Berkshire Highlands Pentathlon
April 8, 2017
The 2017 Berkshire Highlands Pentathlon has been postponed to Saturday, April 8th and features many of the best outdoor adventures in the Charlemont region. 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. The next tranistion, at the Mohawk Park, begins a 2 mile kayak/canoe race down the Deerfield River, From the kayak leg take-out, the transition for a 2 mile obstacle course 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) .
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.
Proceeds from this year's Berkshire Highlands Pentathlon will benefit the Charlemont Ambulance Association. The Ambulance Association provides a vital, lifesaving service to the community. Any individuals or teams who would like to register to participate or anyone who would like to volunteer their services to make this event a continued success.
Don't have a team, but would like to join one? Need help finding a teammate to do a particular leg?
Per person registration fees:
REGISTER BY Age Under 19 Age 19 & Over
January 15, 2017..........................................$35.00......................$75.00
March 1, 2017..........................................$35.00......................$95.00
March 27, 2016..........................................$40.00......................$110.00
On-line registration closes at 5 pm on April 4th
April 8, 2017 Race Day. 8-10 AM...........$45.00......................$115.00
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.
Interested in volunteering?
Sign up to help out at www.volunteersignup.org/WBMAF and get a free t-shirt, a free meal, and the satisfaction of helping make this a great springtime event.
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 obstacle course 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 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 - must include at least one male and one female
- 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.
Check out the awards (generously donated by Ashfield Stone) for fastest Braveheart Laddie and Lassie in each of the three age categories (U19, Open and 50+):
Frequently Asked Questions?
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. 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?
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).
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 RECOMMENDED.
Road Bike Leg - 16 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 on Zoar Road and continue on an undulating road course into Florida, MA. The turnaround will be at the entrance to the Whitcomb Road (Bridge to Nowhere) 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. The river rolls under the Route 2 bridge to a large, slow-moving pool 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.
Obstacle 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 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.
Other Race Details -
Registration and packet pickup is Friday night 6-8 pm at Berkshire East (Crazy Horse Bar and Grille). A Pasta dinner is available or people can purchase food a la carte from our menu. The registration fee also includes a post-race meal and a pint of Berkshire Brewing Beer as folks finish at Berkshire East Ski Area. There will be a mandatory racer's meeting at 10:15 am the morning of the race in the Berkshire East base lodge.
- All individuals and teams are strongly recommended to have Support. Boats and bikes in the transition zones will be watched over but not forever. It is the responsibility of each team to monitor and retrieve equipment from each transition zone.
- Volunteer monitors on the bike course will be at each turn. If there is no monitor, there is no turn. The bike course is well signed.
- Registration and packet pick up is from 6-8 pm Friday at the Berkshire East. Registration and packet pick up is also Saturday from 8-10 am.
- Please thank your sponsors with your words and with your business when you can.
- Thank to all the volunteers!
- Good Luck, be safe, have fun!