Come to the Berkshires this September for the 41st Annual Josh Billings Runaground Triathlon. “The Josh,” scheduled for Sunday, September 17th, 2017, is one of the oldest and largest bike-canoe-run triathlons in the country.
The Josh Billings RunAground Triathlon has been held in Southern Berkshire County every year since 1976. This makes it one of the oldest continuous annual triathlons in the country, second only to California’s Eppie’s Great Race, which is two years older. The Josh Billings Triathlon includes a 27 mile bike ride, a 5 mile canoe/kayak/SUP sprint, and a 6.2 mile run.
The triathlon starts off from the Price Chopper in Great Barrington, MA with a 27 mile bike race. The race takes the cyclists through scenic back country roads and 5 towns to Stockbridge Bowl in Stockbridge. Here the cyclists hand off their wrist bands teammates waiting to paddle their way through the second leg.
The paddle portion of the Josh Billings RunAground Triathlon is a 5-mile paddling sprint around Stockbridge Bowl (Lake Mahkeenac). Paddlers may use canoes, kayaks, or stand up paddle boards as their vehicle of choice. The race around the lake ends at Camp Mah-Kee-Nac where the paddlers toss their wristbands to runners waiting on the beach.
Runners catch their teammates wristband and strike out around the lake for the main gate of Tanglewood Music Festival in Lenox; a little over 6 miles. Thousands of fans will be waiting to cheer at the finish line – then it’s time to PARTY at Tanglewood!
The Bash at Tanglewood includes live music, great food, awards, vendors, and a Kid’s Race to wind up the day. The annual Josh Billings Triathlon is always good time for both competitors and spectators alike. The race has a friendly, tongue-in-cheek feel that it gets from its namesake, Josh Billings.
Josh Billings is the pen name of renowned humorist, Henry Wheeler Shaw. Shaw, who was better known than his contemporary, Mark Twain, was born in Lanesboro, MA in 1818. One of his more famous sayings, “To finish is to win” is the motto of the RunAground and part of its fun-loving, not-too-serious attitude.
2017 Josh Billings RunAground Triathlon Schedule
Saturday, September 16
12pm to 5:30pm – Race Registration at The Arcadian Shop, 91 Pittsfield Road, Lenox, MA
2pm – Ironperson meeting in the cafe area with Kent Lemme
5pm to 7:30pm – Free Spaghetti Dinner at Bousquet Ski area in Pittsfield with music by ‘Dugway’.
Sunday, September 17
8am to 8:30am – “Last Minute” packet pickup at the bike start/boats to Stockbridge Bowl
8:30am – Bikers report to the Price Chopper parking lot
9am – Paddlers report to the Stockbridge Bowl boat ramp
9:30am – Race begins at the Price Chopper parking lot in Great Barrington
10:30am – Runners: report to Camp Mah-Kee-Nac
12pm to 4pm – The Bash at Tanglewood with a great band-‘THE PRESCRIPTION’
12pm to 1pm – Kids Race Registration at the Tanglewood United Way tent
2pm – 19th Annual Free Kid’s Fun Run on Tanglewood Grounds (1/2 mile of fun)
The Josh Billings Triathlon is 501c3 organization and donates proceeds to the Berkshire United Way located in Pittsfield, Ma.
Josh Billings RunAground Triathlon
September 17, 2017
Race starts 9:30am at Price Chopper, Rt 7, Great Barrington, MA
Visit joshbillings.com for more details and tickets. You can also follow developments as they happen on the triathlon’s Facebook page.
Josh Billings Triathlon Lodging
Whether you’re planning on competing or just spectating at the Josh Billings RunAground, you’ll want to acquire your accommodations now before they’re all snapped up! Let Applegate Inn be your home away from home during the triathlon. Our location in Lee, MA puts you less than 15 minutes away from the start of the race – and/or The Bash at Tanglewood. Soak up the comforts of a “gilded-age” inn on six park-like acres with a stay at our Berkshires B&B: Applegate Inn.