A few things have changed during its short history, but the Village Ultra remains true to its roots. Founded with the mission of raising funds to support charitable causes, the Village Ultra continues that mission as race director Carla Halpern prepares to play host to the third annual event Aug. 31-Sept. 1 on the Town Common in New Salem, Mass.
The inaugural event in 2017 raised money for a local family whose child needed treatment for Pediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome, and the 2018 event raised money for R.C. Mahar Regional Middle School and High School. This year’s race will raise money for the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides low-cost or free legal services to immigrants and refugees.
What has changed over time at the Village Ultra is the time options for runners. Runners had 6- and 10-hour time-based options in 2017, and that changed to 12- and 24-hour options in 2018. That format will remain this year with the 24-hour run starting at 7 p.m. on Aug. 31 and the 12-hour run beginning at 7 a.m. Sept. 1.
To keep the focus on fundraising, the Village Ultra is a low-key, no-frills event without awards for the most mileage, however every runner will receive a medal with their mileage total noted on it.
Runners may camp, sleep in their cars or in the Town Hall, and runners are asked to bring a food item to share on the aid station table. An electrolyte drink and water will be provided, and restrooms are available in the Town Hall.
Between eating and sleeping, the running will take place on four mini courses and runners are free to choose their preferred loop as they go along. The options include a quarter-mile paved loop around New Salem Common; a .6-mile dirt, trail and grass loop with a short-but-steep hill; a 2.2-mile round-trip out-and-back on a dirt road; and a 2.4-mile pavement and dirt loop.
Registration may be done online with a cost of $90 for the 24-hour event and $50 for the 12-hour event. Additionally, runners may drop in on race day and run for $10 per hour. To register, click this link.