Berkshire Highlands Pentathlon

Berkshire Highlands Pentathlon

Berkshire Highlands Pentathlon

Run - Ride - Paddle - Adventure Run - Ski 

The annual Berkshire Highlands Pentathlon features many of the best outdoor adventures in our area. The five events - a 4.2 mile road/trail run, a 16 mile cycling leg, 2 mile kayak, a 2 mile adventure run, a mile hike to the top of the mountain and a downhill ski/board to the finish - can only happen on the same day at the turn of the seasons. The beginning of April is usually referred to as the "Transition Season." This is when there is still a skiable surface, the roads and trails are usually free of snow for running and cycling and the Deerfield River is running freely to support kayaking. It's a perfect time to host an event that combines winter and summer activities.

The race can be done solo or as a team. This year's event will begin at Berkshire East Mountain Resort with a mass start, 4.2 mile road/trail run, then transition to a 16 mile cycling leg along the scenic Deerfield River to the Hoosac Tunnel. The next transition, at the Mohawk Park, begins a 2 mile kayak/canoe race down the Deerfield River, From the kayak leg take-out, the course transitions to a two-mile adventure run that brings competitors into the base area of Berkshire East. Finally a climb to the summit (1,000 vertical feet) of the ski area, finishing in a downhill ski/board course to the finish.(athlete must carry their own gear up and back down)

Proceeds from this year's Berkshire Highlands Pentathlon will benefit the Deerfield River Trails Association and the Ashfield Trails organization. Both are non-profits working on promoting recreation in West County through trail building, use, and connectivity.

Race Information 

Date: April 2, 2022

Race starts at 11 am at Berkshire East.  Registration & Check-In is at Berkshire East Ski Resort in Charlemont, Massachusetts 01339 from 6 to 8 pm Friday night or from 8 to 10 AM Saturday.  Racers must attend the pre-race meeting at the Berkshire East base lodge at 10:15 AM.

Race Categories and Pricing!

REGISTER BY        Family/Under19        Team of 5          Team of 2        Braveheart

Jan 18, 2022..........……....$45.00.................$50.00..........…  $75.00....…....$100.00

Mar 14, 2022............……..$45.00.................$60.00..........…..$85.00........….$115.00

March 30, 2022...........…….$55.00.................$80.00..........…..$115.00.......…..$140.00

On-line registration closes at Midnight on March 30 2022

March 31 - April 2, 2022...........…….$60.00.................$90.00..........…..$125.00.......…..$150.00

Make your Category!

The following categories will be created if we recieve at least 3 registrants by March 1st.

  • 50+ Braveheart Male or Female 
  • U19, 19+ and 50+ Tam-O-Shanter Teams for males and females. 

REGISTRATIONS ARE FINAL AND NO REFUNDS WILL BE GIVEN. WEATHER POSTPONEMENT DATE WILL BE SUNDAY APRIL 3, 2022

Don't have a team, but would like to join one? Need help finding a teammate to do a particular leg?

Please click on this link to the Facebook Event page to find others who want to form a team.

The five Pentathlon legs:

  1. 4-mile road/trail run
  2. 16 mile Bicycle Road Ride 
  3. 2 mile whitewater Kayak/Canoe on Deerfield River ( Class II whitewater) PFD, HELMET, AND APPROPRIATE CLOTHING REQUIRED TO BE WORN)
  4. A 2 mile adventure run.
  5. Climb and Ski down Berkshire East. Athlete must carry their own gear up and down.

These events can only happen on the same day at the turn of the seasons. It may be a bit cold for road biking and kayaking, and a bit warm for skiing,and running. We love it!

Other Race Details 

  • Everyone must register as individuals and identify the team name carefully.
  • A support crew member (Ghillie) is highly reccomended for Brave Heart racers. All participants must pick up their gear at transitions in a timely manner. When registering, see the Ghillie optional package purchase to reward your support person.
  • Friday registration at Berkshire East Ski Resort is 6-8 pm.  The Crazy Horse Bar and Grille will be open for food and drink. 
  • Registration & Check-In continues Saturday morning at Berkshire East from 8-10 am.
  • Post Race Meal included at the Crazy Horse and a free beer. 
  • Great local lodging. Tell them we sent you. http://www.zoaroutdoor.com/ne_bb_lodging.htm

Volunteers Needed!

So,...If you can't be a pentathlete this year the please consider getting the same cool shirt, food, and beer and having fun while volunteering. Choose the job/time slot that suits you as you sign up at: volunteersignup.org/KP7FD and thanks muchly.It takes more than 60 volunteers on race day to make this work well.  Please pass it on that volunteer help is needed.

Racers must register and pick up their numbers at Berkshire East from 6 to 8 pm Friday night or from 8 to 10 am Saturday morning. All racers must attend the pre-race meeting at the Berkshire East base lodge at 10:15 am. The Pentathlon will begin at 11:00 at Berkshire East Mountain Resort with the run leg. 

All competitors are responsible for ensuring their equipement is removed from the end of each leg in a timely manner. It is HIGHLY RECCOMENDED that Braveheart competitors have a support team member assigned to assisting them at each transition zone. The Highland Pentathlon is not responsible for any equipment left unattended.

SPECTATING

The best spectating will be at Berkshire East Mountain Resort, where racers begin and finish. In addition, the Warfield House Inn provides a scenic location to cheer runners on. For the bike leg, you can view at the Shunpike Rest Area on rt. 2, which also provides good viewing of the kayak leg immediately after. The adventure run and ski leg are all viewable at Berkshire East Mountain Resort. Please note their is NO spectatating on Zoar Rd. for that portion of the bike leg. This is an open road and we have 2-way race traffic.

AWARDS

Awards will be given in each of the following categories for the age divisions: under age 19, 19 to 49 and 50+: 

  • Tartan Team of 5 
  • Tam-O-Shanter Team of 2 
  • Highlander Brave Heart Laddie/Lassie

In the case of teams in the 50+ division, the team age will be determined by the youngest team member's age at the time of the event. U19 team members must all be under 19 years old at the time of the event. 50+ teams must all be 50 years old or older at the time of the event. Family Teams must be related and at least 2 generations.

Brave Heart awards generously donated by Ashfield Stone for fastest three Braveheart Laddies and Lassies.

Frequently Asked Questions?

COURSE DESCRIPTION

The Berkshire Highlands Pentathlon takes place during what we call the "Transition Season" and you should expect variable conditions on all legs and different conditions from year to year. We embrace this as part of the fun and challenge. Be prepared for last-minute course changes if conditions require and thanks for celebrating this time of year in the Berkshire Highlands with us!

Running leg - 4.2 miles –Starting at Berkshire East, in the archway between the old and new lodge, competitors will go out of the parking lot, onto River Road, onto Rt 8A and then onto Main Street/ Route 2 heading east (stay on the right hand side of the highway) They will cross Rt 2 and turn onto Riddell Road. The paved road gets steep then turns to dirt/mud. Follow Riddell Road for a little over a mile to where the course cuts left through a large field with spectacular views of the valley. Follow farm roads to the Warfield House then through the Event Parking lot, following the lower driveway to the paved road. Just after you head down hill, turn right into the woods on a rough woods track.Follow that to the Jeep Road down to Zoar Outdoor where the transition zone for the bike leg is located. 

EXPECT VARIABLE TRAIL CONDITIONS. MUD, ICE, SNOW, AND OTHER SLIPPERY SURFACES ARE LIKELY AT THIS TIME OF YEAR. YAKTRAX, CREEPERS OR OTHER TRACTION ENHANCEMENTS ARE HIGHLY RECOMMEND.

Road Bike Leg - 18 miles -The bike leg will be primarily an out-and -back course. It will go west on Route 2 from Zoar Outdoor, take a right [nbsp]on Zoar Road and continue on an undulating road course into Florida, MA. The turnaround will be at the entrance to the Hoosac Tunnel and return to Route 2 then turn West, cross the Bridge and finish in the Mohawk Park parking lot where racers transition to the Paddle Leg.

Kayak/Canoe River Leg - 2 miles - Mohawk Park to Charlemont. This is a 2 mile leg of class I-II whitewater with flows up to about 2000 cfs. The paddle leg start will be at the Mohawk Park Cabin Beach, 2 miles west of Charlemont on Route 2. At the beginning of the paddle there is a short attainment, or upriver section. The river then rolls under the Route 2 bridge to a large, slow-movingpool at the Shunpike rest area. A quarter mile below the Shunpike, the Chickley River enters from the right where the main river makes a sweeping left hand turn.  After a sharper right, hand turn the current slows and the Berkshire East Ski Area can be seen straight ahead. In another 3/4 of a mile, competitors will go under the Long Bridge in Charlemont where they'll finish in the transition zone on the right immediately after the bridge.

ALL KAYAKERS ARE REQUIRED TO WEAR A TYPE III OR V PFD, A HELMET AND APPROPRIATE CLOTHING (WETSUIT, FLEECE, PADDLE PANTS/JACKET, DRYSUIT) FOR THE WEATHER. WATER TEMPERATURES WILL BE VERY COLD (33 TO 40 DEGREES F). IF YOU SEE ANOTHER KAYAKER IN TROUBLE, YOU ARE REQUIRED TO STOP AND HELP UNLESS SAFETY BOATERS ARE ALREADY HELPING. ALL BOATS USED SHOULD FLOAT WHEN FILLED WITH WATER.  USE OF FLOTATION BAGS OR OTHER FLOTATION DEVICES IS STRONGLY ENCOURAGED. KAYAKERS SHOULD KNOW HOW TO SWIM IN WHITEWATER AND BE FAMILIAR WITH THE AMERICAN WHITEWATER SAFETY CODE.

Adventure Run - 2 miles -After the Paddling Leg, competitors will begin running the single track trails at the RailRoad Tracks at Route 8A and River Road. Competitors should expect to encounter a variety of terrian and "obstacles" along the course, including crawls, carries, climbs and balancing elements as they partway up the mountain, and back to the base of Berkshire East.

Hill Climb/Alpine Ski Leg– This final leg begins with an uphill climb from the Berkshire East base lodge up the Competition trail to the at the summit.Skiers and snowboarders will ski through gates, as they make their way to the base area. Competitors may use alpine skis, telemark skis, or snowboards for the descent. Any motorized means are not allowed on the ascent.

What kind of kayak or canoe should I use?

Any kayak or canoe that can successfully negotiate shallow class I-II whitewater (novice level) is fine if we're able to run the river (level under 2000 cfs). Your choice of boat should fit your skill level. Participants will be using recreational kayaks, whitewater river running kayaks, downriver race kayaks, sea kayaks and solo or tandem canoes.[nbsp] Teams using a tandem canoe must have as their paddlers either both registered as participants (in the case of teams of two) or two of the five registered participants in the case of five-person teams. You may not add a participant if you are using a tandem canoe.

Can I use a snowboard/snow blades for the Alpine ski leg?

Sure.

Can I rent any gear?

Ski rentals can be arranged through contacting Bekrshire East at least 1 week in advance to event. (413) 339- 6617 Kayak rentals will be available through Zoar Outdoor (please call ahead to reserve at 800 532-7483). 

 

 

 

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