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Hopped Up for Health

Health care is a topic on many people’s minds as we move into a new round of political debate but there is one thing we can all do to help make quality health care available to the uninsured even as politicians dither.

This Saturday, June 15th, Hopped Up for Health, a fundraising walk, run and bike race will be held in Sheffield MA to raise money for Volunteers in Medicine (VIM).

The races begin at Big Elm Brewery, 65 Silver Street with the bike race starting at 9:30AM and the road race at 10AM. The contestants can follow four tailored courses over beautiful country roads. The bike routes are 50 and 20 miles and the walk/run routes are 5K or 12K.

Online registration at BerkshireRunningCenter is preferred but forms may also be dropped off at Big Elm Brewery or Volunteers in Medicine Berkshires, 777 Main Street, Suite 4, Great Barrington MA 01230. They may also be mailed.

Early registration costs $40 for the 12K Hill Challenge ($45 on day of race), and $25 for the 5K race ($30 on day of race). Make checks payable to VIM Berkshires.

To register for the bike races ($49 for 50 mile race/$29 for 20 miles) go to

Day of the race registration will begin at 8AM.

Participants 21 years of age and older with an ID will get one free Big Elm beer and there will be fresh food vendors and music after the race. A free after-race massage will also be available on a first come, first served basis. Prized will be given to top finishers in all categories.

Volunteers in Medicine Berkshires provides access to free, comprehensive health care for those in the Berkshire region who are income qualified and uninsured or under-insured.

Volunteers in Medicine was founded in 1991 when Dr. Jack McConnel founded a free health care facility that recruited retired physicians to treat uninsured people in Hilton Head SC. It has since built 86 VIM clinics in 25 states. VIM Berkshires is the only one in Massachusetts. Nationwide, more than 100,000 patients receive assistance each year. VIM health centers vary in scope from part-time, walk-in clinics to full-time, full-service practices.