What’s on tap this summer in Franklin County?

  • Jason Striegel, of Brooklyn, N.Y., rides down the home stretch as the sun sets on a previous D2R2 — Deerfield Dirt Road Randonnée fundraising event for the Franklin County Land Trust. This year’s ride is set for Aug. 17. STAFF FILE PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • KC Finley tees off during last year’s Invitational Four-Ball final at Country Club of Greenfield. The event returns July 25-28. Staff FILE PHOTO/Dan Little

  • Competitors wade into the water prior to the start of the swimming section at last year’s Greenfield Lightlife Triathlon. The 36th annual event is Aug. 4. Staff FILE Photo/Dan Little

Staff Writer
Published: 6/25/2019 10:27:25 PM
Modified: 6/25/2019 10:27:22 PM

Welcome to summer, Franklin County.

It’s officially time to kick back, unwind and enjoy all that the outdoors in this beautiful area have to offer. And with that comes a plethora of activities and sporting events that highlight the calendar during the next couple of months.

We’ve got golf tournament, racing and everything in between to look forward to this summer. Area folks are looking to stay busy, and we’ll have you covered on the events listed below in addition to countless others. Stay tuned to more detailed previews on these events, but for now, here’s a sampling of what to look forward to this summer. Mark those calendars.

111th Massachusetts Amateur Golf Championship

July 15-19, The Country Club in Brookline

The biggest event on the Massachusetts golf calendar moves to the oldest country club in the Bay State this summer, as The Country Club (site of the 1999 Ryder Cup) in Brookline welcomes the 111th Massachusetts Amateur Championship next month.

Franklin County golfers will be well-represented there. Familiar face Cody Booska of Turners Falls, who earned a career-best quarterfinal round appearance in 2017, has qualified once again, though he’ll have company from the area in Brookline. Fellow Country Club of Greenfield member Jake Willis also earned a spot, along with South Deerfield’s Jonathan Elkins and Northfield Golf Club’s Andy Lesenski.

74th Invitational Four-Ball

July 25-28, Country Club of Greenfield

Speaking of the links, our version of prestige returns in late July as the Country Club of Greenfield holds its 74th Annual Invitational Four-Ball.

For the first time in a decade, a non-local team captured the title in 2018 when Holyokers Joe Wilson and Chris Ferriter knocked off the home club, Cody Booska and KC Finley, in last year’s final.

Expect the field to be loaded with familiar duos yet again, as the four-day tournament is a homecoming and reunion for golfers throughout Franklin County.

36th Greenfield Lightlife Triathlon

Aug. 4, Green River Swimming & Recreation Area

One of the premier events in the area each summer, the Greenfield Triathlon celebrates its 36th year in August. 

We’ll have more details in the coming weeks, but this year’s course has been altered significantly with the construction and closing of Nash’s Mill Road.

David Hansen of Rochester, N.Y. won the 2018 men’s event in the International distance, while the sprint winner was Robert Hollinger. On the women’s side, Jennie Hansen (Rochester, N.Y.) won the International distance and the sprint winner was five-time champion Joellen Cameron-Reino.

41st Bridge of Flowers 8K Classic

Aug. 10, Iron Bridge in Shelburne Falls

One of the toughest courses in New England awaits runners on Aug. 10, with the always crowd-pleasing Crittenden Hill proving to be a perfect complement to the finish across the Iron Bridge in Shelburne Falls at the annual Bridge of Flowers Classic.

Last year’s race, won on the men’s side by Amos Sang and on the women’s side by Aisling Cuffe, featured the debut of the 8K course. The run is preceded by the 3K Charity Run & Walk.

D2R2 — The Deerfield Dirt Road Randonnée

Aug. 17, Deerfield

Thousands of bicyclists will descend on Franklin County in August to participate in the nation’s largest dirt-road cycling event. Hosted by Franklin Land Trust (FLT), the event celebrates its 14th anniversary this summer.

“D2R2,” as the ride has been nicknamed, offers seven dirt-road courses ranging in length from a 12-mile Family Ride to the 180K challenging course. All routes begin at Old Deerfield and thread through agricultural land and forests in western Mass. and southern Vermont. The short course has a flat run up the Green River valley, whereas the long course is regarded as perhaps the hardest century ride in the world.

38th Montague Mug Race

Aug. 18, Montague Center Common

The run for the pewter mug is less than two months away.

The 5.5-mile Montague Mug Race celebrates its 38th anniversary this summer. The race begins at the Village Common and ends at the ballpark on Station Street. Leverett’s Nick Gaubinger is the defending champion on the men’s side, with Erin Haynes the defending women’s champion.

Massachusetts Junior Amateur Championship

Aug. 19-22, Crumpin-Fox Club

The top event in Massachusetts Junior golf will be hosted by Crumpin-Fox Club in Bernardston this August, as youngsters from all over embark on Franklin County to test their mettle over four days against the challenging course.

In the 2018 event at Belmont Country Club, Brookline’s James Imai rallied for a 22-hole championship-match victory over Needham’s David Rogers. The tournament begins with two days of stroke play before bracketing the top 16 into match play.

Wheeling For Healing Ride, Walk and Run

Aug. 25, Greenfield Community College

The 12th annual Wheeling for Healing Ride, Walk and Run for Baystate Franklin Medical Center is another big event in the calendar late in the summer.

The event, which raises funds for cancer care at Baystate Franklin, offers cyclists the chance to participate in a 50, 25 or 10 mile ride, while runners and walkers can gear up for a 5K.

New England Green River Marathon

Sept. 1, Marlboro College to Greenfield Community College

The summer winds down with perhaps the most grueling of them all.

After a successful inaugural event in 2018, the New England Green River Marathon returns for Year 2 on the first day of September.

The 26.2-mile jaunt begins at Marlboro College in Vermont, follows the Green River as it flows down toward the Connecticut River, and ends at Greenfield Community College. Hosted by the Sugarloaf Mountain Athletic Club, the inaugural event was won by Hampton, N.H.’s Meg Brockett (2 hours, 46 minutes, 37 seconds).

25th Don Maynard Memorial Road Race

Sept. 21, Greenfield

The annual 5-miler (and 3-mile non-competitive walk) returns for a whopping 25th year.

The race, which takes runners through the Greenfield Meadows, is run in Maynard’s memory, with proceeds going toward the Don Maynard Scholarship Fund. The fund awards scholarships to graduating Franklin County public school seniors.

This year’s $500 scholarship winners were Inna Lyvytska of Greenfield High School and Jackson Hicks of Mohawk Trail Regional High School.

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