All posts by Chris Wristen

MassUltra Roundup: Bandera

The 2022 ultramarathon racing season kicked off locally on Saturday, Jan. 8, with the return of the G.A.C. Frozen Fat Ass 50K. While around 100 New England residents took part in that classic event as it celebrated its 22nd running, a handful of runners from the region journeyed south to Texas to take part in the 100K and 50K ultras at the Bandera Endurance Runs. Included among the field was former Boston resident Joe McConaughy who made a fierce attempt to secure a Western States Golden Ticket before coming up just minutes short. McConaughy’s performance and those of the New England crew at Bandera are included in this week’s roundup.

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MassUltra Roundup: Across the Years

A handful of New England residents were among the final runners to finish an ultramarathon in 2021 or the first to complete one in 2022. That was the case – as it has been for a few decades – for runners at Across the Years in Phoenix, Ariz. It was one of the few events to take place that overlaps the turning of a new year, and it kicks off the 2022 edition of the roundup.

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Trail Animals’ Wapack and Back Set to Return in May

Though the Trail Animals Running Club’s Wapack and Back Trail Races officially offer 50-mile and 21.5-mile events, runners are offered the option of signing up for the 50-miler but stopping after 43. That somewhat unofficial race distance represents the successful completion of a full out-and-back of the Wapack Trail, so it is a significant feat. In fact, the last time runners toed the starting line at Wapack and Back, the most dazzling performances were delivered in that most unusual of race distances.

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From the Editor’s Desk: Log Off and Lace Up to Reconnect in 2022

One of the true privileges I’ve enjoyed during my dozen years as a trail-runner has been the opportunity to share the trails with so many wonderful people. It began with my earliest runs on the dirt in Kansas City, a know-nothing newbie weaving through the trees and hopping over rocks and roots alongside far more experienced runners who chatted away about the 50-mile and 100-mile races at Rocky Raccoon that they were training for. In the weeks and months that followed, they educated me on all sorts of things, from hydration systems to consider, to which week it would grow dark enough that I should start bringing a headlamp, to other trails in the area I should explore.

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MassUltra Roundup: Woodside Ramble, Naked Nick, Sawmill, and Jupiter Ridge

The 2021 ultrarunning season is rapidly coming to a close. Days have grown shorter, and race calendars have, too. Only a handful of ultras remain on the slate between now and the new year. Light racing has taken place during the first few weekends of December, but a handful of runners from the region have made their way to starting lines around the country. That includes Cambridge resident Alexander Lenail, whose busy December included racing locally at the Fells Winter Ultra before heading to California and turning in a strong showing at the Woodside Ramble 50K. His performance leads off this edition of the roundup.

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Traer Torches the Track, Takes 3rd at Desert Solstice

Since emerging on the Massachusetts ultrarunning scene a decade ago, Scott Traer has established himself as a fierce competitor and dominant performer on any surface. Be it technical singletrack that’s New England gnarly, an easy-running rail trail, pavement or track, the 40-year-old doesn’t pass on an opportunity to push his limits and find out what he can achieve. That approach has led him to amass at least 14 ultramarathon victories, set multiple course records, and earn outright wins at the 2015 Vermont 100 and the 2021 Hennepin Hundred.

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