BURCS’ Virtual Ladybug 50K to Honor Troisi, Continue Her Mission

From the earliest days that the Berkshire Ultra Running Community for Service began putting on trail- and ultrarunning events in western Massachusetts, Cathy Troisi was there.

A resident of Cohoes, N.Y., Troisi made her BURCS debut at the inaugural Sweltering Summer Ultra in 2013 at age 67. By then, she’d already amassed a remarkable endurance resume of marathons and ultramarathons, her ultra career dating back to at least the Niagara on the Lake 50K and the JFK 50 in 1997. Troisi never missed Sweltering Summer, running it every year from 2013-2022. She also joined the BURCS crew a few times for the Notchview Ultra, as well as other events.

Troisi died of heart failure on Jan. 17, 2023, just days after completing a 5K in Florida with her granddaughter. She was 76.

Troisi began running with her daughter, Kimberly, in the 1980s, and ultimately traveled throughout the United States and around the world to run. When Kimberly died of cancer in 2007, Troisi honored her daughter’s memory through running. She was a prolific fundraiser, raising more than $230,000 for cancer research while supporting organizations including the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Making Strides Against Cancer, Building on Love, and the Jimmy Fund. Ultimately, she amassed more than 400 marathons and ultramarathons.

Cathy Troisi enjoying some miles in the sun at the 2022 BURCS Notchview Ultra. Photo courtesy of Benn Griffin.

Through her many years participating in BURCS events, she grew close with Benn Griffin, one of the BURCS co-founders and the race director for many BURCS events. In addition to putting on several in-person events each summer, Griffin organizes multiple virtual events each winter to keep runners moving and motivated while also supporting a variety of organizations. In honor of Troisi – who was known to many as “the Ladybug Lady” for handing out ladybug stickers in honor of her daughter – Griffin added a new event to the BURCS’ virtual lineup: the Ladybug 50K.

Runners have the entire month of March to complete a 50K anywhere they want – trail, road, track, or treadmill – during a 24-hour window and submit proof of their results via email. The registration fee is $45. The proceeds will be donated to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Jimmy Fund in Troisi’s name as a way to continue supporting her mission.

Helpful Links:

Registration takes place on Ultrasignup.

Read Troisi’s obituary to learn more about her story.

Read this tribute to Troisi for many more details, including how she was a driving force behind Kathrine Switzer’s induction into the National Women’s Hall of Fame for breaking the gender barrier at the Boston Marathon.


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