When Carla Halpern started the Village Ultra in 2017, she did so with the goals of supporting good causes and providing an endurance opportunity in her community.
During the first few years, the low-key, laid-back event gained popularity locally, raised money for several organizations, and successfully navigated a pandemic without having to cancel. Building upon that experience, Halpern is bringing back the Village Ultra for year number five. Registration opened on Thursday, June 30.
The fifth running of the event will take place Sept. 4-5 on the New Salem Town Common. It will once again include 24-hour and 12-hour races, with the 24-hour event starting at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 4, and the 12-hour option beginning at 7 a.m. the next morning.
Cost for the 24-hour race is $90; the 12-hour race has a $50 entry fee. Registration can be done at this link. Unlike 2020, when COVID-19 state restrictions limited in-person participation to Massachusetts residents, there are no lockdowns this year so runners from any state can enter and attend.
In keeping with the format from previous years, runners will once again have four small loops to choose from as they mix and match loops to make their own course. The White loop is a 0.25-mile loop around the Town Common; the Blue loop is a 0.6-mile mix of dirt, trail and grass with some hills; the Silver route is a 2.2-mile round-trip, out-and-back on a dirt road; and the Gold loop is a 2.4-mile round-trip, out-and-back on a road that’s part dirt and part pavement.
In keeping with the event’s roots as a fundraiser for various causes, the 2021 Village Ultra will raise funds to benefit The Trevor Project, an organization that provides mental health and suicide prevention services to LGBTQIA+ youth. The 2020 race raised more than $1,600 to support the Swift River School in New Salem.