TARCtic Frozen Yeti
Join us for the 2024 Trail Animals Running Club Frozen Yeti at Hale Reservation, with 30 hour and 15 mile distance options! 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 & Sunday, February 3 & 4, 2024, in Westwood, Massachusetts
Start/Finish Location: Hale Reservation, 80 Carby Street, Medfield, Massachusetts, 02090
The course will be roughly 15 miles. The course consists of three different loops that are each roughly five miles in length. Each loop starts and finishes at Powissett Lodge. The entrance to each loop will be marked with its corresponding color (Red Loop, Blue Loop, White Loop) and the whole course will be marked with pink surveyors ribbon with an attached reflective tape patch, clipped to branches. Directional arrows with reflective tape will also be present at any major intersections.
For folks running the 30 hour race, at some point during the race (to be determined), we will begin sequentially shutting down and clearing loops. So for the last few hours of the 30 hours you will only be running on one loop. You will not be allowed to start these loops after they have been shut down, and will instead go on to the next loop. Loop 3 will remain open for the entire race and once loops 1 and 2 are shut down, runners get to repeat loop 3 until the course closes. 30 hour runners must begin their final loop by 1pm on Sunday. The course closes at 2pm on Sunday. 30 hour runners must complete at least 30 miles to have a recorded finishers distance and receive a finisher’s item.
You may not leave the race to take a break. You may take extended breaks inside the lodge or in the camping area adjacent to the lodge, but must inform timing so we don't go sending a search party looking for you. If you do not inform a race official that you're "taking a break" for a few hours or that you have returned during the 30 hours, you risk being disqualified from the event.
The GPX file of the proposed course is available here (or here on Strava), but please note that the final course will completely depend on what Mother Nature throws at us in the days and weeks leading up the race (it could end up being much shorter).
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: The cutoff for 30 hour participants to start their final five mile loop is 1 p.m. The course closes at 2 p.m. 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. No race day changes of distance or drop downs.
Aid Stations: We will have one aid stations at the start/finish of each loop. Participants will pass this every five miles. No aid is available on the five mile loops.
Please note this is a cupless race and you will need to bring your own hydration system (bottle/cup/vest/etc.). We will not have any disposable cups, bowls, or utensils for participants at the aid station. This is in an effort to reduce waste at the event. That includes no cups for soup or soda. Please be prepared for this.
We will be composting at the aid station. Please make an effort to place all food scraps in the compost bucket.
You can expect the following at the aid station:
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!)
Swedish Fish, Sour Patch Kids, Twizzlers, & Lots of Assorted Candy
Please let us know what additional requests you might have, and we will see what we can do!
Drop Bags: Participants will be able to place two drop bags at the lodge (one inside & one outside). This will enable runners to “grab and go” quickly from their outside drop bag for speedy trips through the aid station. Have your BIB NUMBER and NAME CLEARLY PRINTED on your bags. The course is designed so that you will have access to your drop bag roughly every 4 to 5 miles. There are no other drop bag locations on the course. No items may be stashed at any other locations on the course.
Leave No Trace: The TARCtic Frozen Yeti 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 lodge 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).
(To be updated)
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, February 3, 2024 | Race Day
06:00 a.m. | 30 Hour Bib Pick Up Opens at the Powissett Lodge
07:50 a.m. | 30 Hour Prerace Briefing at the Powissett Lodge
08:00 a.m. | 30 Hour Race Start (& Yeti Howl!)
07:00 p.m. | 15 Mile Bib Pick Up Opens at the Powissett Lodge
07:50 p.m. | 15 Mile Prerace Briefing at the Powissett Lodge
08:00 p.m. | 15 Mile Race Start (& Yeti Howl!)
Sunday, February 4, 2024
02:00 a.m. | Course Closes for 15 Mile Race
01:00 p.m. | 30 Hour Last Loop Cutoff
02:00 p.m. | 30 Hour Course Closes
it is the responsibility of all participants to not only train and prepare adequately, but to also know their limits and cease to participate if it means putting themselves (and therefore those that would come to their aid) at risk. While we will be providing a beautiful marked course and top notch aid station, ultimately you are responsible for yourself out there on the course. While each loop of 5 miles may seem relatively short, this could take a tired runner hours at night. Be prepared. Train with and know your own cold weather gear needs. You may be facing extended time in below freezing temperatures, so become experienced taking care of yourself in adverse weather conditions before race day. The list of required gear exists for a reason, and that reason is survival. In the harsh temperatures and conditions of the event, an injury can very quickly turn into a life or death situation without the proper supplies, even if we are just minutes from downtown Boston.
Note that there are additional gear requirements when the forecast wind chill is below negative 20°F. The requirement to carry the gear for extreme conditions will be announced to racers within 48 hours of the race start.
Required Gear (will be checked at check in):
ALL runners for ALL races will be required to have in their possession at ALL times during the race:
2 hats (or 1 hat & 1 buff)
2 pairs of hand coverings (gloves or mittens)
1 shell (wind and water resistant)
2 emergency blankets (or 1 blanket & 1 bivy (example, at REI))
Clothing sufficient to cover ANY exposed skin below the neck (ie: full tights and a long sleeve shirt are fine. If you choose to wear shorts and/or a tee shirt, you will need to carry leg and arm coverings with you in addition to all items listed above.)
Additionally, after 3pm on Saturday, all runners going into the night will also need to have on them at all times:
1 headlamp with backup batteries
1 rear red blinking light (Yes, red. Yes, only red. Yes, only red, for everyone! Rear bike blinking lights or dog collar clip on blinking lights are all fine. This is so we can find you when you collapse face down in the snow. Just joking . . . hopefully joking)
Reflective gear on front and back (can be integral to running gear, does not need to be something separate)
Extreme Cold Additional Required Gear:
In the event expected temperatures will fall below negative 20°F wind chill, all participants will be required to have in their possession:
Full change of clothes (pants/tights, long sleeve top, socks)
Free standing shelter and externally attached red blinking light (the free standing shelter can be whatever you can pitch quickly to shelter in place against precipitation & wind of negative 15°F windchill if you become injured and immobile. An example of this includes a contractor trash bag (example) as you can put it over yourself sitting up and use trekking poles or a branch to keep it off your head and create warm air space. A mountaineering bivy or similar is also acceptable.
Insulated hooded jacket
The race directors reserve the right to pull anyone from the race at any time if we feel like your wellbeing may be in danger. We’re taking the potential for bad weather very seriously, and our first priority is your safety.
Snowshoes & Trekking Poles:
Please note: snowshoes are NOT allowed during the TARCtic Frozen Yeti. While we realize there may be lots of snow race weekend, and that many folks would like to use snowshoes, they are unfortunately NOT covered by our insurance. Trekking poles ARE allowed.
Additional Reading Material:
We REALLY want you to be ready for whatever Mother Nature might throw at you. Between now and race day, please make some time to read the following links:
Timing & Check Ins:
Timing will be 100% manual. During DAYLIGHT hours all 30 hour runners will be required to check in after each 15 mile segment. After 3pm or 30 miles, all 30 hour runners will check in after each 5 mile loop! This is for safety during the cold dark hours. The CHECK IN location will be VERY clear and easy to find as you speed through the aid station each time. Results will be posted on RunReg in a timely manner.
There will be two outdoor portable restrooms at the start/finish outside of the lodge. There are restrooms and running water inside the lodge. Indoor restrooms can ONLY be accessed if you have removed your traction. No shoe traction devices of any type are EVER allowed on any UNPROTECTED indoor flooring or exterior decking.
All 30 hour runners are encouraged to have a pacer/safety runner after 60 miles or after sunset, whichever comes first. Pacers are required to carry the same gear as runners and must check-in with the timing table when they arrive for gear check. Pacers will also be required to sign a waiver in order to participate. Pacers will only have access to the lodge during the time they are pacing. They may not remain in the lodge for long after / before their pacing duties.
While we strongly encourage honing your skills of winter self reliance during the TARCtic Frozen Yeti, we realize some of you will want or need a crew for this race. Please bear in mind that crews will not have access to the indoor lodge, so you’ll be asking them to sit outside in the bitter cold weather, just for you. Crews must be entirely self sufficient, including packing out any trash created. Crews can access outdoor portable restrooms, and if the weather permits, there should be a bonfire just outside of the lodge.
The parking plan for crews will also be communicated the week before the race. Gear can be dropped off at Powissett Lodge, but drivers must walk to Powissett Lodge from the parking lot (up to 1.5 miles, depending on where you park).
Saturday, February 4, 2023 | Race Day
6:00 a.m. | 30H Bib Pick Up Opens at the Lodge
7:45 a.m. | 30H Prerace Briefing
8:00 a.m. | 30H Race Start (& Yeti Howl!)
7:00 p.m. | 15M Bib Pick Up Opens at the Lodge
7:45 p.m. | 15M Prerace Briefing
8:00 p.m. | 15M Race Start (& Yeti Howl!)
Sunday, February 5, 2023 | Race Day
2:00 a.m. | Course Closes for 15M Participants (6 Hours from Start)
1:00 p.m. | 30H Participants Must Depart for Last 5M Loop
2:00 p.m. | Course Closes for 30H Participants
Winter Course Preview Runs:
We will aim to host at least one course preview run in the months leading up to the event. Details can be found on Facebook and our Monthly Group Runs page. Join us for some casual training miles at Hale Reservation.
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 TARCtic Frozen Yeti is $85 for the 30 hour and $35 for the 15 miler. 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:
Participants will have to email the Race Director in order to switch distances or 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. In the event of inclement weather that forces Hale to close its gates, the race's snow dates are February 11 and February 12. In the event that there is additional inclement weather on February 11 & 12, the race committee will do its best to come up with another alternative, but there are no guarantees. To reiterate, no refunds are provided, even in the event of race postponement or race cancellation, even if that is because the race dates are changed! If you register, set aside BOTH of those weekends, just in case we have crazy weather like in 2022!
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 TARCtic Frozen Yeti is one of the early adopters of their program, and we offer discounted entries 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 TARCtic Frozen Yeti 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).
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.
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 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 February.
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.
Parking & Travel:
*Please note that carpooling will be necessary!*
Please read carefully, be prepared to be patient, and all will be well):
THERE ARE NO SHUTTLES THIS YEAR, SO YOU WILL HAVE TO WALK FROM THE CAR TO THE LODGE, AND THEN BACK TO YOUR CAR AFTER THE RACE. PLEASE PLAN ACCORDINGLY.
You may get dropped off or drop gear off near Powissett Lodge before parking.
The 30 hour race starts at 8am, and the 15miler will start at 8pm.
Race briefings will be at the lodge at 7:45am (30 hour) and 7:45pm (15 miler).
We will be using a variety of parking lots along Carby Street. The furthest parking lot is ~1.5 miles away from the lodge.
Parking Lots (see parking map for location of lots)
Powissett Lodge: about ~10 spots in the marked parking spots. Do NOT park in the 15 coned or taped off spots at the lodge. These are for emergency vehicles, and volunteers.
Noanet Landing: ~15 spots (sort of marked). It’s a ~0.35 mile walk down the road from there. The lot will be on your left, just after the Trading Post
Cat Rock Parking Lot: ~20 marked spots. You can walk the 1/2 mile trail to the Lodge (link to map).
ALCL Parking Lot: ~15 to 20 sports. This lot is the first right after you go past the Hale offices at the entrance and is up a short road.
Westwood Public Works: ~35 spots. This parking lot is just outside Hale Education on Carby Street. Please only park in marked parking spots at the Public Works building (including those along Carby Street). Please do not park in the electric vehicle spots, or at the back of the building.
Note: there will be NO PARKING AT TRADING POST THIS YEAR.
Participants can post in the Trail Animals Running Club Facebook Group or on the TARCtic Frozen Yeti Facebook event page coordinating carpools.
Camping tents or EZUp tents will be allowed during the race in the field across the street from Powissett Lodge. This field is around150 feet from the start/finish line aid station. No tents will be allowed at the start/finish line aid station. No fires will be allowed in the tent field. No gas generators will be allowed. No camping will be allowed the night before the race. Please bear in mind that this field will be full of whatever snow Mother Nature has decided to throw at us, so please plan your tenting logistics accordingly.
Running in the Woods & Weather:
Please prepare for all manner of weather, insects, critters, trail rash, etc! Historically, February in Westwood has an average low of 20°F and high of 39°F In New England, we have to prepare for the worst and hope for the best! In 2022, Old Man Winter dropped two feet of snow on us race weekend. We postponed the race to the following weekend, and then experienced slush storms in the days leading up to the race (our poor course marking crew…), which then froze into an ice rink on race day. In 2019, we had a crisp winter weekend, with little to no snow on the ground. Anything can happen. It is recommended that you have extra clothes, rain gear, etc. If you have it, and then don’t need it, no harm. If you don’t have it, and need it, well, it’ll be really tough, and potentially dangerous, to make it through each loop! There will be required gear in certain conditions.
Whdh.com/weather is a great site for local weather. Try not to check it obsessively though. Enjoy your taper rest and know you trained to do this, regardless of the weather! It’s pretty much the only thing you can’t control, so no use worrying about it!
Looking for folks to run and train with? Here are some local groups:
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 TARCtic Frozen Yeti:
Held on Feb 02/03, 2019
Held on Feb 01/02, 2020
Canceled in 2021
Held on Feb 05/06, 2022
Held on Feb 04/05, 2023
Scheduled on Feb 03/04, 2024
15M Male Record: 01:50:12 | 2023 | Patrick Caron (25)
15M Female Record: 02:41:14 | 2023 | Ruth Nordhoff (24)
15M Non Binary Record: To be determined
30H Male Record: 110 Miles | 28:46:00 | 2023 | Brian Burke (41)
30H Female Record: 105 Miles | 28:55:48 | 2019 | Carolyn Harper (27)
30H Non Binary Record: To be determined
Reviews & Reports:
Let us know if you have any reviews or reports of the TARCtic Frozen Yeti that you want to share with the community!