GREAT BARRINGTON -- The Kindred Gr8t Road Race has an unusual name and covers an unusual distance, but in the end, will benefit a good cause.

Proceeds from the eight-mile race, scheduled for next Sunday in Great Barrington at 8 a.m., will benefit the Porchlight/VNA Home Care Nursing Assistant Training Program. The organization delivers specialized home care services to thousands of area clients.

Kindred Healthcare, the principal sponsor of the race along with the Berkshire Running Center, is the largest diversified provider of post-acute care services in the country.

The event is an eight mile race, which is an unusual distance. But according to race co-organizer Kent Lemme of the Berkshire Running Center, that’s just how the course for this inaugural race happened to work out.

"It’s not the usual distance for a road race," said Lemme. "There are no world records for eight-mile courses. But when we laid the course out, that’s what it dictated. So rather than make the course fit the race, we let the race fit the course."

The race begins on Silver Street, near the Newsboy Statue and the Kindred Healthcare Facility at 148 Maple Avenue, which is also Route 23.

The race loops south, then comes back north and ends at the Kindred Facility. It is mostly uphill for most of the first part of the course, but also scenic and shady for most of the way, said Lemme.

There will be water stops at miles two, four and six. Water and food will be provided at the finish line. Prizes will be awarded to the first three overall finishers, as well as finishers in various age categories.

The registration fee is $38. Forms can be found at
berkshirerunningcenter.com, as well as other information.

Lemme said registration has been slow, but that organizers are still hoping for around 200 runners.