Chocolate Bowl race at Stockbridge Bowl

A couple tasty appetizers are on deck this summer in the lead up to a full meal Josh Billings RunAground in September.

The Chocolate Bowl and Cookie Bowl paddle races are returning in 2021, after COVID-19 dry-docked the canoe/kayak/SUP events last summer.

Billings race director Patty Spector, along with local paddlers Kurt Kuehnel and Robert Gyurjan, are combining an effort to bring the races back to Stockbridge Bowl, both to raise awareness of the Josh’s return, and funds for a cause near and dear to Gyurjan’s heart. All proceeds from the two races will go to NephCure Kidney International.

After The Josh went virtual last year during the pandemic, Spector wants everyone to know it is making a comeback and the 45th edition will be held on Sunday, Sept. 19. In addition, there will remain a virtual option this year, which will serve as a fundraiser for the Berkshire United Way and Berkshire Humane Society.

However, before all of that, there are the Chocolate Bowl and Cookie Bowl races. The Cookie Bowl will be contested on Aug. 27, but the Chocolate Bowl is slated for next week on Wednesday, July 28. Start is at the Stockbridge Bowl boat ramp, and paddlers will work two laps around the Bowl, approximately 5.8 miles to finish. Registration begins at 5 p.m., with the race at 6 p.m. There is a $15 entry fee and there will also be a raffle at the event, all of which goes to NephCure.

NephCure is a foundation with the goal of contributing to the research of treatments for various kidney diseases, one of which Gyurjan — a Billings iron man veteran — has lived with for many years.

“This is a fun, no stress evening of racing and camaraderie and a great tune-up for the Josh,” Spector wrote in an email. She noted that there will also be a 2 1/2-mile course and a variety of recreational categories including a youth/adult class.

Of course the namesakes are there as well, with Chocolate Bowl awards coming in the form of treats from Chocolate Springs in Lenox. For more information, contact patty@joshbillings.com.

3rd annual Run4Uns

The Run4Uns, an annual running race held in honor of the late Monument Mountain cross-country coach and teacher Chris Unsworth, is scheduled to be run virtually Labor Day Weekend, Sept. 3-5.

“The first two years the event have been a huge success, and we look forward to keeping it going,” wrote Emily Unsworth Manz, Chris’ sister, who noted that the plan is for the event to return to in-person in 2022.

The 5K walk/run went virtual in 2020 due to the pandemic, and saw participation from Great Barrington to New Zealand. Manz says it is geared not just to competitive runners, but to families and those who just want some time outside.

Registration for the event is $35, which includes a T-shirt. There is a $30 option without the shirt. The cost includes shipping, but participants should register by Aug. 7 to ensure the shirt arrives in time for the weekend.

Proceeds go to The Chris Unsworth Scholarship website, and donations are accepted at sites.google.con/view/chrisunsworth/home.

Unsworth was a teacher and coach at Monument for over 20 years, until he passed away in 2018.

“After Chris’ death in the summer of 2018, a scholarship was created after several current and former students, families and friends had reached out about wanting to honor his memory after all he had passed on to them over so many years,” reads a press release. “The Chris Unsworth Scholarship fund was thus created, and the first two Monument Mountain Regional High School recipients were awarded the first ever Chris Unsworth scholarship in May of 2019. It is our hope that through events like the Run4Uns, we can continue to offer scholarships to hard-working graduating seniors towards their higher education for years to come.”

Pittsfield Track and Field Games

The Pittsfield Track and Field Games are set to return next weekend to Taconic High School.

After a 1 year pause, Berkshire Thunder Track Club is Returning. The city of Pittsfield, along with the Berkshire Lightning, Berkshire Thunder and Berkshire Running Center will host a free day-long experience to teach kids aged 6 to 14 the basics of the sport.

Registration begins at 9 a.m., along with a guided warmup, followed by the event at 9:30 a.m. More information can be requested via the city’s Recreation and Special Events Coordinator Becky Manship at 499-9371 or email parks@cityofpittsfield.org.

The Berkshire Thunder is a boys track club for kids in fifth through 12th grade. They welcome new runners interested in learning more of improving during the high school offseason. It is a free club that meets for one-hour sessions on Thursdays at 6 p.m. and Saturdays at 9 a.m. at Taconic through mid-August. Interested parties can contact Albert Najimy at anajimy@berkshire.rr.com with any questions. An email list may be joined at www.berkshirethunder.com/contact.html.’

The Berkshire Lightning is a sister program for girls that meets on the same schedule. More information on the Lightning can be found at www.berkshirelightning.com.