MassUltra Roundup: Bandera

The 2022 ultramarathon racing season kicked off locally on Saturday, Jan. 8, with the return of the G.A.C. Frozen Fat Ass 50K. While around 100 New England residents took part in that classic event as it celebrated its 22nd running, a handful of runners from the region journeyed south to Texas to take part in the 100K and 50K ultras at the Bandera Endurance Runs. Included among the field was former Boston resident Joe McConaughy who made a fierce attempt to secure a Western States Golden Ticket before coming up just minutes short. McConaughy’s performance and those of the New England crew at Bandera are included in this week’s roundup.

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MassUltra Roundup: Across the Years

A handful of New England residents were among the final runners to finish an ultramarathon in 2021 or the first to complete one in 2022. That was the case – as it has been for a few decades – for runners at Across the Years in Phoenix, Ariz. It was one of the few events to take place that overlaps the turning of a new year, and it kicks off the 2022 edition of the roundup.

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MassUltra Roundup: Woodside Ramble, Naked Nick, Sawmill, and Jupiter Ridge

The 2021 ultrarunning season is rapidly coming to a close. Days have grown shorter, and race calendars have, too. Only a handful of ultras remain on the slate between now and the new year. Light racing has taken place during the first few weekends of December, but a handful of runners from the region have made their way to starting lines around the country. That includes Cambridge resident Alexander Lenail, whose busy December included racing locally at the Fells Winter Ultra before heading to California and turning in a strong showing at the Woodside Ramble 50K. His performance leads off this edition of the roundup.

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MassUltra Roundup: Devil Dog, McDowell Mountain, Brazos Bend, and Dead Horse

Winter is nearly upon us, and the 2021 ultramarathon season is rapidly coming to a close. The first weekend of December saw far fewer races than in recent months, and although most New England residents who raced during the Dec. 4-5 weekend opted to stay local at the Fells Winter Ultra in Stoneham, Mass., a handful headed out of state to race. That included Graham Simon who delivered a dandy of a performance in his first 100-mile race at the Devil Dog Ultras in Virginia. His strong performance leads off this week’s roundup.

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Back to Hale: After 2-Year Hiatus, To Hale and Back Registration Opens

In March of 2020, the To Hale and Back 6-Hour Ultra and 5K became the first Massachusetts trail ultramarathon to be a casualty of the COVID-19 pandemic. Just seven weeks earlier, the Trail Animals Running Club had played host to the TARCtic Frozen Yeti 30-Hour Ultra on some of the same trails at Hale Reservation in Westwood, Mass., in the first of what was supposed to be a 10-race season for the TARC Trail Series.

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McInerney, Farnsworth Prevail at Spirited TARCkey Trot 6-Hour Ultra

WINCHESTER, Mass. — Less than 24 hours before the start of the TARCkey Trot 6-Hour Ultra, Race Director Jeff LeBlanc found himself inundated with rain. He was marking the 3.1-mile loop course through Wright-Locke Farm and Whipple Hill when a heavy thunderstorm moved over Winchester, soaking him within seconds and blasting him with heavy wind. As fast as the rain fell, leaves dropped from the trees all around him almost as quickly, expediting their autumn transition and hiding many of the course’s network of rocks and twisting tree roots.

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Going beyond the marathon in Massachusetts