The yeti isn’t exactly riding off into the sunset; he’s just going into hibernation.
The Trail Animals Running Club (TARC) and its ape-like mascot won’t be taking over Hale Reservation in October 2017 or, as it stands now, for the next few Octobers.
In an email to club members from TARC 100 race director Josh Katzman, race registrar Bob Crowley, and Ghost Train race director Steve Latour on Tuesday morning, Aug. 23, the trio informed members of the decision to cancel the TARC 100 following the 2016 edition on October 8-9 at Hale Reservation in Weston, Mass.
“After some very long discussions we’ve come to the conclusion that following this year’s running of the TARC100, at least for the next couple of years, we are going to mothball the race,” they wrote in the email. “We realized that having two 100 milers for the club is too much right now.”
The TARC 100 made its debut in 2013 as Massachusetts’ first official 100-mile trail race. The inaugural event was a soupy mudfest in Weston, Mass. The event moved to Hale Reservation in 2014.
This is the fourth straight year that TARC has juggled two 100-mile races. In addition to the TARC 100, the club supports the Ghost Train 100 in Brookline, N.H. TARC will officially take over Ghost Train from Latour in 2017.
The TARC 100 took place in June during its first two years, but in 2015 it moved to October. This year, the events are just two weeks apart with Ghost Train taking place Oct. 22-23.
Staffing two massive volunteer efforts for 30-plus-hour events in such a short time presented a challenge for race organizers, but the narrow window of time between events was a challenge for runners, too, and that was noted in the email to club members.
“This race has a soul and it has truly been one of the greatest pleasures of our lives to share its spirit with the runners and our community at large. However, given the steady decline in registrations (we think the ‘Weston Mudzilla of 2013’ must have scared everyone away!) we have seen over the past three years, it’s time to let the demand build once again. We will be ready when it’s there!”
The inaugural TARC 100-mile race had 65 finishers. Just 18 and 30 runners finished the race during the next two years. Additionally, the 2013 and 2014 events included a 50-mile race with 66 finishers each year. The 2015 event included a 100K with 11 finishers.
The final running of the TARC 100 will take place Oct. 8-9. The event includes 100-mile, 100-kilometer, 50-mile, and marathon distances. Registration can be done here.
“We want to make this one extra special,” they wrote, “so our goal is getting more than 65 finishers for the 100 (the number from the first year ‘ the “run in Mud” in Weston!). We will be thinking of ways to up the support on October 8-9 to make sure this event (and legendary course!), go out with a big, big bang!”
The Ghost Train ultra distance races are sold out. Distances will include 100-mile, 75-mile, 60-mile, 45-mile, and 30-mile races. Space remains for the 15-mile and relay races.