The 41st Great Josh Billings RunAground Triathlon
in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts
Bike 27 miles
Canoe, kayak, SUP 5 miles
Run 6 miles
Sunday, September 17, 2017
- 500 teams start in Great Barrington, Ma and bike 27 miles through 5 towns of scenic back country roads and rolling hills to Stockbridge Bowl in Stockbridge where bikers hand off the wrist band to paddlers waiting at the lake.
- Canoeists, kayakers and SUP’s sprint 5 miles around the lake ending at Camp Mah-Kee-Nac where the wristband is tossed to runners waiting on the beach.
- Runners head out of the camp and run 6 miles around the lake and finish down the main gate of Tanglewood Music Festival in Lenox where thousands of friends, family and fans cheer on the finishers.
- Everyone joins the party at Tanglewood with a live band, food, vendors, awards and a free Kid’s Race at 2pm for 5-12 year olds.
- 43 categories for teams and ironpersons with separate divisions for canoes, kayaks and SUP’s.
“While all things continually change, in many ways they remain the same.
So it is with The Josh each fall.”
The Josh Billings Triathlon is 501c3 organization and donates proceeds to the Berkshire United Way located in Pittsfield, Ma.
Josh Billings is the pen name of Henry Wheeler Shaw who was born in Lanesboro, Massachusetts on April 12, 1818. His father, Henry Shaw, served in the Massachusetts State Senate for 25 years. Billings was a renowned humorist in his day, and better known and appreciated than his contemporary, Mark Twain. Commanding capacity crowds wherever he performed, he became widely known for his down-home philosophies, Yankee “one-liners” and peculiar, phonetic spelling.
One of his wise sayings, “To finish is to win” is the motto of the RunAground and one of the reasons the event was named for Josh Billings. The fun-loving, not-too-serious aspect of the race is perhaps why it has become one of the oldest and largest bike-canoe-run triathlons in the country. Another Billings quote appropriate to this triathlon is “The rarest thing a man ever duz iz the best he can.” Attracting elite and amateur athletes alike, “The Josh” is an event for all ages and abilities, for participants and spectators.