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44th Annual Josh Billings RunAground to race on virtually

The 44th Josh Billings RunAground Triathlon will go on this year as a virtual event to benefit Berkshire United Way (BUW) and the Berkshire Humane Society (BHS). The event will run Aug. 15 to Sept. 13.

“There was much concern about the Josh this year and many participants wanted to see the tradition of the Josh continue in some form as they continue to bike, paddle and run throughout the summer,” said Patty Spector, organizer of the Josh. “People train all year and look forward to the excitement and camaraderie of the race in September. We want people to keep these healthy goals and continue to encourage riding, paddling and running as a commitment to a healthy lifestyle. However, the race cannot continue this year in its usual format since it’s not safe to have large groups congregating during the pandemic.”

The object of the Josh is to raise money for the Berkshire Humane Society and Berkshire United Way. Each participant must register at Active.com, under Virtual Josh Billings Triathlon or through the Josh Billings website registration page and pay a $30 donation fee. Anyone who has already registered will need to re-register and sign a new waiver. The fee will guarantee a “special edition” 2020 Josh T-shirt and go toward the donation to BHS or BUW.

To raise as much money as possible for these organizations, participants are encouraged to solicit donations from their community of friends, family and colleagues. When someone sponsors a Josh participant, a link to the BUW or BHS fundraising pages will be provided. Donate to BUW at berkshireunitedway.org/josh-billings-runaground.

“The Josh motto – ‘To Finish is To Win’ – has never been more relevant than this year. Josh participants will get a chance to do the event as they please – on any bike route (road or trail), on any lake (paddle or swim) and any run course (road or trail). No times will be recorded to dissuade bikers from unsafe behavior on their chosen bike course,” added Spector.

Participants can choose where and how they want to do the Josh anytime from Aug. 15 to Sept. 13 either as a team, as an iron person or as an individual just choosing one event. The Josh asks that participants share pictures, solo or with teammates, on the Josh Facebook page, as well as the Facebook pages of the Berkshire Humane Society or Berkshire United Way.

People who have already entered the Josh will have the option of a refund, to roll over their entry to Sept. 19, 2021 or donate their entry free. To indicate your choice, and if you mailed in a paper application, who should receive the check and where, email Spector at patty@joshbillings.com.

“We hope fans of the Josh Billings will accept that we cannot safely hold our event in the manner that we usually do. There is an important need to support local nonprofits that have been impacted by this pandemic and we hope that the community will keep the Josh spirit alive and support these two essential Berkshire community organizations with the same enthusiasm they would have had on Sept. 13,” said Spector.

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