Category Archives: BURCS

Spirit of Free to Run on Display at 2017 Race

When the Berkshire Ultra Running Community for Service played host to the inaugural Free to Run Trail Races in 2015, co-race directors Michael Menard and Jake Dissinger hoped the BURCS could play a small role in helping the Free to Run non-profit organization advance its mission “to use running, physical fitness and outdoor adventure to empower and educate women and girls who have been affected by conflict.”

The BURCS’ little race has come a long way toward fulfilling the running club’s service-oriented mission and that of Free to Run in three short years. Menard and Dissinger need look no further than two of their event’s runners and Free to Run benefactors, Zahra Arabzada and Farahnaz. Both ran the half marathon in 2015, and then Farahnaz again ran the half marathon with sizeable improvement in 2016 while Arabzada bumped up to the marathon distance.

On Saturday, Sept. 16, at the third annual event at Pittsfield State Forest, both Farahnaz and Arabzada joined the ranks of ultrarunners as they completed their first 50-mile races. Continue reading Spirit of Free to Run on Display at 2017 Race

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Results: Free to Run Trail Races

The third annual Free to Run Trail Races benefiting the Free to Run organization took place Saturday, Sept. 16, at Pittsfield State Forest in Pittsfield, Mass. The event, which was played host to by the Berkshire Ultra Running Community for Services (BURCS), featured a 50-mile ultramarathon, as well as marathon and half marathon distances. Continue reading Results: Free to Run Trail Races

Soutiea Sizzles at Sweltering Summer Ultra

There’s a certain simplicity to time-based races that seems to have a magnetic pull on Greg Soutiea. From Arizona to New Jersey, from Tennessee to Massachusetts, the 33-year-old resident of Quincy, Mass., has traveled near and far to compete at timed events.

“I like having a very clearly defined ‘finish line’ and I like that all competitors are on the same course (often still visible) for the entire race,” Soutiea said. “I also really like that these races offer the ability to ‘shut off’ my brain and just focus on my stride, pace, nutrition, and heart rate. I don’t have to worry about where to turn, how many miles are left, how far to an aid station, where the other runners are, etc., the kind of things that other road or trail races make runners worry about. Literally all I have to think about is running in circles and focusing on how to make the steps in front of me more efficient.” Continue reading Soutiea Sizzles at Sweltering Summer Ultra

Davis, Defusco Lead MA Runners at Jug End Loop Ultra

The second running of the Berkshire Ultra Running Community for Service’s Jug End Loop 6-Hour Ultra featured explosive turnout and impressive performances on Saturday, July 19, at Jug End State Reservation in Egremont, Mass.

Sixty-nine runners took part in this year’s event – more than double the 30 from 2016 – and 25 surpassed the marathon distance by anywhere from a few steps to many miles. Fourteen ran at least a 50K. The fastest performances were turned in by last year’s runner-up and a pair of Massachusetts residents. Continue reading Davis, Defusco Lead MA Runners at Jug End Loop Ultra

More Time, More Miles at BURCS Summer Fat Ass

Demand for big mileage opportunities has grown in western Massachusetts in recent years, and the Berkshire Ultra Running Community for Service (BURCS) responded first with the expansion of its BURCS Badass Race Series to include additional events, and then this year with time extensions for the organization’s annual Summer Fat Ass Run.

The Summer Fat Ass was a six-hour event during its first two years, and last year both runners and organizers discussed the possibility of doubling – and maybe even quadrupling – the time limit so runners could try to achieve 50- and 100-mile goals. That conversation laid the foundation for the third annual Summer Fat Ass, which expanded into a two-day affair on July 8-9 at Notchview Reservation in Windsor, Mass. In addition to the standard six-hour event, runners could also choose to run for 12 hours or 24 hours. The result was that dozens of new faces turned out for the event, and many people set personal milestones, all of which pleased race director Benn Griffin. Continue reading More Time, More Miles at BURCS Summer Fat Ass