Spring river race ready to take off

By Colin Rajala - Staff Writer
Enfield - posted Thu., Mar. 14, 2013
Two racers paddle along the banks of the river in a previous year's race. File photos by Colin Rajala.
Two racers paddle along the banks of the river in a previous year's race. File photos by Colin Rajala.

March, they say, comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb, but in the case of Enfield’s oldest continuous race, the month will end with the rough rapids of the Scantic River when The Scantic River Watershed hosts the 22nd annual Scantic Spring Splash Canoe and Kayak on March 30.

“It’s been a tough winter with all of the snow and freezing temperatures, so we hope that people are ready to experience spring and all that the race has to offer,” said Mike Dynia, the event’s co-creator and coordinator. “We want people to come down and enjoy the river. They don’t even have to race; they can take a hike alongside the river and enjoy the scenery and the boaters racing by.”

To register for the race it costs $20 per individual, or $18 with a donation to the Enfield Food Shelf. Registration will run from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Powder Mill Barn, with the race beginning at Quality Avenue in Somers, Conn.  Through the years the race has promoted the "be a fan, donate a can" theme, with donations equaling more than 7,500 pounds of food and raising more than $7,000 for the Enfield Food Shelf.

Around 1,000 spectators come out each year to watch and support the racers. The event features a 2.5-mile novice race as well as a 5-mile course for experts, with the last 2.5 miles being full of ledges and class-two rapids. The novice race begins at 11:30 a.m., and the experts take off at noon. After the race, guests are invited to the Powder Mill Barn to enjoy food, drinks and refreshments provided by the Watershed Association. Dynia said the post-race event and awards ceremony is almost as much fun as going down the river because it gives people a chance to share stories about the race or their time on the river and watch video clips of the racers and their follies in the rapids from throughout the years.

Race course descriptions, pre-registration and further information is available by visiting the website www.ScanticSpringSplash.org or by calling Mike Dynia at 860-745-9986 or e-mailing mdynia@yahoo.com or jeffdynia1@cox.net.

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