What a difference a year makes.
The 2015 TARC ultra-running season opened with a Spring Thaw 6-Hour Race that came well before Massachusetts’ mountains of record-setting snowfall had melted away.
The 2016 TARC ultra season-opener relocated from Andover to Westwood, Mass., was scheduled for two weeks later, and rebranded itself as “To Hale and Back,” giving the trail animals an opportunity to emerge from winter hibernation for a six-hour trail race at Hale Reservation.
Ninety-six runners took to the trails Saturday, March 26, for a chilly but comfortable, snow-free six hours of running at Hale Reservation. No post-holing, Yaktrax or microspikes necessary; a 3.5-mile loop of mostly singletrack trail and rolling hills provided plenty of opportunity to run easy while ticking away the miles.
Leading the pack were Joe McConaughy, 24, of Boston; Patrick Caron, 18, of Needham, Mass.; and Eric Ahern, 38, of Somerville, Mass. All three completed 11 loops and finished with 38.5 total miles in six hours. Claire Gadrow, 46, of South Kingstown, R.I., and Issy Nielson, 33, of Warwick, R.I., logged the most miles of the ladies with 31.5 apiece.
In all, 28 runners completed at least eight loops to surpass the marathon distance, and 15 completed at least nine laps for an official 50K finish or more.
TARC’s ultrarunning season resumes Sunday, April 17, with the annual “Don’t Run Boston” 50-Mile and 50K runs at the Blue Hills Reservation, followed by the TARC Spring Classic 50K on Saturday, April 23, in Weston, Mass. The Spring Classic also includes marathon, half-marathon, and 10K distances.
TO HALE AND BACK 6-HOUR TRAIL RACE, 50K FINISHERS
- Joe McConaughy; Boston, MA; 38.5 miles
- Patrick Caron; Needham, MA; 38.5 miles
- Eric Ahern; Somerville, MA; 38.5 miles
- Charles Hornbaker; Brighton, MA; 35 miles
- Chris Baynes; Marshfield Hills, MA; 35 miles
- Ned Dalzell; Portsmouth, NH; 31.5 miles
- Gerald Audet; Holliston, MA; 31.5 miles
- Michael McDuffie; Medford, MA; 31.5 miles
- Jack Ryon; Everett, MA; 31.5 miles
- Matt Elam; Allston, MA; 31.5 miles
- Claire Gadrow; South Kingstown, RI; 31.5 miles
- MikeKenney; Charlestown, MA; 31.5 miles
- William Jackson; Salem, MA; 31.5 miles
- Issy Nielson; Warwick, RI; 31.5 miles
- Thomas Eaton; Newport, RI; 31.5 miles
Full Six-Hour Results here.