Berkshire Highlands Pentathlon
April 5, 2014
We're making some course changes in 2014 -
- The bike leg will be a 4-lap criterium style course in the town of Charlemont finishing at the Zoar Gap picnic area.
- The hill climbing leg (after the kayak leg) will be a trail run with several Bone Frog-style obstacles. Average times on this leg are expected to be around 45 minutes.
Click map to enlarge (note that this map shows the 2013 course. See changes listed above for the 2014 course. A revised map will be posted prior to the race.)
Register by Valentine's Day and receive a $10 per person early discount. Registrations after March 28 will be charged a $10 late registration fee.
- Tartan Team of 5 - must include at least one male and one female - $375.00 ($75 per person)
- Tam-O-Shanter Team of 2 - male, female or mixed - $160.00 ($80 per person)
- Highlander Brave Heart Laddie/Lassie - $85.00
Under 19 Entry Fees (all team members must be under 19 years old)
- Tartan Team of 5 - $150
- Tam-O-Shanter Team of 2 - $60
- Highlander Brave Heart Laddie/Lassie - $30
Start time for all categories is 10 am. Racers must attend the pre-race meeting at the Berkshire East base lodge at 9:15 am. Awards will be given in each category for:
under age 19;
In the case of teams in the 19-50 category and the 50+ category, the age category 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.
What kind of kayak or canoe should I use?
Any kayak or canoe that can successfully negotiate shallow class I and II rapids is fine if we're able to run the river (level under 2000 cfs). Your choice of boat should fit your skill level. People will use recreational kayaks, whitewater river running kayaks, downriver race kayaks, sea kayaks and solo or tandem canoes. Teams that use a tandem canoe must have as their paddlers either both registered 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. If the river is running over 2000 cfs on race day, the kayak leg will take place on a local lake and will be flatwater.
Can I use a snowboard/snow blades for the Alpine ski leg?
Can I rent any gear?
Ski rentals will be available at Berkshire East. Kayak rentals will be available through Zoar Outdoor (call ahead to reserve at 800 532-7483). Snowshoe rentals are available through Dion Snowshoes.
The Berkshire Highlands Pentathlon takes place between seasons - you should expect variable conditions on all legs and different conditions from year to year. As the race organizers, we embrace this as part of the fun and challenge. Be prepared for last-minute course changes if conditions require and thanks for celebrating spring in the Berkshire Highlands with us!
Running leg - 4.75 miles – Starting at Berkshire East go through the frozen or thawed mud parking lot and down the paved access road turning left onto River Road and then right over the Deerfield River and right onto Main Street/ Route 2. After a third of a mile, turn left onto Riddell Road where the paved road gets steep. 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 sugarbush where the trail turns to winding singletrack for about a mile. At the end of the singletrack, follow a jeep road downhill 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 - 18 miles - The bike leg will be a 4-lap criterium style course in the town of Charlemont finishing at the Zoar Gap picnic area. There are two railroad crossings and one metal bridge deck that could be hazardous to bikers. We will have bike-safe crossing areas for these. Bikers should look for indications showing them where to cross the tracks/bridge.
River Leg - 5 miles - Zoar Gap Picnic Area to Long Bridge (Route 8A) in Charlemont. The race course is a 5-mile section of class I-II whitewater at flows up to about 2000 cfs. The start is at the boat launch at the base of the stone stairs near the cemetery at the Zoar Gap Picnic Area. The first 1/4 mile is a moderate class I warmup before you head into Slamdance rapid. Slamdance is a class II rapid with a large boulder in the center at the bottom of the first wave train. Go right or left of this boulder and then pick your way through the rock garden in the bottom half of the rapid. More class I and easy class II follows for a mile and a quarter until an island splits the river. Take the left channel where an easy bouldery class II rapid leads to the junction of the Cold River. This area can be very turbulent when the Cold is running high. Below here, class I and easy class II leads to the Route 2 bridge just below Mohawk Park Campground and, below the 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 lefthand turn. After a sharper righthand turn the current slows and you can see Berkshire East Ski Area straight ahead. In another 3/4 of a mile, you'll come to the Long Bridge in Charlemont where the finish and the transition zone to the hill climb is on the right just 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.
If the river is running over 2000 cfs on the day of the race, we will move the kayak leg to a flatwater site nearby.
Bone Frog Leg - 1 mile - Deerfield River edge at Route 8A bridge in Charlemont to the bottom of Exhibition on Berkshire East. The Bone Frog leg starts at the south side of the Route 8A bridge and follows the South River Road east to the paved Berkshire East access road. Continue through the frozen (or thawed muddy) parking lot to the single track trails at the base of the mountain. Along the trails expect to encounter several military-style obstacles.
Hill Climb/Alpine Ski Leg – The downhill ski leg begins with an uphill trudge from the Berkshire East base lodge along the randonee trail finishing at the summit. “Piners” should plan to ski through gates, as they make their way to the base area where one last uphill gate awaits at the finish. Participants may use alpine skis or snowboards for the descent. Any non-motorized means are allowed on the ascent.
- All individuals and teams must have an assistant. 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. No monitor=no turn. The course is well signed.
- Trains don't stop for cyclists! Anyone disobeying the monitor at the tracks will be disqualified.
- Registration is open on line until noon Friday. Registration and packet pick up is from 5-7 pm Friday at the pasta buffet party at the Warfield House. A BBC beer is part of the deal for registered athletes. The buffet is prepaid or paid when you arrive. Awesome entertainment awaits with Uncle Hals Crabgrass Band! Registration and packet pick up is also Saturday from 8-9 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!