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.Continue reading From the Editor’s Desk: Log Off and Lace Up to Reconnect in 2022
It’s a little after 5 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 31, just a few hours until we officially kick 2020 to the curb and welcome in 2021 with hope and optimism for better days ahead.Continue reading From the Editor’s Desk: 2020 Reminded Us of Value of Community
The Midstate Massive Ultra-Trail was the last race I expected to take place during this COVID-19 pandemic-ravaged year, if I’m being honest.Continue reading From the Editor’s Desk: Race Coverage During Pandemic a Weird, Welcome Experience
A few weeks ago I woke up early and went for a short run around the neighborhood – 2.23 miles. The run was in honor of Ahmaud Arbery, on what would have been his 26th birthday had he not been chased down and killed by a white former police officer and his son on Feb. 23 for running while Black in a white Georgia neighborhood. Continue reading From the Editor’s Desk: The Tools to Grow
Whether you first started reading the site this year or you’ve been following along from the beginning in early 2016, you likely came to MassUltra because you care about your local ultrarunning community. You’re here because you want to know the latest news, because you draw inspiration from the people around you, or because you simply want to feel a little more connected. It’s probably some combination of all of those reasons; in fact, all of them played a role in my decision to launch this site four-plus years ago, and they are why it continues today. Continue reading From the Editor’s Desk: Telling Stories While Our Sport Presses Pause
Four-hundred laps around a track seems awful – at least to me. Running 402.3 laps sounds even worse.
That’s exactly what Joe McConaughy did on Saturday, Dec. 21, however. The 28-year-old Boston resident set out to complete 402.3 laps – 100 miles – on the Anderson High School track in Cincinnati, Ohio, as a fundraiser for the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation. His wife, Katie, was diagnosed with Crohn’s four years ago, so it’s something that has touched their family deeply.
Ultrarunning is a selfish endeavor in many ways. The countless hours and miles required just to prepare to run even longer distances mean that other people and activities are often put on hold. Joe’s track feat reminds us that our running can be done in service to others, too, and we can use ultrarunning as a vehicle for doing tremendous good. There is no cure for Crohn’s – at least not yet – but we’ll hopefully be a few steps closer to finding one thanks in part to the efforts of Joe and Katie. Continue reading From the Editor’s Desk: Cheers to the Givers
Something special is happening in Missoula, Montana, and we’d all be well-served to read about it.
Sparked by conversations on several trail runs more than five years ago, the Montana Trail Crew (MTC) was born. In addition to organizing runs, the MTC’s primary mission is to promote trail stewardship within the Montana trail-running community, including trail building, trail maintenance and conservation work. It’s noble work that all of us who use and love trails and wild places should admire and attempt to emulate as best we can. Heck, it just might be a model that could be replicated in trail communities across the country.
Here’s a link to the MTC’s website where you can learn more about what they’re up to. I’d give you a link to the write-up about the organization in Outside Magazine, but unfortunately there’s not much to peruse. The columnist and his editors decided it wasn’t a story worth digging into, opting to bury it within a piece of clickbait instead. Continue reading From the Editor’s Desk: In Choosing to Incite Rather than Inspire, Outside Commentary Fails the “Leave No Trace” Test
It wasn’t hard to spot Kassandra Marin for a post-race interview at the Fells Winter Ultra, my final race providing live coverage for 2018. All I had to do was look for the smile. Continue reading From the Editor’s Desk: Plenty to Smile About
A steady downpour pelted Alex and me as we made our way through the streets of Chamonix, rounded the final turn and – with the thumping sound of spectators banging on signboards echoing off the walls of the surrounding buildings – ran the final steps of the CCC 101K hand-in-hand, crossed the finish line and immediately collapsed into each other’s arms in a long embrace.
It was late-morning on Sept. 2. Four years and one day earlier we’d shared a starting line in Whistler, B.C., to take on a mountain 50-miler just days after meeting for the first time. It was during that trip that we first talked about running the CCC. Now, after four years of waiting and more than 25 hours of running and hiking through the Alps, we were done. Continue reading From the Editor’s Desk: Personal and Community Engagement Made 2017 Special
Not many people read the inaugural post on this website.
In fact, as I’m writing this column, a quick look into the site’s metadata tells me that the first article on the site – a story about the screening of “Run Free: The True Story of Caballo Blanco” that was published on Jan. 22 – has been viewed just five times. At least one of those viewings was done by me, and another by my girlfriend.
Suffice to say, the site has come a long way since then. Continue reading From the Editor’s Desk: One Year in the Books