After months of preparation and anticipation, the third annual Midstate Massive Ultra-Trail 100-mile, 50-mile and 30-mile ultramarathons are set to take place Oct. 9-10 and runners will once again attempt to traverse the Commonwealth of Massachusetts from north to south.
A race that tantalized the minds of many ultrarunners for years but was deemed too difficult – not due to the terrain, but rather the complex web of permitting and approvals required to pull it off – finally came to fruition in 2019.
That first year, the event was relatively small in size, but it exploded in popularity in 2020 thanks to a variety of factors including many positive reviews from runners and the fact that it was one of the few races to happen during a pandemic-ravaged year. The third edition of the event is sold out, with 129 runners set to begin the 100-miler over the course of nine wave starts, beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 9, at the Windblown Cross Country Ski Area in New Ipswich, N.H. At 9 p.m. that evening, the first of four waves of the 50-miler will begin at the Long Pond Boat Ramp in Rutland, Mass., as the 74 runners competing at that distance begin their journey. At 8 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 10, a single wave of 70 runners will start the 30-miler at Howe State Park in Spencer, Mass. The finish line of all three distances is once again in Douglas State Forest, located on the Massachusetts/Rhode Island border.
While this year’s 100-miler will see plenty of new faces toe the starting line, it will also welcome back several runners who’ve raced previous editions of the event. Highlighting that list are Keith Nadeau of Fairhaven, Mass., and Kate Olson of Studio City, Calif. Nadeau won the 50-miler in 2019 and finished third in the 100-miler in 2020, while Olson was the women’s champion and fourth overall finisher in the inaugural 100-mile race. Both Joe Loureiro of Andover, Mass., and Dane LeBlanc of Littleton, Mass., are also back and are the only runners to take on the 100-miler in each of the event’s first three years. Joining them at the start will be 2020 finisher Kathleen Walker of Hyde Park, N.Y., and 2019 finishers Dave Dillon of Tewksbury, Mass.; Art Beauregard of Framingham, Mass.; and Pascal Barbini of Westborough, Mass.
The race will also be the Midstate Massive debut for Kehr Davis of Pittsfield, Mass. A long-time dominant force in Northeast trail and ultrarunning, especially on technical courses such as the Manitou’s Revenge 54-miler in New York, Davis made her 100-mile debut earlier this year at the Riverlands 100 in Maine, which she won in 24:07:08. Midstate Massive will be her second time racing the 100-mile distance.
In the 50-miler, two entrants have tackled the race previously. Matthew Pfahl of North Chelmsford, Mass., finished fourth in the 2019 race, while Kenny Silvia of Westport, Mass., completed both the 2019 and 2020 editions. Meanwhile, five entrants in the 30-miler have completed the race previously, including 2020 men’s runner-up Stephen Bennett of New London, N.H., and 2019 women’s runner-up Bethany Briere of West Greenwich, R.I.