TARC Fall Classic
Join us for the 2023 Trail Animals Running Club Fall Classic at Great Brook Farm State Park, with 10K, half marathon, 20 mile, 50K, and 50 mile distance options, and the introduction of our uber exciting free youth fun run! You can read all the exciting details below!
Please note: This race sells out, and there are no refunds, no transfers, and no deferrals (except for emergencies)!
Start/Finish Location: Hart Barn Ski Center & field at 1018 Lowell St, Carlisle, MA 01741
The DCR Great Brook Farm State Park in Carlisle, Massachusetts is stunning and is the perfect New England fall setting for running trails with friends. Our courses feature rolling, scenic trails, and have the usual roots, rocks and other "trippables" with which to contend. This event is great for first time trail runners as well as veterans who want to set their PR. 50K and 50M participants start at 6:00 a.m., and the 10K and Half Marathon start at 8:00 a.m. 50K and 50M runners may want to start with headlamps/lighting (sunrise is at 6:20 a.m.). Mandatory trail briefing at 5:45 a.m. for the 50M/50K and at 7:45 a.m. for the 20M, Half, 10K, and Fre Youth Fun Run.
50M & 50K: The 50M/50K course will consist of 10 mile loops with aid every 3 to 4 miles. 50K participants will do one loop around the open field at the start of the race before rejoining the 10 Mile Loop. Volunteers will direct 50M participants left and 50K participants right at the start, but be sure to take the proper turn for your registered distance.
20M, Half, & 10K: The course will consist of 10K loops with aid only at the Start/Finish area. Half Marathon particpants will do one loop around the open field at the start of the race before rejoining the 10K Loop. 20M participants will do the 10 mile loop twice.
Course Markings: The course will be well marked with flagging and signs so that participants can easily stay on route (as long as they are paying attention!). Participants should be sure to review both the course maps and the course description beforehand to understand the general layout of the various distances. We recommend participants also download the GPX file and load it onto their GPS watches if they have one for additional reassurance. If you go off course on race day, please try to backtrack, as opposed to making up your own version of the course. Let us know at the aid stations if you have any issues and we will work with you and others to sort them out and make sure you get the proper distance.
Cutoff Times: Participants must start their final 10 mile loop for the 50K/50M by 4:00 p.m. The course officially closes at 7:00 p.m (participants have 13 hours to complete the 50K/50M). Additional cut off times will also be enforced at the road crossing aid station. Participants have to depart the road crossing aid station no later than 5:00 p.m. on the way out (mile 3 of the 10 mile loop) and no later than 6:00 p.m. on the way back (mile 7 of the 10 mile loop). Please respect the cutoff times enforced by our timers and volunteers. We will do everything we can to help you finish within the allotted time. The cutoffs are in place for both runner safety as well as the time commitment of volunteers and DCR park staff.
Aid Stations: We will have two aid stations on the 10 mile loop used for the 20M, 50K, & 50M and one aid station at the start/finish of the 10K loop used for the 10K & Half Marathon. The start/finish area aid station is accessible to all participants and will be every 10 miles for 20M, 50K, & 50M participants and approximately halfway through the course for Half Marathon participants. The road crossing aid station (for 20M, 50K, & 50M participants) is 3 miles into the 10 mile loop (you will pass this aid station at both 3 miles into the loop and 7 miles into the loop on your way back to the start/finish). Please note this is a cupless race and you will need to bring your own hydration system (bottle/cup/vest/etc.). Run with fluids if you think you will need more than two hydration stops in 10 miles for the 20M, 50K, & 50M participants or more than one hydration stop in 10K for the 10K & Half Marathon participants.
You can expect the following at each aid station (everything listed below is vegan friendly):
Hyle Hydration, Soda, Water, & Ice (if you want to try out Hyle Hydration before the event, they were generous enough to give us the discount code TARC20 for everyone's personal use!)
Watermelon, Orange, & Banana Slices
Assorted Dried Fruit
Joe Joe's, Oreos, Girl Scout Cookies, Fig Newtons, Teddy Grahams, Nutter Butters, Chocolate Chips
Sour Patch Kids, Twizzlers, Swedish Fish, Jujyfruits
Potato Chips, Pringles, Fritos
Peanut Butter/Nutella Sandwiches
Please let us know what additional requests you might have, and we will see what we can do!
Leave No Trace: The TARC Fall Classic has a Leave No Trace policy. Please adhere to the Leave No Trace principles during the duration of the event (and we hope whenever you are out in nature).
Food & Drink Donations:
In previous editions of our event, much of our aid stations were made up of food and drink donations from our particpants. We would like to keep that tradition going, with an updated twist. To cut down on aid station waste, we will be supplying the necessary food, but we invite everyone to bring food and drink donations that we will gather all together and donate to the local food pantry the day after the event. Please drop off any food donations in the Hart Barn when you go in to get your bib (one of the tables will be labeled for the donations). The food pantry accepts canned and dry items, and pretty much anything that is nonperishable (no items that need refrigeration, are expired, or are damaged).
The TARC Fall Classic is held on land that was originally called Musketaquid, an Algonquin word for “grassy plain,” and was home to the Musketaquid Indians, the original stewards of this territory. We encourage our participants to educate themselves on the history of the land we will be running on as well as the history of the land where you train and call home.
Saturday, September 9, 2023 | Race Day
5:00 a.m. | Bib Pick Up Opens at the Hart Barn
5:45 a.m. | 50M & 50K Prerace Briefing
6:00 a.m. | 50M & 50K Race Start (& Yeti Howl!)
7:45 a.m. | 20M, Half, & 10K Prerace Briefing
8:00 a.m. | 20M, Half, & 10K Race Start (& Yeti Howl!)
4:00 p.m. | Last Loop Cutoff at the Start/Finish Area
5:00 p.m. | Last Loop Cutoff at the Road Crossing Aid Station (On Way Out)
6:00 p.m. | Last Loop Cutoff at the Road Crossing Aid Station (On Way Back)
7:00 p.m. | Course Closes for All Participants
Summer Course Preview Runs:
We plan to host at least two course preview runs (stay tuned for the date announcements)!
Cost & Registration:
We keep the cost of all TARC events low to try and make our events as accessible as we can. The cost of the TARC Fall Classic across all distances (with the exception of the free youth fun run) is $25. Please see below for information on our discounted youth entries. Our event profits are donated to land conservations & trusts in support of our trail running passion. Please reach out if the cost is in any way a barrier to you. We want everyone to have the opportunity to experience the incredible trails and community at our event.
No race day registration is offered, and online registration closes at the beginning of race week. We recommend registering early in advance, as this event will sell out.
Switching Distances or Canceling Registration:
TARC Fall Classic participants can edit their registration and distance through RunReg. Go to Account History -> Registration History and then click "Edit" next to the Fall Classic. Change to the distance you desire and click "Update Registration." You will have the ability to edit your distance up to Tuesday, September 5 at 7:00 p.m. This gives our timing crew enough time to manage the bibs for all participants before race day. If you need help or have any questions, you can email the Race Director, but please try these methods first to expedite the process!
Participants will have to email the Race Director in order to cancel their registration.
USATF Mountain/Ultra/Trail Running Youth Initiative:
To raise awareness of trail races among young runners and increase participation, the American Trail Running Association has partnered with the USATF MUT Youth Initiative to create a “Youth Trail” certified program for race directors. The TARC Fall Classic is one of the early adopters of their program, and we offer discounted entries ($10 off) across all distances for youth 19 years old or under.
Please reach out if you are looking to register yourself or someone else through this program.
Trail Sisters Approved Event:
The TARC Fall Classic is Trail Sisters Approved! The commitment includes, when applicable, equal podium spots, equal prize money & awards, women’s specific swag & apparel, menstrual products at aid stations, and equal opportunity/space for women on the starting line. You can learn more about the standards and their awesome organization here. Menstrual products at our aid stations will be located in all of the Porta Potties (at both the start/finish area and the road crossing aid station).
We will also be joined at this year's event by our local Boston chapter of Trail Sisters, who will have their own both at the start/finish area by the barn, providing participants, volunteers, family, and friends with the opportunity to learn more about their work and resources.
Pride on Foot Partner:
Pride on Foot works with run groups, race directors, and fitness organizations who want to understand how to be more accepting and inclusive of Transgender, Genderqueer Intersex, Gender non conforming, and Non binary people. Through education and policy changes they create affirming, inviting, and safe spaces where everyone can be free to workout while living an authentic life.
Pride on Foot will be joining us at this year's event with their own table at the start/finish area by the barn, providing participants, volunteers, family, and friends with the opportunity to learn more about their work and resources.
We welcome the participation of adaptive athletes at our event!
Adaptive athletes must be able to run the course.
Tethers and guides may be used for athletes with a visual impairment.
Leg prosthetics may be used for amputees.
Crutches, braces, or poles may be used if indicated/necessary, with approval from the Race Director.
Please reach out with any questions or to let us know how we can best support you and your race day needs.
Guides for adaptive athletes can register as participants if they want their own time/result.
We need volunteers to help make this special day happen and to give our participants the experience they deserve! This includes help with bib pickup, course directing, aid stations, course sweeping, start/finish area support, parking guidance, etc. Volunteers are what make TARC events so fun and also run so smoothly. No experience is required, and it can be your first time attending one of our events! If you are bringing along family or friends to spectate, we encourage them to also get involved by volunteering. If you are running one of the shorter races, consider hanging around to help out afterward. Even if you can't make it on the day of the race, there are still opportunities to get involved. If you need service requirements for other races, we can also sign off on your hours! If we get enough folks, too, it's never a problem for our volunteers to become "course marshalls" and get some running in on the trails. All we ask is you help fill up some water bottles and tell runners they look awesome.
Please reach out if you or your organization are interested in volunteering. We welcome running clubs, hiking groups, sports teams, local businesses, and more to join us in September.
Registration for the various shifts will open around two months before the race date, but feel free to email us beforehand if you or your group is interested in volunteering.
Whether you are competing for the win or bringing up the rear of the pack, we are all out on the trails to have fun and move our bodies in nature. All of our participants are incredible for just getting to the starting line, and you all have impressive journeys for getting there. On race day, we hope you will be everyone else's top cheerleader, cheering on and providing support for one another throughout the morning. The looped nature of the course allows for the opportunity to frequently see other participants, so be sure to spread the love and joy with your fellow trail animals. We also welcome and encourage you to bring chairs and stick around after your own race to cheer on other participants as they come through the start/finish area by the barn.
Parking & Travel:
*Please note that carpooling will be necessary! We only have around 400 parking spots for 500+ participants!*
Parking is available for participants right at the start/finish area in the field next to the Hart Barn Ski Center. Here is the address. Please note the parking fee at Great Brook Farm State Park is $3 per car. You can pay for parking through the Yodel app or at the kiosk on race day. Please help us out by carpooling with as many fellow trail animals as possible. Participants can post in the Trail Animals Running Club Facebook Group or on the TARC Fall Classic Facebook Event Page coordinating carpools. Friends and family coming as spectators and traveling in different vehicles will need to pay for parking. No camping is available at the park.
Running in the Woods & Weather:
Please prepare for all manner of weather, insects, critters, trail rash, etc! Historically, this race has fluctuated between nice and cool days and uber duber hot ones! In New England, we have to prepare for the worst and hope for the best!
Looking for folks to run and train with? Here are some local groups:
TARC Blue Hills & Great Brook Farm State Park Monthly Group Runs
Northeast Trail Crew Weekly Runs
Tri Valley Front Runners (thanks for including us in your 2022 Grand Prix!)
Greater Framingham Running Club (thanks for including us in your 2022 Grand Prix!)
Looking for trail shoes and gear? Here are some local stores we recommend:
Marathon Sports (multiple locations)
Heartbreak Hill Running Company (multiple locations)
Fleet Feet/JackRabbit (multiple locations)
Recreation Equipment Inc. (multiple locations)
New England Running Company & Trail (Beverly)
Charles River Running (Norwood)
Who We Are:
The Trail Animals Running Club is a nonprofit running club rooted in the Boston area. We aim to act as community stewards by providing equitable access to trail running and promoting positive trail running culture. We welcome people of all races, nationalities, ethnicities, sexual orientations, gender identities & expressions, ages, and abilities. Our event profits are donated to land conservations & trusts in support of our trail running passion. You can RSVP for emails about our runs here.
Trail Animals Running Club Apparel:
You can purchase our fun club apparel here! We are working on offering additional apparel which will be added to this page!
History of the TARC Fall Classic:
Held in 2011 (at the Landlocked Forest in Lexington)
Held on Oct 13, 2012
Held on Oct 19, 2013
Held on Oct 18, 2014
Held on Sep 15, 2015
Held on Sep 10, 2016
Held on Sep 30, 2017
Held on Sep 29, 2018
Held on Sep 28, 2019
Scheduled on Oct 03, 2020 (canceled)
Scheduled on Oct 09, 2021 (canceled)
Held on Sep 10, 2022
Scheduled on Sep 09, 2023
10K Male Record: 40:11 | 2016 | Eric Ahern (39)
10K Female Record: 45:05 | 2012 | Katy Agule (25)
Half Male Record: 01:23:56 | 2022 | Matthew Johnson (29)
Half Female Record: 01:37:23 | 2018 | Nora Weathers (23)
20M Male Record: New in 2023!
20M Female Record: New in 2023!
50K Male Record: 03:45:29 | 2013 | Scott Traer (32)
50K Female Record: 04:24:43 | 2022 | Lila Gaudrault (19)
50M Male Record: 06:52:04 | 2018 | Patrick Caron (21)
50M Female Record: 08:15:52 | 2018 | Megan Lenane (24)
Reviews & Reports:
2013 Race Report by Sara Pearson
2013 Race Report by Jesse Veinotte
2013 Race Report by Meredith Green
2013 Race Report by Todd Meigs
2014 Race Report by Emily Trespas
2014 Race Report by Jesse Veinotte
2015 Race Report by Colleen Grande
Let us know if you have any reviews or reports of the Fall Classic that you want to share with the community!