Who We Are

The Berkshire Ultra Running Community for Service was founded in 2013 by three passionate long-distance
runners from western Massachusetts. The BURCS crew is composed of runners of all ages who seek to use their passion for sport and activism to spread awareness about important social, civic, and environmental issues.


BENN GRIFFIN - Race Director Sweltering Summer Ultra, Jug End Loop, Notchview Ultra, Berry Pond Hill Climb

“When I think about running I think about that moment when thought turns into action and you begin to place one foot in front of the other and start moving forward. Nothing matters from that point – you can get lost, soaked, muddy, dirty – it’s all about your outlook on life and that single moment when you make the decision to move. Running for me is a way of life. I run to explore, to celebrate, to mourn, and to share with others.”

“BURCS to me is about building a sustainable community of runners to share the world of today and to give home and urgency to the issues that will directly impact the generations of tomorrow.”

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ALEX BANCROFT - Race Director Vegan Power


“Running is a way to prove to myself that I am stronger than I think. That is what I love about the BURCS ultra running community. It is made up of elite runners and it is made up of regular runners just like me. We come in different shapes and sizes and turn the norm upside down. But what makes us the most unique is that we do this to give back to not only the running community, but also to not-for-profit organizations. The “service” part of BURCS is what makes our runners so special.”


MICHAEL MENARD - Race Director Free to Run Trail Races

“For me, running is about moving through the woods. It doesn’t matter how far or how fast I run, I’m looking for the experience of each moment on the trails. Those moments could be the roar of a rushing spring, the flight of an owl, or the graceful leaping of deer. That is the essence of bliss.”

“So, the goal of BURCS, is to share these experiences together.”

“Our other goal is to preserve these resources: the forests, the clean water and our fellow animals.”




JAKE DISSINGER - Race Director Free to Run Trail Races


“I started running as many of us do for one simple reason; to get in shape. It didn't take long for me to realize however that the physical benefit of running is just a small piece of why it would become such a huge part of my life. I began to crave long miles on my feet as a way to organize my thoughts and get away from the demands of my job. Next, as I entered in more and more races I realized that I still very much had a competitive edge that needed an outlet, mostly against myself in the form of PRs and longer distances. Finally, as I continued to push myself further I stumbled uponthis amazing (and slightly crazy) thing called ultra running. What I found in the ultra community is the right mix of competitiveness, selflessness, and a laid back attitude that can only come with running together for such long distances, often in the woods. This community has provided the biggest reason why I now run; lasting friendships and the opportunity to meet new friends with every run.”

“When I came across BURCS I knew I wanted to be part if it as way of making my running more meaningful while at the same time putting on world class races. I'm excited to see all the support for amazing causes that BURCS will raise in the years to come.”


ANA WOLF - Former Race Director Vegan Power

“I love running because I love feeling good. I need to be outside feeling the sun and the air. I love it when the hills seem to disappear and I can see the sky and trees with clarity. I love telling myself at the beginning of a long run ‘you can do this, you have done it before, all you have to do is just keep moving.’ Then the miles roll out and I am amazed at what the human body can do, and the states of consciousness we encounter when we challenge ourselves. I love to run alone, and yet I need community. When I met Michael and Benn I felt like I found two friends to share this crazy long distance running thing with, and it became a natural evolvement to want to dedicate our club time to raising awareness about the people, the planet, and the issues we care about.”