From the Editor’s Desk: One Year in the Books

Not many people read the inaugural post on this website.

In fact, as I’m writing this column, a quick look into the site’s metadata tells me that the first article on the site – a story about the screening of “Run Free: The True Story of Caballo Blanco” that was published on Jan. 22 – has been viewed just five times. At least one of those viewings was done by me, and another by my girlfriend.

Suffice to say, the site has come a long way since then. Continue reading From the Editor’s Desk: One Year in the Books

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Worth the Wait: McCarthy, Ringheiser to Represent Massachusetts at Western States

As the sun rose over Massachusetts on a blustery, 30-degree morning, Maddy McCarthy laced up her running shoes and headed out for a run. Meanwhile, Karen Ringheiser headed to the Middlesex Fells Reservation to lend support at the Fells Winter Ultra.

It was Saturday, Dec. 3; lottery day for Western States Endurance Run hopefuls. McCarthy and Ringheiser were among the 51 runners from Massachusetts and 4,248 applicants worldwide vying for 250 spots up for grabs in ultrarunning’s original 100-mile race.

Both McCarthy and Ringheiser knew the lottery day drill as well as anybody. For most, that drill involves starting the day feeling hopeful, eventually learning that their names weren’t drawn, and then beginning the search for a race to re-qualify for the following year’s lottery. Continue reading Worth the Wait: McCarthy, Ringheiser to Represent Massachusetts at Western States

MassUltra Roundup: Hellgate, Daytona, Austin Taylor and Rodeo Beach

Brian Rusiecki highlighted one of the final weekends of racing of the year with a dominant victory at the Hellgate 100K in Virginia. Massachusetts residents also took part in the 100-mile and 50-mile races at Daytona, as well as at 50Ks in Georgia and California.

Additionally, a few Massachusetts residents took part in the Desert Solstice 24-hour track event in Arizona. We will catch up on Desert Solstice in next week’s roundup. Continue reading MassUltra Roundup: Hellgate, Daytona, Austin Taylor and Rodeo Beach

Tough Trails, Tougher Runners at the Fells Winter Ultra

STONEHAM, Mass. – For those unfamiliar with the Middlesex Fells Reservation, the course description for the Trail Animals Running Club’s sixth annual Fells Winter Ultra might come across as a race director’s attempt to tease runners with a tantalizing portrayal of trail conditions that couldn’t possibly be as daunting as described.

“A nightmarish course of rocks and roots with a bit of elevation thrown in,” the description says of the eight-mile loop of the Skyline Trail, which 32-mile competitors circle four times and 40-mile competitors get to enjoy a fifth time.

Still, the Middlesex Fells resides just six miles north of downtown Boston and is surrounded by suburbs. How tough could the course really be?

Plenty tough, actually. Continue reading Tough Trails, Tougher Runners at the Fells Winter Ultra

Waiting for Western: A Spot in Western States Is No Guarantee for 51 Massachusetts Hopefuls

Maddy McCarthy made a quick stop at the Highway 49 aid station and then cruised down a long stretch of smooth, winding singletrack before dashing across historic No Hands Bridge.

The iconic Western States course was beneath her feet, and it felt perfect. This was what she’d dreamed of.

Sort of. Continue reading Waiting for Western: A Spot in Western States Is No Guarantee for 51 Massachusetts Hopefuls