Tag Archives: To Hale and Back

After 2-Year Hiatus, Runners Savor Every Last Minute of To Hale and Back

WESTWOOD, Mass. – On paper, Robert Lynch’s decision to go back out for one more loop seemed like wishful thinking.

Lynch already had seven loops and 24.5 miles on his legs. His previous three trips through the 3.5-mile course had taken the 46-year-old from Sharon, Mass., 47, 48 and 54 minutes, respectively. If he wanted to complete one more and have it count, he had to do it in less than 46 minutes.

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Photos: TARC To Hale and Back

The Trail Animals Running Club welcomed runners back to Hale Reservation for the return of the To Hale and Back 6-Hour Ultra on Saturday, March 26, 2022, following a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Runners were treated to near-perfect running conditions with mostly dry terrain, mostly sunny skies, and comfortable temperatures. The following are a sample of photos from the day taken by MassUltra editor Chris Wristen. To view a full photo gallery, visit the MassUltra Facebook page at this link.

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Results: TARC To Hale and Back

The Trail Animals Running Club’s annual spring kickoff – the To Hale and Back 6-Hour Ultra and 5K  – returned from a two-year hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic on Saturday, March 26, 2022, at Hale Reservation in Westwood, Mass. Runners were treated to near-perfect running conditions with a 42-degree start under partly cloudy skies, ultimately warming to 53 degrees and sunny by noon before some afternoon clouds rolled in and a breeze began to cool the course during the final hours as runners tackled their final trips around the 3.5-mile loop course.

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Back to Hale: After 2-Year Hiatus, To Hale and Back Registration Opens

In March of 2020, the To Hale and Back 6-Hour Ultra and 5K became the first Massachusetts trail ultramarathon to be a casualty of the COVID-19 pandemic. Just seven weeks earlier, the Trail Animals Running Club had played host to the TARCtic Frozen Yeti 30-Hour Ultra on some of the same trails at Hale Reservation in Westwood, Mass., in the first of what was supposed to be a 10-race season for the TARC Trail Series.

Continue reading Back to Hale: After 2-Year Hiatus, To Hale and Back Registration Opens

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