The Trail Animals Running Club’s annual TARC Spring Classic is one of the most popular trail-running events in Massachusetts, drawing more than 300 runners to the trails of Weston each April to tackle distances from 10K to 50K. The 10th annual Spring Classic was scheduled for Saturday, April 25, and it was shaping up to be another busy day on the trails with hundreds of runners once again signed up to race.
As the global pandemic caused by the new coronavirus and the disease it causes, COVID-19, expanded its spread across the state and the country, the race’s future was put in doubt. Then, following an order by Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker limiting the size of gatherings to no more than 50 people to help slow the spread of COVID-19, Spring Classic co-Race Directors Annie Gagliardi and Michael McDuffie announced on Wednesday, March 18, that the race was canceled.
The Spring Classic was the second TARC race and third in Massachusetts to cancel due to COVID-19. That number has since grown to eight cancellations, three postponements, and another that will take place as a virtual race. That means that after kicking off the year with the G.A.C. Fat Ass 50K and the Cape Cod Frozen Fat Ass 50K in January and the TARCtic Frozen Yeti on Feb. 1-2, the earliest the next in-person ultra in Massachusetts might take place is July. That’s a long time for ultrarunners to go without connecting with their trail tribe. Some race directors are doing what they can to minimize that disconnect even if races can’t take place in person at the moment by introducing virtual races, a concept that has exploded in popularity nationwide during the pandemic. Continue reading Race Directors Embrace Virtual Options to Keep Runners Motivated During Pandemic
Pittsfield State Forest has been the home of the Berkshire Ultra Running Community for Service’s Vegan Power 50K for six years, and the BURCS plan on keeping it that way in the years ahead. For 2020, however, the race will be a virtual experience. Continue reading Vegan Power 50K to Go Virtual, Alford Springs 6-Hour Canceled
Since running her first trail ultramarathon in 2015, Marie Gryszowka has steadily pushed her limits, tackling more mileage, taking on bigger adventures, and never backing down from a challenge. The 2019 season was her biggest yet, with at least seven ultramarathon finishes – including her first two 100-milers. Continue reading With Ultras On Hold, Gryszowka Makes a Difference One Mask at a Time
The Berkshire Ultra Running Community for Service kicked off its 2020 season with a new, virtual challenge: a treadmill ultramarathon and marathon. From Feb. 15-23, runners could select a 24-hour window to complete a marathon, 50K or – for just a little bit extra distance – a 50.1K, documenting their progress with time-stamped photos of the distance completed every time the treadmill stopped. Forty-two runners completed ultramarathon distances while another 49 completed a marathon on the treadmill. Continue reading Results: BURCS Treadmill Ultra and Marathon
For the past few years, the Berkshire Ultra Running Community for Service (BURCS) has kicked off its annual ultramarathon race series in mid-June. This year, the series will begin a few weeks sooner thanks to the introduction of a new race – the Alford Springs 6-Hour Ultra. Continue reading BURCS Series to Expand with Alford Springs 6-Hour Ultra
The pile began forming long before race day.
Months before the fifth annual Free to Run Trail Races took place on Saturday, Sept. 14, trail- and ultrarunners had already begun dropping off shoes with race organizers from the Berkshire Ultra Running Community for Service that would ultimately go to the non-profit organization that shares the race’s name. Continue reading Runners Pile Up Shoes, Miles at Free to Run
The Berkshire Ultra Running Community for Service (BURCS) played host to the fifth annual Free to Run 50-mile ultramarathon, marathon and half marathon trail races on Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019, at Pittsfield State Forest. New women’s course records were set in the marathon and half marathon races. Continue reading Results: Free to Run Trail Races
For the past four years, Greg Soutiea had his speedy legs firmly planted on the top of the podium at the Berkshire Ultra Running Community for Service’s Sweltering Summer 8-Hour Ultra.
Soutiea dominated the race each year, always winning with at least 5 1/2 miles more than his closest competitor. The former resident of Quincy, Mass., now lives on the Maine coast, making the trip to Clapp Park in Pittsfield, Mass., a particularly long haul. As a result, after dominating the race from 2015-2018 when he secured the four biggest mileage totals in race history, Soutiea was absent from the seventh annual event on Saturday, Aug. 10. That meant a new champion would be crowned at the race around the .355-mile loop cinder track at Clapp Park.
And what a race it was. Continue reading New Champions Crowned at Sweltering Summer
The Berkshire Ultra Running Community for Service played host to its sixth annual Sweltering Summer 8-Hour Ultra on Saturday, Aug. 10, at Clapp Park in Pittsfield, Mass. Yuki Chorney earned the No. 2 spot on the women’s course record board with her 51.16-mile performance while Eric Ciocca earned the men’s victory in his BURCS debut. Continue reading Results: BURCS Sweltering Summer 8-Hour Ultra
Runners put up some big numbers during the first three years of the Jug End Loop Ultra, including men’s and women’s course-record mileage that went untouched at this year’s race. That said, the fourth annual Jug featured plenty of big numbers of its own on Saturday, July 27, at Jug End State Reservation in Egremont, Mass.
For one thing, the 76 runners who took on the 6-hour race made up the largest field in the event’s brief history, and they were joined by more runners in the 27-mile and 4.2-mile races. While the participation tally brought a smile to race director Benn Griffin’s face, he was even more proud by the most impactful big number the runners delivered: $3,600. Continue reading Runners Deliver Big Numbers, Make Bigger Impact at Jug End