The Somerville Road Runners hoped that 2016 would be an anomaly for the organization’s 24-Hour Ultra Around the Lake.
The event took place for 18 consecutive years beginning in 1998, taking place at multiple locations over time including around Lake Quannapowitt in Wakefield, Mass., in 2014 and 2015. Organizers were unable to obtain permission from Wakefield to play host to the event in 2016, however, and the race was canceled when an alternate venue couldn’t be secured.
Race organizers hoped the hiatus would be a one-time thing, and at the time they said they planned to bring the event back in 2017.
After an extended effort to revive the event, the 2017 event has also been canceled.
In an announcement on the event’s Facebook page on Feb. 28, organizers said, “It is with great sadness that we have to announce the cancellation of the event in Wakefield. This was a difficult decision for our race committee, but members of our organization continue to research other locations and staging areas.”
The two-year absence of the 24-Hour Ultra Around the Lake follows what had been a long, successful run of a popular endurance event. What started as a small event with 26 runners – two in the marathon and 24 in the 24-hour event – surged in participation as the years went by. A 12-hour offering was added in 2008 when 171 runners toed the starting line. More than 200 runners took part in the Ultra Around the Lake each year from 2010-2015. Attendance maxed out at 295 runners in 2012, a year that saw Scott Traer deliver a record-setting 140.41-mile performance in the 24-hour event.