WESTON -- The 32nd Run of the Charles Canoe & Kayak Race, the signature event of the Charles River Watershed Association, saw over 1,000 paddlers race down Boston's famed Charles River on Sunday, April 27. Thankfully, the rain held off, and despite the gray skies and chilly temperatures, 150 volunteers and thousands of spectators lined the riverbanks to cheer on racers from Dedham to the Finish Line Festival at DCR's Artesani Park in Brighton.

Rick Marques, of Pepperell, finished 1st in the Masters Category of the Rec K-1 9-Mile Race with a time of 2:21:39.

The Run of the Charles Canoe and Kayak Race is the largest canoe and kayak event in New England. It featured a variety of races. Elite paddlers competed in the 26-Mile Professional Flat-water Canoe Marathon, which awarded $5,000 prize money! The 24-Mile Relay Race attracted many corporate teams seeking a great bonding experience, while the 19-Mile, 9-Mile, and 6-Mile races brought out paddlers ranging in age and experience. Each race began at various times and locations, and race starting points included Dedham, Needham, Newton, and Brighton.