Results: 2021 TARC Ghost Train Rail Trail Races

Following a one-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the TARC Ghost Train Rail Trail Race returned for its 12th running on Oct. 16-17 on the Milford and Brookline Rail Trail in Brookline, N.H. The event offered its traditional 30-hour ultra, as well as a Sunday 15-mile race. This year’s race threw a little bit of everything at the runners, from an unseasonably warm Saturday where the temperature climbed into the upper-70s, to heavy rain overnight.

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MassUltra Roundup: Runamuck, Run it You Won’t, and Pony Express

The Ghost Train Rail Trail Race was the main draw for New England ultrarunners during the Oct. 15-17 weekend, but a handful of runners from the region opted to race elsewhere. The second-biggest draw in the region for the weekend was the popular Runamuck 50K in Vermont, which offered races on both Saturday and Sunday, giving runners scheduling flexibility as well as a bit of extra space as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. A few others tackled a new vertical challenge event in Vermont, while one Massachusetts man made his ultra debut out West on the Pony Express Trail. Ghost Train will have its own separate writeup, but everything else is captured in this edition of the roundup.

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MassUltra Roundup: Moab 240, Tesla Hertz, Big Brad, CanLake, and Green Monster

The weekend before the Ghost Train Rail Trail Race is typically pretty quiet in New England as hundreds of ultrarunners rest and make final preparations for the 30-hour event. A handful always race, however, and that was certainly the case this year as runners scattered to multiple races during the Oct. 8-10 weekend. Some headed north to Maine for the popular Big Brad Ultras, while others ventured to nearby New York and Pennsylvania for the CanLake Ultras and the Green Monster Challenge. Additionally, a dozen runners from the region successfully finished the most grueling race of all in North America that weekend — the Moab 240 in Utah — and that leads off this edition of the roundup.

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MassUltra Roundup: NipMuck, Flagstaff Sky Peaks, Yeti Snakebite, and Blues Cruise

The most spellbinding race of the Oct. 1-3 weekend was the duel between Brian Burke and Ed Clifford at Bubba’s Backyard Ultra, but it was far from the only race that attracted ultrarunners from New England. Bubba’s and three other ultras were featured in Part 1 of the Oct. 1-3 roundup, but there was so much racing that weekend that it merited a second. Here in Part 2, we feature the New England classic: the NipMuck Trail Marathon, which extends ever so slightly into ultra territory, and we also highlight the Flagstaff Sky Peaks 50K, Yeti Snakebite Ultra, and the Blues Cruise 50K. The late-summer race schedule was jam-packed, and now the fall is off to a hectic start. Read on.

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Photos: 2021 Ghost Train Rail Trail Race

After a one-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Trail Animals Running Club’s Ghost Train Rail Trail Race returned on Oct. 16-17, 2021, for 30 hours of racing on the Milford and Brookline Rail Trail in Brookline, N.H. The following are just a sample of the photos taken at the race by MassUltra editor Chris Wristen. A full photo gallery of more than 300 pictures can be viewed on the MassUltra Facebook page at this link.

Ghost Train co-Race Director Theresa Berna addresses the runners prior to the start of the 2021 Ghost Train Rail Trail Races. Photo by Chris Wristen/MassUltra.
Mike Villeux of Weare, N.H., cruises through the early miles of the 2021 Ghost Train Rail Trail Races. Photo by Chris Wristen/MassUltra.
Linnea Laverty of Waltham, Mass., topped the women’s field in the 30-mile race at the 2021 Ghost Train Rail Trail races, winning in 4:43:02. Photo by Chris Wristen/MassUltra.
Dylan Schultze of Goffstown, N.H., on his way to a sub-4-hour finish and overall win in the 30-mile race at the 2021 Ghost Train Rail Trail Races. Photo by Chris Wristen/MassUltra.
Karen Thibodeau of Whitinsville, Mass., was feeling good on her way to a 30-mile finish at the 2021 Ghost Train Rail Trail Race. Photo by Chris Wristen/MassUltra.
Brian Butterworth of Southborough, Mass., raced to the top spot in the 45-mile race at the 2021 Ghost Train Rail Trail Races. Photo by Chris Wristen/MassUltra.
David Sutherland of Coventry, Conn., on his way to a 45-mile finish at the 2021 Ghost Train Rail Trail Race. Photo by Chris Wristen/MassUltra.
Harsh Walia (left) and Ravi Pattabhi (right), both of Acton, Mass., shared three laps of the Ghost Train course together and finished their 45-mile race side-by-side. Photo by Chris Wristen/MassUltra.
Abby McKie of Boxford, Mass., cruises through her second of three loops of the Ghost Train course for a 45-mile finish on Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021. Photo by Chris Wristen/MassUltra.
Brian Duffey of South Hadley, Mass., glides down the trail on his way to a 45-mile finish at the 2021 Ghost Train Rail Trail Race. It was Duffey’s fourth time racing Ghost Train and second time running the 45-miler. Photo by Chris Wristen/MassUltra.
Jennifer Kenty of Medford, Mass., earned the overall win in the 100-mile race at the 2021 Ghost Train Rail Trail Races in a speedy 17:41:05. Photo by Chris Wristen/MassUltra.
Victor Pereira of Foxboro, Mass., on his way to a 100-mile finish at the 2021 Ghost Train Rail Trail Race. Photo by Chris Wristen.
A pack of runners stick together during the early miles of the 2021 Ghost Train Rail Trail Races. Photo by Chris Wristen/MassUltra.
Nick Geron of Boston, Mass., is surrounded by a whirlwind of blowing leaves during his 60-mile run at the 2021 Ghost Train Rail Trail Race. Photo by Chris Wristen/MassUltra.

MassUltra Roundup: Bubba’s Backyard, Broken Arrow, Cuyamaca, and Crested Butte

October opened with a bang for New England ultrarunners. With cooler temperatures starting to settle in and a still jam-packed race calendar, the Oct. 1-3 weekend had to be broken into two roundups to capture everything. This first one starts with the eye-popping battle between Ed Clifford and Brian Burke at Bubba’s Backyard Ultra as the duo raced for nearly 48 hours before only one was left standing.

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Results: Midstate Massive Ultra-Trail

The third annual Midstate Massive Ultra-Trail 100-mile, 50-mile and 30-mile trail ultramarathons took place Oct. 9-10 on the Midstate Trail traversing the Commonwealth of Massachusetts from north to south, beginning at the Windblown Cross Country Ski Area in New Ipswich, N.H., and concluding at Douglas State Forest in Douglas, Mass.

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Runners Deliver Super-Sized Performances at Scaled-Down Notchview Ultra

In hopes of bringing back the Notchview Ultra for in-person racing amid the COVID-19 pandemic after being forced to cancel the 2020 event, the Berkshire Ultra Running Community for Service (BURCS) offered a scaled-down lineup of time and distance offerings for 2021.

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