The Trail Animals Running Club’s classic Wapack and Back trail ultramarathon was canceled today, runners learned in an email from the race directors, followed by a post on the club’s Facebook page.
“With our inability to secure permits at this time and the state of what we are all dealing with due to Covid-19, the 2020 Wapack and Back May race is indefinitely cancelled,” co-Race Director Jason Gray wrote on behalf of himself and co-RD Christopher Agbay.
The race, which was first held in 2007, was slated for its 14th edition on Saturday, May 9, in Ashburnham, Mass., offering runners 50-mile, 43-mile and 21.5-mile distances.
The entry fee was $65 for the ultramarathon distances and $55 for the shorter race. Gray noted that a large portion of the entry fee had already been donated to organizations that the race benefits.
“TARC donates a significant amount of money from this race to help maintain the Wapack Trail, along with other organizations that benefit from the proceeds of this race,” Gray wrote. “Money has already been allocated to certain aspects of making this race happen that can not be redistributed.
“We ask patience of you at this time as we attempt to figure out how best to move forward with the least amount of disruption and inconvenience to all involved. We will send out more information with specifics in regards to the options we have considered once those decisions have been made.”
Wapack and Back is the fourth Massachusetts ultramarathon and third TARC race to be canceled this year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Researchers from Ultra-Endurance Sports Science & Medicine recently recommended that all endurance sporting events of more than 50 people be canceled or postponed through May 15.