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The MountainOne Steel Rail Races return May 18 and 19

Berkshire Running Sets Full Year of Charity Runs

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PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- Berkshire Running Foundation has released the 2024 Race Calendar for the local nonprofit with several new events scheduled throughout the county.
 
Following its first official year operating as a nonprofit entity in 2023, the 501c3 organization, which has a mission of advancing and expanding on the positive impact the running community has on the neighborhoods we live, produced, and directed eight events in 2023. The Foundation donated just more than $48,000 to local nonprofit entities which benefit from each event. 
 
The Foundation has also incorporated that all students in Berkshire County can run in these races for free. To encourage families to participate in these community events together, the elimination of fees for students 12th grade and under will make the events more wallet friendly and accessible.
 
“We are thrilled to be adding the new events this year with the Lee Lions Club’s Memorial Day 5K, The Berkshire Pride 5K and 1 Mile Walk/Run, and the Soldier On 5K on Veteran’s Day weekend, to our calendar of events for 2024; all which will raise necessary funding for these great organizations,” said Shiobbean Lemme, executive director of the Berkshire Running Foundation.
 
The events will be held throughout the year with the first being Mother’s Day 5K on May 12 at Berkshire Community College, benefiting the Elizabeth Freeman Center. This race in its 48th rendition lays claim to being the longest consecutively run all female running event in the country.
 
The second race weekend will be the MountainOne Steel Rail Races May 18 and 19. The weekend begins with the Mo’ Mile held on Saturday, May 18; this free event is for students 12 and under to run either a half mile or mile on the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail. The next day, Sunday, May 19, will be the MountainOne Steel Rail Races, which include an 8K, a 13.1 half marathon and a Boston Qualifier Marathon Course. Proceeds from the event will go to the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail maintenance and expansion.
 
 May 26th will be the inaugural running of the Lions Club Memorial Day 5K in Lee.
 
"The Lions Club is excited for the opportunity to bring this Memorial Day 5K back to Lee," Lions Club member Danna Snow said. "Part of the proceeds will go to the One Call Away Foundation, an organization that assists veterans with [post-traumatic stress disorder]. The Lions motto is 'We Serve.' This race will be our chance to serve those who served."
 
The inaugural Berkshire Pride Rainbow Run 5K and 1 mile walk will take place on Sunday, June 2, at 9 a.m. Proceeds will support Berkshire Pride’s year-round LGBTQIA+ programming. Participants are encouraged, as with all of the Berkshire Running Foundation events, to create their own fundraising page to create more support for Berkshire Pride. The event will be held on the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail in Pittsfield.
 
The Berkshire Health System’s July 4th 5K will once again be under the direction of Shiobbean Lemme and the Foundation. This classic event has been a staple on the Independence Day holiday for almost four decades and the proceeds from the event will go to support community health and wellness programs. Berkshire Health Systems will also be sponsoring a free community 6-week training program to prepare participants for the race. 
 
The second annual Keep Moo’ving 5K at High Lawn Farm will be held on Sunday, July 28. This event was a huge success raising funds for Berkshire Bounty, a food distribution organization in South County that delivers to food pantries and other organizations fighting food insecurity in our communities.
 
Sept. 1 will see the return of the Mount Greylock Road Race. This 8-mile run up Massachusetts only mountain is in its 49th year is part of the USATF Mountain Goat Series bringing hundreds of runners from all the northeast to compete. The run begins in Adams and takes the runners to the summit to finish.
 
Sept. 22 will be the return of the Spectrum Health’s FIR 5K. This is a run to support the Fitness In Recovery program held through the Berkshire Running Foundation in which a safe and supportive community to introduce a path to health and wellness through fitness.
 
Oct. 27 is the Roaring 5K with the Red Lion Inn and supported by the Trustees as Naumkeag. This 5K event runs from the Red Lion Inn and takes a few loops thru the Naumkeag grounds on their last days of the Pumpkin Show.
 
For Veterans Day, Soldier On will hold a 5K run/walk.
 
“Soldier On is excited to announce a collaboration with Berkshire Running Foundation, as they host the Veterans Day 5K run/walk on Sunday, November 10th," Soldier On CEO and President Bruce Buckley said. "The event will support the many at-risk veterans that Soldier On serves. These events not only provide financial support for our veterans, but it creates a larger community of support that goes far beyond the day of the 5K.”
 
The final event of 2024 is the ninth annual MountainOne Thankful 5Kwill be back on Thanksgiving morning, Nov. 28, at Berkshire Community College.  This event hit a historic milestone in 2023 by raising over $16,000 that went to the South Community Food Pantry and to the Fuel Assistance program.
 
Runners who complete 10 of the Berkshire Running Foundation races and a volunteer assignment will receive a 2024 Iron Runner hat and will be entered into a raffle win a full year of free registrations for 2025. Prizes will also be awarded to those completing all of the events.
 
Registrations open on a rolling basis. The first six events are available to register currently. For all the events can be found at either the Berkshire Running Center website www.berkshirerunningcenter.com or thru Zippyreg.com. All events are still looking for corporate and business sponsors, please reach out to Shiobbean Lemme directly at director@berkshirerun.org or thru the sponsorship link on the website www.berkshirerun.org
If you would like to contribute information on this article, contact us at info@iberkshires.com.

Pittsfield Woman Dies After Being Rescued From Structure Fire

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The woman who was rescued when her home caught fire on Monday has died. 
 
The Berkshire District Attorney's Office confirmed on Tuesday that Susan Steenstrup, 67, died after she was pulled from the blaze at 1 Marlboro Drive. The cause of death has not been confirmed.
 
Steenstrup was found on the second-floor by firefighters who responded to the blaze at about 6:45 p.m. She was taken by County Ambulance to Berkshire Medical Center. 
 
The two-story, 1930s home is coned off and shows signs of the emergency response such as a broken front window where crews entered to rescue Steenstrup. The fire was reported to have spread from the kitchen and a cause has not yet been determined.
 
Steenstrup was the only occupant at the time. The home had been in her family since at least the 1960s. 
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