Pedal N Plod race doubles participants this year

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Photo Gallery | 33rd annual Pedal and Plod Race

ADAMS — "You can't just lie around on the couch."

That's the advice from Pedal N Plod cyclist Daniel Moon, a Pittsfield resident who's competed during the town's traditional summertime running and bicycling event for about eight years.

The July 24 race almost didn't happen this year, as a town events planning committee disbanded several months ago. Town residents Carol Cushenette, Peter Lipka and Myra Wilk teamed up with members of the Western Massachusetts Athletic Club and organized the 33rd annual race.

"Communities are smart to do events like this," Moon said. "These types of events are falling by the wayside and one thing about this race is the town keeps it reasonable to enter. A lot of bike races are very expensive but this one is something people can do."

The pre-registration fee for the race was $30 per team and $20 for an Iron person entry and race day registration was $40 per team and $30 per "Ironperson" entry.

Moon's team mate William "Bill" Chapman, of Lenox, noted that since the town is promoting itself as "The Outdoor Recreation Place to Be," it is likely a good idea to continue hosting outdoor recreation events.

"Back in the 1990s I lived in town here and I competed as an Ironman but now I'm more of a runner," Chapman said.

"Ironperson" competitors run and bike the race themselves. Teams are made up of one runner and one cyclist. There was a designation for "Ironman" and "Ironwoman" for prize awards.

Solo and team racing is ambitious and fierce, said North Adams resident Amanda Chilson. Chilson attacked the running race while her partner Joshua Chittenden of Adams tackled the cycling aspect.

"I had a really great cyclist who asked me to run this race," she said. "Josh Chittenden is my partner, and I knew with him it would be fun and it would be competitive. "

Cushenette said that last year there were 49 teams registered to race; this year 90 teams participated. More than 40 people competed as part of the Ironperson category, she said.

"it was so important to maintain this race," she said. "There is a history of 30 years here. The WAMC has always been part of this, what was needed was the organizing piece. Myra and Pete and I were happy to pick this up. We'd like to expand it, to increase participation."

Chittenden manages the town-based Berkshire Outfitters retail shop and said that he advocates a four-season roster of outdoor events.

"I am excited that they were able to keep this tradition going,' he said. "It's a big thing and the endurance races are growing in popularity."

Theresa Williams of Hindsdale and her father Joseph Williams of Pittsfield view the event as a father-daughter tradition, she said. Theresa runs the race while Joseph bikes the cyclist route.

"I do this with my dad," Theresa Williams said just before she burst into a cheer and applause. "Look, that's my dad! He just went by now!"

The Pedal N Plod is enjoyable for dedicated athletes as well as those choosing a recreational approach to outdoor hobbies, Moon said.

"This race is always a ton of fun," he said. "My fitness level isn't what is was a few years ago but this is always a fun thing to do. I love it. I get the same good sensations whether I come in first or 50th."


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