ADAMS -- Organizers of a new foot race are hoping for a "world class event" in Sunday's first Steel Rail Half Marathon from Lanesborough to Adams.
The 500-man, 13.1-mile race on the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail quickly filled to capacity in April, and promises downtown foot traffic of perhaps 2,000 for the finish and after party at the Adams Visitors Center.
"We're hoping a lot of the local community comes out to cheer people on at the finish, grab some food and a couple beers and hang around for the live music," said Kent Lemme, race organizer and co-owner of the Berkshire Running Center in Pittsfield.
The run will also test the event's potential for future growth -- an aim of Lemme and the running center.
"We've really just seen the tip of the iceberg here," he said Tuesday. "We spent $100 bucks advertising the event ... This thing could easily grow."
Sponsored by the Berkshire Brewing Company (BBC), the race begins at 9:30 a.m. with a couple laps around the Berkshire Mall and then takes the trail to the Adams Visitors Center finish.
"It's got the unlikely combo of being super-fast and really pretty, when most times you're dealing with a one-or-the-other situation," Lemme said. " ... It's the easiest half marathon anyone will ever do. There's two slight downhills and not a single uphill."
Lemme said many local runners -- and among them perhaps some first-timers -- signed up.
"We like to think we're pretty in tune with the local running community, but we were blown away by the number of Berkshire County residents we didn't know signing up -- hundreds of names," Lemme said.
Finisher medals and awards will be given out at the Visitors Center and shuttle buses will transport runners back to the mall from 1 to 2:40 p.m.
All racers get a free BBC Steel Rail, and food venders will include Desperado's, the Bounti-Fare Restaurant and more.
Lemme said the involved towns of Adams, Cheshire and Lanesborough have provided "great support."
Proceeds of the $55 racer buy-in are to go to the state Department of Conservation and Recreation, and specifically to the maintenance of the rail trail. The donation will be roughly $7,750.
To reach Phil Demers, email