TARC Fall Classic
Join us for the 2024 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)!
Saturday, September 7, in Carlisle, Massachusetts
Stay tuned for event registration to open in Spring 2024.
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. 50M and 50K participants start at 6:00 a.m., and the 20M, Half, and 10K 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, and 10K.
50M, 50K, & 20M: 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 participants will do the 10 mile loop twice.
Half, & 10K: The course will consist of 10K loops with aid only at the Start/Finish area. Half Marathon participants will do one loop around the open field at the start of the race before rejoining the 10K Loop.
Course Markings: The course will be well marked with flagging all along the trails and with signs at any major intersections 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, you must backtrack, as opposed to making up your own version of the course. Review of GPS files will be done if it is believed the course was not followed by any given participant. Participants found to have not done the course as marked may be unable to get an official finish time. Please let the volunteers know at the aid stations if there are any navigation issues and we will work with you and others to sort them out.
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. No race day changes of distance or drop downs. For your finishing time you must complete the distance you signed up for.
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) in addition to other surprises:
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 to share with everyone for use on their website)
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 participants. 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. Running on Native lands gives us all the opportunity to connect with and reflect on the history of the land and the communities who have lived here for centuries.
Saturday, September 7, 2024 | Race Day
05:10 a.m. | Bib Pick Up Opens at the Hart Barn
05:45 a.m. | 50M & 50K Prerace Briefing
06:00 a.m. | 50M & 50K Race Start (& Yeti Howl!)
07:45 a.m. | 20M, Half, & 10K Prerace Briefing
08:00 a.m. | 20M, Half, & 10K Race Start (& Yeti Howl!)
10:00 a.m. | Free Youth Fun Run Start
04:00 p.m. | Last Loop Cutoff at the Start/Finish Area
05:00 p.m. | Last Loop Cutoff at the Road Crossing Aid Station (On Way Out)
06:00 p.m. | Last Loop Cutoff at the Road Crossing Aid Station (On Way Back)
07:00 p.m. | Course Closes for All Participants
Summer Course Preview Runs:
We will be hosting two course preview runs in August. Details can be found on Facebook and our Monthly Group Runs page. Join us for some casual training miles at Great Brook Farm State Park.
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 and then Registration History and 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.
Pregnancy Deferral Policy:
We understand there are many barriers for new parents and pregnant runners within the sport of trail running. Participants who become pregnant prior to race day or are the parents to a recent newborn can defer their entry to our event for up to two years. The race reserves the right to require additional proof of pregnancy. Please reach out to the Race Director at least one week prior to race day to process your deferral.
TARC races maintain a no refund policy. There will be no refunds for any reason. Any requests for a refund will be politely directed to this blurb. Please consider your race entry a donation to the trails, but one where you also get a chance to challenge yourself physically and mentally while taking in all the beauty the landscape has to offer.
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.
Pacers & Crew:
Pacers are not allowed for any distance at the TARC Fall Classic. Participants who do not adhere to these rules risk disqualification. Crew access is allowed only at the start/finish aid station. Crew should not attempt to visit the road crossing aid station. This is to allow for the necessary parking access for volunteers and other visitors of Great Brook Farm State Park. Please be aware that parking at the start/finish will be tight until around noon on race day, and parking spots are not guaranteed for crew unless they carpool with their runner(s). Participants are welcome to leave their gear by the start/finish area and they will pass it every 10 miles if they are running the 20M/50K/50M and around halfway through if they are running in the half marathon. Participants can also set up tents (no bigger than 10x10) in the grass next to the start/finish but should check with volunteers beforehand to make sure their tent is out of the way.
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 marshals" 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.
View and register for the various shifts here.
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.
TARC Gear Swap:
TARC is excited to have its first gear swap in recent history at this year’s TARC Fall Classic! We will have tables set up before, during, and after the race for folks to lay out any unwanted trail running gear in good condition for others to browse and take home with them if they find something they could use. In order to keep it simple and with TARC Yeti spirit, we just ask that folks are considerate of others as they make their selections, that there are no sales, and that you take your items back home with you when you leave. Any items left after the event ends will be considered donated to TARC, and we will get them to local organizations or use them to outfit new trail runners. We hope that this helps everyone clear out their closets and get their hands on some new to them gear!
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:
Tri Valley Front Runners (thanks for including us in your 2023 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
Held on Sep 09, 2023
Scheduled on Sep 07, 2024
Starting in 2023, all results for the TARC Fall Classic can be found here.
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:
Let us know if you have any reviews or reports of the Fall Classic that you want to share with the community!