It was a morning filled with paddling, hiking and biking for the 26 people who participated in the second annual Andover Scramble — an outdoor triathlon-style event hosted by the Andover Trails Committee.

The event included four miles of hiking on Andover trails and one mile of paddling on the Shawsheen River, and ended with 15 miles of road biking. The event kicked off on Abbot Bridge Road.

Seven teams signed up for the non-competitive relay, which happened Sunday. The 26 participants varied in age.

A team called the Doherty Triathletes — three friends who attend Doherty Middle School — hoped to complete the course in three and a half hours.

Gardner Porter, 13, Spencer Belson, 13, and Ryan Todisco, 14, made up the team, all participating for their first time. The trio said they were most excited to take on the biking and paddling legs of the relay.

“I’m excited for the biking because we’ll get to see the whole town,” said Ryan, adding that 15 miles isn’t so bad when you get to travel on a bike.

Spencer said he was excited for the scenery that would accompany the paddling leg of the relay. It was a great way to spend his Sunday morning, he said — as long as he made it home in time to watch the Patriots game.

In opening remarks, Harry Voorhees, a member of the Andover Trails Board, said the event was aimed at introducing the variety of outdoor activities Andover has to offer, and raising appreciation for them.

While the area's hiking trails are already well-known, Voorhees said the Andover Trails Committee wanted to make people more aware of the river and the biking opportunities as well.

The relay began at 9:30 a.m., and each leg of the race was expected to take between one and one and a half hours.

“Andover is blessed with incredibly beautiful places to go paddling, biking and hiking,” said Steve Golden, a member of the trails group. Residents of the town are lucky to have such opportunities so close to home, he said.

Golden said the route was designed to take people on attractive, quiet roads. The relay was non-competitive and not timed, but was aimed at getting people to enjoy and become aware of the outdoor opportunities.

The biking leg of the relay ended at Oak & Iron Brewing Co. for a post-event celebration at 1 p.m.

Andover Trails is a volunteer group that includes members of the Andover Village Improvement Society, Andover Conservation Commission, the Appalachian Mountain Club, the Bay Circuit Alliance, and The Trustees of Reservations. It is dedicated to promoting access to the town’s outdoor resources.


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