Senior rat not joining the pack after all

  • Ninety-five-year-old Harry Wilcox of Torrington, Conn. and his daughter Liz Warder of Orange were the first to sign up for the 55th annual River Rat Race this year. This is the fifth time the duo has paddled in the popular race down the Millers River. FILE PHOTO

Friday, April 13, 2018

ATHOL — Ninety-five-year-old Harry Wilcox of Torrington, Conn., the River Rat Race’s eldest paddler and a spectator favorite, was the first River Rat to sign up for this year’s race with his daughter, Liz Warder of Orange, but Warder informed the Athol Daily News that, while Harry is in good health and would like nothing better than to paddle in the race, he will not participate this year due to a family situation.

At age 90, Harry teamed up with his daughter for the first time in 2013 for what they thought would be a one-time outing. That same year, Liz’s husband Gary and their daughter Kat entered as a team. Wilcox and his daughter entered again in 2014, but in 2015 Warder paddled with her regular paddling partner, Ellen Martin. Wilcox and Warder returned in 2016 and 2017 to the delight of Rat Race fans.

River Rat Race Director Dave Flint said, “I’m very disappointed to hear Harry can’t make it. We were really looking forward to it, and I hope everything turns out all right.”

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