2014 Northern Berks QUAD Games begin April 5

Item photo by Shea Singley From last year's "Bartram Breeze."
Item photo by Shea Singley A rider crosses the finish line in last year's "Dutch Country."

Coming the first weekend of April is the start of the 2014 Northern Berks QUAD Games beginning with the “Bartram Breeze” on April 5.

In its eighth year, the QUAD Games is a three-season four-event regional competition to promote physical fitness and cross-trainings as part of a healthy lifestyle and to highlight the outdoor recreation opportunities in the northern Berks County area. The event is from Blue Mountain Wildlife Incorporated.

Each event includes an “extreme” course for avid fitness enthusiasts and a shorter “family” course for the more casual athlete. Anyone is welcome to participate. At every race is a DJ providing musical entertainment and encouragement, information on Blue Mountain Wildlife Incorporated, t-shirts for sale and at the end of the race that day is a hot lunch for registered participants and volunteers. There is also an award ceremony for the top finishers in each category at the end of every race with a larger ceremony at the end of the last event of the year.

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Those who compete in all four events are eligible for the QUAD Games awards at the conclusion of the games this September.

All proceeds from the regional competition benefit Blue Mountain Wildlife Incorporated and go to their projects. The group was established in 2001 to preserve the Kernsville Dam Recreation Area from inappropriate development according to a letter from Donald Waldron, President of Blue Mountain Wildlife Incorporated.

“Projects will prove a direct benefit to the increasing number of people who use the area, as well as an indirect benefit to the local businesses that see increased traffic that the area generates,” said Waldron in the letter. “Of course, these projects benefit the wetlands and wildlife of the area by channeling visitors toward facilities designed to accommodate the increased human presence and away from sensitive habitat as well as increase awareness of the importance and fragility of the wetlands to many visitors.”

“Our hope is that they [the racers] use their experiences at our races to start exploring Hamburg and the surrounding area,” said Gregg Adams, member of the race committee, last year. “Many participants have said that we have well-run races with beautiful and challenging courses.”

The games began in 2006 and have continued to see many return participants and quite a few new faces as well. Last year, 188 athletes competed in the games and quite a few took part in all four events. Each race builds off the last in terms of how challenging with the first being the easiest and the last being the most difficult.

First up is the “Bartram Breeze” 10K Extreme “road” race and 2K Family “road” race at Kernsville Dam Recreation Area in Tilden Township on April 5.

Next is the “Mad Dash” Extreme 5-mile trail race and the 2.5K Family trail race at the Hamburg Reservoir in Windsor Township on May 31.

Then it is the “Dutch Country” Extreme 15-mile bicycle race and 5-mile Family bike race at Blue Mountain Academy in Tilden Township on July 27.

And last, but certainly not least, is the “U Can DU It” Extreme spring duathlon run/bike/run and Family mini-duathlon at Tilden Elementary School in Hamburg on September 28.

Returning this year, after the success last year, is the “Bartram Breeze” 5K “road” race and the “Mad Dash” 5K trail race. The 5K races do not count as part of the QUAD Games, but take place at the same time as the other races and are a good fit for people who are not quite at “Extreme” but want more of a challenge than “Family.”

Registration for each event and pre-registration packet pick up is open from 8 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. on race day. Races start at 9 a.m. For more information on the QUAD Games and Blue Mountain Wildlife Incorporated visit www.BlueMountainWildlife.com.

Follow The Item on Twitter @hamburgitem.

About the Author

Shea Singley

Shea Singley is the editor of The Hamburg Area Item. She grew up in Berks County and spent three years at the University of Arizona, Tucson, where she double majored in Creative Writing and English before transferring to Kutztown University where she majored in Professional Writing. Shea graduated from Kutztown University in 2012 and during that time completed an internship in the publication department of a non-profit organization in Washington, DC. She joined Berks-Mont Newspapers in March of 2013 and had enjoyed getting the chance to explore the Hamburg area and meet the readers. Reach the author at ssingley@berksmontnews.com or follow Shea on Twitter: @hamburgitem.