While many saw the writing on the wall, or rather the mountainside, that this year's annual Thunderbolt Ski Race would be canceled, it was nonetheless with great disappointment that we fielded the news Thursday.
We know that droves of organizers, racers, spectators and volunteers prayed to Old Man Winter for a last-minute return of seasonable weather, and for once, the miser let North County down. Doubtless there are more people enjoying the oddly mild hand of this winter than there are those complaining about the lack of snow, but the loss of the race -- not to mention the fishing portion of the annual Josh Snyder Memorial Ice Fishing Derby -- are truly casualties of this strange season.
We are pleased to see that this blip in the long line of traditionally snowy North Berkshire winters doesn't appear to have sapped the resolve of the intrepid Thunderbolt Ski Runners, the hardy men and women who have organized the Mount Greylock race since 2010. The same day Race President Josh Chittenden gave the dour news, he also spoke of an expansion of the club's annual movie night, possibly taking it from C.T. Plunkett Elementary School to Pittsfield's Beacon Cinema. We fully expect the Ski Runners and the race will be back with a vengeance in 2013.
Another silver lining here is the fact that Thunderfest, the race's complimentary festival planned by Pro Adams, is still on for its inaugural outing on March 3. The
With a wide variety of activities and offerings, we see no reason that Thunderfest shouldn't attract just as many people as the race did last year, if not more. Here the weather is with organizers: 1,500 people climbed the snowy slopes of Mount Greylock for last year's race. Surely that many and more would like a reason to come out and simply enjoy the balmy downtown temps during Thunderfest. There's not even a hike to conquer first before enjoying the concessions.
We'll see you by the bonfire on March 3.