After a one-year hiatus due to construction at Massasoit State Park, the Massasoit Trail Race 50K was slated to return in 2020 with a race date of Sunday, Oct. 25. The COVID-19 global pandemic threatened to keep that from happening, but race organizers from Northeast Race Management LLC held out hope for several months that the event would ultimately take place. They paused the processing of registration fees, allowing runners to continue signing up for the race while avoiding the hassle of a tedious refund process should that ultimately become necessary.
Ultimately, after months of waiting, the pandemic won out. Organizers announced last week on Facebook that the Massasoit Trail Race 50K – as well as the event’s 30K and 10K races – was canceled.
“We regret to inform you we will be canceling the 2020 Massasoit Trail Races,” the organizers wrote. “Even with the permit in place since last winter and no matter what safety protocols we planned to implement, at this time we do not see how this event will be allowed to take place with races being part of Phase 4 of the reopening of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. We are sorry for any inconvenience and hope to see you all again at another start line soon!”
The Massasoit Trail Race 50K is the 22nd Massachusetts ultramarathon to be canceled this year due to the pandemic. Four other races transitioned to being held virtually, and another (the Chesterfield Gorge Ultra) was postponed with hopes of taking place in November.
The pandemic has fully upended ultramarathon racing in the Bay State this year. After the Trail Animals Running Club played host to the TARCtic Frozen Yeti 30-Hour Ultra on Feb. 1-2, several months of race cancellations followed as the pandemic spread across the country. The Davis Square Runners postponed but ultimately held their annual fatass-style event this summer in a socially-distanced fashion, and the Village Ultra 24-Hour and 12-Hour races took place in-person in September, but so far those have been the only in-person events to take place. Another will happen this weekend, Oct. 10-11, with the Midstate Massive Ultra-Trail 100-mile, 50-mile and 30-mile races across Massachusetts. Beyond that, the rescheduled Chesterfield Gorge Ultra is the only remaining scheduled in-person race on the calendar for 2020.