The Trail Animals are officially returning from hibernation.
In March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic forced a shutdown of most work places, schools, and in-person social and athletic gatherings in Massachusetts and all across the country. For the Trail Animals Running Club (TARC), that meant the cancellation of its final nine races of the year. As 2021 began, uncertainty continued to wreak havoc on races locally and nationally. In Massachusetts, improving COVID numbers took a turn for the worse, only to swing back in a positive direction in March. Governor Charlie Baker eased the state’s lockdown, tightened it back up, and then began to ease restrictions again.
For TARC, the uncertainty and rapidly changing situation led the club to cancel three more races — the TARCtic Frozen Yeti 30-hour ultra, the TARC Spring Classic, and Wapack and Back. Finally, group gathering sizes were eased in early April, which allowed TARC’s classic “Don’t Run Boston” 50K and 50-miler to take place as an in-person event on April 18, though the event’s traditional format of no course markings, no cost, no equipment rentals, limited aid, wave starts, and a minimal field capacity made it far easier to plan for and adjust on the fly than any other TARC event.
Now that Massachusetts and greater New England have fully eased COVID-19 restrictions, TARC has opened registration for a few of its events or announced the date that registration will open for the following events:
TARC Summer Classic – Saturday, Aug. 7
Ghost Train Rail Trail Race – Saturday, Oct. 16 – Sunday, Oct. 17
TARC Fells Winter Ultra – Saturday, Dec. 4