MassUltra Roundup: Beast of Burden, Black Canyon, Jackpot, Mid-Maryland and Iron Horse

Winter has settled in on New England and the greater Northeast in recent weeks. That didn’t slow down Michael Condella as the Revere resident conquered the cold and turned in a runner-up finish at the Beast of Burden 100-miler in nearby New York. Other ultrarunners sought out the warmer climate of Florida, Nevada, and Arizona, led by Northampton’s Jake Dissinger who hammered a top-20 effort in a field of more than 600 runners at the Black Canyon 100K. Those performance provided some extra heat during the winter running season, and they highlight this week’s roundup. Continue reading MassUltra Roundup: Beast of Burden, Black Canyon, Jackpot, Mid-Maryland and Iron Horse

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Chance Meeting Sparks Friendship, 100-Mile Finishes for Burke, McElroy

WESTWOOD, Mass. — Brian Burke strode through the door of Powissett Lodge, checked in with the timekeepers, and was about to grab a snack when he spotted a familiar face: William McElroy Jr.

It was early Saturday evening, Feb. 2, and both Burke and McElroy had already run 50 miles apiece — most of them solo — during the past 11 hours at the TARCtic Frozen Yeti 30-Hour Ultra at Hale Reservation. The trail was covered in ice and snow, and the temperature hadn’t reached 30 degrees all day. Those 50 miles had been grueling.

This chance meeting in the event’s aid station was a game-changer. It was also uniquely appropriate. Continue reading Chance Meeting Sparks Friendship, 100-Mile Finishes for Burke, McElroy

After Years of Intrigue, Hale Reservation Staff Embraces Its Inner Trail Animal

WESTWOOD, Mass. – Shannon Obey can’t help but chuckle as she reflects on the early days of Hale Reservation’s relationship with the Trail Animals Running Club.

The Trail Animals had played host to their inaugural TARC 100 in June 2013. That year’s race took place in Weston, and it has lovingly gone down in TARC history as “the Mud-Fest.” The course took runners through a floodplain, and true to the word, the course flooded. Those who finished endured four 25-mile loops of post-holing in the mud and tromping through knee-deep water in some places.

Worried they’d wear out their welcome in Weston, the Trail Animals went looking for a new home for the race. Continue reading After Years of Intrigue, Hale Reservation Staff Embraces Its Inner Trail Animal

Harper Victorious at Frozen Yeti with Help from Her Trail Animal Friends

WESTWOOD, Mass. – A smile glowed on Carolyn Harper’s face and she raised her hands in the air as she ran the final strides toward Powissett Lodge. Friends cheered for her as she rounded the corner of the building, strode up the stairs and stepped through the door to check in.

One hundred miles were done. But was she? Continue reading Harper Victorious at Frozen Yeti with Help from Her Trail Animal Friends

Runners Counter Ice, Cold with Spirit, Grit at Inaugural Frozen Yeti

Editor’s Note: This is the first of multiple follow-up stories from the TARCtic Frozen Yeti. Several additional stories are in the works and will be posted in the next few days.

WESTWOOD, Mass. – As registrations for the inaugural TARCtic Frozen Yeti began rolling in months ago and the ultramarathon sold out, entrants were cautioned that they should prepare for bitterly cold New England temperatures and snow. A mandatory gear list straight out of the Ultra Trail du Mont-Blanc was established.

To put it bluntly, runners knew what they were signing up for. Continue reading Runners Counter Ice, Cold with Spirit, Grit at Inaugural Frozen Yeti

MassUltra Roundup: Rocky Raccoon

Most New England ultrarunners who sought out a starting line last weekend headed to Westwood, Mass., for the inaugural TARCtic Frozen Yeti 30-Hour Ultra. Meanwhile, a handful headed to Texas to take on one of the sport’s classic 100-milers: the Rocky Raccoon 100 in Huntsville. Boston’s Kate Cook and Boylston’s Neil Feldman both earned finisher’s belt buckles for their efforts, and they get this week’s roundup all to themselves after what was an otherwise light weekend of out-of-state racing. Continue reading MassUltra Roundup: Rocky Raccoon