Free to Run
The Berkshire Ultra Running Community for Service (BURCS) is excited to announce new distances and a whole new course for the 2023 BURCS Free to Run Trail Races. We continue to support Free to Run, Inc., whose mission is to enable women and girls to safely and boldly engage in outdoor activity in conflict-affected regions. Through a combination of sports programs, life skills development, and community outreach, we help females to reclaim public space and change views about the roles they can (and should) play in a society. Their programs are designed to develop community leaders who can bring people together across cultural, ethnic and religious lines. They work to provide our participants with the tools to succeed because they can and will be a force for positive change.
Date: September 16, 2023
Distances: 15k/25k/50k/50 mile
Start Times: 50 Miler, 6:00AM. All other distances, 8:00 AM
Location: Pittsfield State Forest, Pittsfield MA.
Course: New course for 2023! This is designed to be BURCS most challenging, technically demanding race. The course features long climbs, fast descents, and beautiful scenery. We are excited to show off even more of the wonderful Pittsfield State Forest to our running community.
The race course is now a bit longer than in previous years, allowing ultrarunners to complete either a 50k or a 50-miler. The new race course is a double-loop, combining for approximately 15.5 miles and 3000 feet of vertical gain. The "Pine Mountain Loop" is about 9 miles long, consisting of climbs to Pine Mountain, Tower Mountain, and Berry Hill. This loop features several breathtaking vistas, a fun section along the Taconic Crest Trail, and a fast, winding descent back to the start/finish line. The "Honwee Loop" is approximately 6.5 miles long, climbing the gorgeous Lulu Brook trail back to the Taconic Crest Trail. This loop features a fast descent along Daniels Brook and along smooth double-track back to the start-finish line.
15k runners will complete the "Pine Mountain Loop." 25k runners will complete both the "Pine Mountain" and "Honwee" loops one time, and 50k runners will complete both loops twice. 50 mile runners will complete each loop three times, plus begin the race with a modest out-and-back along the Circuit Road.
Cutoffs: 50-mile race must be completed within 15 hours (by 9:00 PM) for an official finish. Two hard cutoffs; the third "Pine Mountain Loop" must be started by 4:00 PM (ten hours), and the last "Honwee Loop" must be started by 7:00 PM (thirteen hours).
Aid Stations: Two major aid stations. including at the start/finish line, and two water drops along the course. This is designed to be a challenging race and the expectation is that runners will carry water and some calories with them on the course.
Awards and Shirts: Each finisher will receive a finishers award. All runners who register prior to August 14th will receive a shirt; runners who register after that date will receive a shirt on a best-efforts basis.
Camping: There are multiple campsites in Pittsfield State Forest complete with showers and bathrooms. Runners are responsible for booking their own campsites with Pittsfield State Forest
We reserve the right to convert this to a virtual event, should we be unable to secure race permits or if state or local officials prohibit our ability to hold this as an in-person event.
Because we donate profits to charities, we do not offer refunds or deferrals, with the exception of pregnancy deferrals. If you can not make it to the event, please consider your registration a donation.
What is BURCS?
The Berkshire Ultra Running Community for Service was founded in 2013 by three passionate long-distance runners from Western Massachusetts. The BURCS crew is composed of runners of all ages who seek to use their passion for sport and activism to spread awareness about important social, civic, and environmental issues. Please check out burcsrunners.org for more information and to join.
Event's current local time: 5:53 AM ET