Tag Archives: To Hale and Back

TARC Cancels 3 More 2021 Races as Pandemic Rages On

The Trail Animals Running Club (TARC) was forced to cancel nine of its 10 trail races in 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in the United States. A massive spike in positive cases and hospitalizations tied to Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday gatherings and travel, coupled with a slow rollout of vaccines, made it clear that COVID-19 isn’t yet done ravaging the TARC Trail Series.

Continue reading TARC Cancels 3 More 2021 Races as Pandemic Rages On

Back at Hale, Burke Enjoys Another Big Run

Brian Burke has been To Hale and Back in 2019, and both times turned out pretty darn good.

It was just last month that Burke first went to Hale Reservation in Westwood, Mass., where he received an intense introduction to the reservation’s rocky, rooty, winding trail system through the woods. The occasion was the TARCtic Frozen Yeti, a 30-hour ultramarathon that took place in 20-degree temperatures while the trails were coated in a thick layer of ice and a dusting of snow.

Burke spent more than 28 hours on the trails that weekend in early February on a course that consisted of three five-mile mini-loops labeled Red, White and Blue. He was one of three runners to finish with 100 miles; one runner went farther.

After seven weeks away, Burke went back to Hale Reservation on Saturday, March 23. This time his stay was shorter. Rather than a 30-hour race, he was there alongside 112 other runners for the Trail Animals Running Club’s fourth annual To Hale and Back 6-Hour Ultra. Continue reading Back at Hale, Burke Enjoys Another Big Run

Snow-Packed Trails Test Runners Again at To Hale and Back

WESTWOOD, Mass. – The To Hale and Back 6-Hour Ultra was born of the best intentions. Specifically, those intentions were to avoid the snow.

Originally known as the Spring Thaw and held in mid-March, the Trail Animals Running Club’s season-opening event enjoyed a few years of seasonably good weather. In 2015, however, a late-winter snowstorm pummeled Massachusetts for weeks on end. When all was said and done, more than seven feet of snow had fallen, and runners at the Spring Thaw found themselves at times a foot or two above the actual trail because the snowpack was so thick. Following that year, the Trail Animals pushed the race back a few weeks, changed venues from Andover to Hale Reservation, and rebranded as To Hale and Back with hopes of benefitting from a legitimate thaw. Continue reading Snow-Packed Trails Test Runners Again at To Hale and Back

6 Hours of Slush, Ice and Snow Usher in New TARC Season

WESTWOOD, Mass. – A light drizzle pelted around 100 runners gathered in front of Powissett Lodge a few minutes before 8 a.m. on Saturday, March 25. A feeling of anxiety filled the air as they listened to race director Josh Katzman’s final instructions prior to the start of To Hale and Back, the six-hour trail ultramarathon that officially kicked off the Trail Animals Running Club’s new season.

“As always, look out for each other while you’re out there – especially today,” Katzman said. Continue reading 6 Hours of Slush, Ice and Snow Usher in New TARC Season