The race was started in 1991 and has always donated all net proceeds to the Friends of the Mt. Holyoke Range, a nonprofit organization that helps the State of Massachusetts to purchase and preserve land surrounding the Mt. Holyoke Range State Park. In addition, the Friends also has numerous programs that promote the Range. Since the start of the 7 Sisters Trail Race, more than $100,000 has been donated to the Friends.
The 7 Sister Trail Race is possible thanks to the efforts of the Massachusetts Department of Conservation & Recreation (DCR), whose employees maintain portions of the Metacomet – Monadnock trail that serves as the course for the race and offer their expertise and assistance the day of the event. Along with many community partners and volunteers, the DCR offers important support to 7 Sisters runners and race coordinators. It is thanks to the organization’s year-round stewardship of the land that the race can take place on the Mt. Holyoke Range.
The race follows the New England National Scenic Trail (NET) in a westerly direction from Route 116 at the Notch in South Amherst to Old Mountain Road in Hadley and then retraces the route back to Route 116. The singletrack trail is marked with white, rectangular blazes. A copy of the map can be found here. The trail is marked as “M-M” on the map.
You are required to carry your own water. There are 2 staffed water stops for refilling your hydration system at roughly miles 2 and 4 on the way out, and the same stops are at miles 8 and 10 on the way back. The turnaround at mile 6 is staffed and offers water, fruit, gels, and other goodies. This a cup-less race. As trail runners, we seek to protect our natural resources.
While outbound, runners must reach the turn-around in 2.5hrs; and reach the Summit House while inbound in 3hrs. Anyone not making those cutoffs will be removed from the race. Data shows that the second half is slower for just about all runners–it is uphill coming back.
Awards will be given to both male and females for the Top Three Overall finishers and the Top Runner in each age group (under 29, 30-39, 40-49. 50-59, 60+) .
Bagels, fruits, yogurt, cookies and beverages will be available.
Parking opens at 7am on race day. There is limited parking at the Bunker lot. Please consider carpooling to the race. The Bunker lot closes at 2pm. All vehicles must be out of the Bunker lot by 2pm.
Race day registration and bib pick-up
Only if spots are available. Starts at 7:00am and open until 8:15am on race day. The registration tent is near the start/finish area off Military Road in Amherst, MA.
Due to trail considerations and permitting requirements, the race is capped at 500 runners. Since race demand has continued to grow in recent years, we will be instituting a waitlist for 2020 for those who wish to register after this cap has been reached. If any entrants are unable to participate for any reason, they will be offered a partial refund of $40 if they notify the registrar of their withdraw by Saturday, April 18th at 5pm. When a spot becomes available, the first person on the waitlist will be automatically placed in the race and their credit card will be charged. If you are on the waitlist and no longer wish to race, it is your responsibility to notify the registrar to be removed from the waitlist.
Folks can check where they are on the waitlist at any time by going to the registration page and clicking ‘who’s registered’ where all names are ordered according to time entered (i.e. first name on that list is #1 on the waitlist).