that rival team.  In 2013 we finally beat them!”


“Looking ahead to April 27, our crew is eager to compete again. BR+A has stepped up to sponsor this annual event and celebrate one of Boston's greatest assets--the Charles River. Go Team!”


The Run of the Charles offers races for everyone. Elite paddlers from across North America compete in the 26-Mile Professional Flatwater Canoe Marathon which awards $5,000 in prize money.  Shorter-distance canoe and kayak races are also popular, including the 19-mile, 9-mile, and 6-mile races.  The 6-mile race hosts the broadest range of experience, with juniors age 12 and up racing alongside seniors in their 60s and 70s.


The race’s Finish Line Festival at DCR’s Artesani Park in Brighton is free to all racers and spectators and hosts day-long entertainment with live music from Wayland band Mid Life Crisis, where you will hear some Oldies, Classic Rock, Motown, and R&B.  Vendors will be on site to showcase their products and talents.  Big Al's Premium Fun Foods will be on site grilling up burgers and sausages and serving fries and drinks.  Extreme Concessions is planning to offer BBQ and more.  Come hungry, all kinds of food will be for sale! There is also a playground for children of all ages to use.   Bring your family and spend the day!


The Charles River Watershed Association is a non-profit organization committed to protecting and enhancing the health, beauty and accessibility of the Charles River and its tributaries and watersheds. 


Gold Sponsors of the 2014 Run of the Charles include Boston Duck Tours, Charles River Canoe & Kayak and Wicked Local. The Silver Sponsor for this year is Charles River Apparel.  Bronze Sponsors include Keewaydin, New England BioLabs, ESP Solutions and Skanska.  Supporting Sponsors include CDM Smith, Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc., Tetra Tech EC, BR+A, and Horseley Witten Group.


Charles River Watershed Association (CRWA) is a research and advocacy organization dedicated to the protection of the Charles River and its watershed. Through our programs we develop science-based solutions for water resource issues; solutions that not only restore the Charles, but also work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help communities adapt to climate change. Because of CRWA’s work over the last 50 years, the health of the Charles has improved greatly. Once heavily degraded after decades of pollution, the Charles is now considered the “cleanest urban river in the United States” according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.


For more information on sponsorship, registration or any other aspect of the race, please call (508) 698-6810, e-mail rotc@crwa.org or visit www.charlesriver.org

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