steel rail race

After missing out in 2020, the Steel Rail Half Marathon returns for its eighth edition on Sunday along the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail.

The MountainOne Steel Rail races return to Berkshire County on Sunday.

After a year-and-a-half off due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’ll be back to the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail and roads in and around Lanesborough and Adams for the competition. It will be the eighth annual Steel Rail Half Marathon. The Steel Rail is typically held in the spring, but was pushed due to the pandemic.

This year, in addition to the half marathon and 8-kilometer race, there will be a full marathon. All three races will begin in the traditional starting spot at the Berkshire Mall. The Marathon will begin at 7:30 a.m., with the half starting at 9:30 and the 8K at 10. All three races will finish at the Adams Visitors Center.

There are 500 entrants for the three events.

“That’s what we started with back in the day,” said Shiobbean Lemme of the Berkshire Running Center, who puts on this event.

This is the final time the current course will be used for the Steel Rail races. Next year, with the extension of the Rail Trail into Pittsfield, the finish line will be in the Berkshire County seat.

“The half-marathoners will start in Adams and finish in Pittsfield, and the full marathoners will start in Pittsfield, run to Adams and back,” said Kent Lemme back in April when MountainOne announced its sponsorship of the races. “The finish lines for everyone will be in Pittsfield.”

Mark Rabasco, who has won three of the Steel Rail Half Marathons, is listed as having signed up for the race. He is, however, the only one of the top five finishers from 2019 that seems set to run in 2021. Emily Kaegi, the 2019 women’s champion, is not listed on the half-marathon roster.

Howard Herman can be reached at hherman@berkshireeagle.com or 413-496-6253.