In Memoriam: Chris Bustard

You can read about Chris's impressive educational and professional background here:

He was an avid aerobic enthusiast of many pursuits:

... especially ultra trail running:

He made his skimo debut for the 2019-20 season.  This was the first year that a season-long prize would be awarded based on participation.  Chris easily resolved any potential complexities of the scoring system by participating in all six races (plus the unofficial time trial for a pandemic-cancelled race).

Even while juggling the demands of his professional career, moving to New Hampshire, and starting a family, he showed up for almost all the races over the next two seasons, always close to the podium.  At the Dartmouth race in March 2022, he was joined at the awards by his wife (some pictures mixed in here: and their young child.

He took 6th place in the 2022-23 season opener on December 4.

Later that month, over the holidays, while running, he was hit by a car, in a marked crosswalk, in broad daylight.

He passed away from his injuries on December 29.

He was 34 years old.

Obituary here:

Regional newspaper article here:

Some skimo race pictures follow below.  Additional pictures from throughout Chris's life are HERE with the ability to add more on your own.

Remarks from NE Rando race director posted HERE from the Celebration of Life on June 24 at the base of Mt Moosilauke, on whose summit Chris had proposed to Kate in 2016.

Tributes from racers:

"He was the purest, most open, kindest young guy, with a young child and wife.  I’m shocked that Chris Bustard is dead."

"This is heartbreaking.  [...]  I always enjoyed Chris’s friendly company and trying to chase him down (always unsuccessfully).  [...]  He will be missed.  So tragic."

"This is devastating news; Chris leaves a wife and young child, and, as we all know, he was a great guy who always had a positive attitude and was excited to go adventuring."

"I’m gutted.  [...]  I’ll really miss catching up with Chris a few times a year [at the races]."

"Chris brought such joy to this community. He was perennially cheerful, even when doing laps in the pouring rain or howling wind at Whaleback or the Dartmouth Skiway. I’ll think of him often, and smile."

"Oh no.  I recall meeting Chris uphilling at Mt Snow.  Super nice and full of energy.  So sad."

"This is absolutely heartbreaking news. I remember first meeting Chris at the Magic [Mountain] race. He had such great energy."

"This is very sad. I met Chris at the race at Brandon Gap in Feb 2020, just before the lockdowns started. We met up in Somerville to run a few times in Middlesex Fells. He was a really nice guy."

"This news is shocking and leaves me speechless, not only as a skimo friend but also as a fellow father. My heart goes out to his family.  I am sorry to miss tomorrow's race but will make sure to hold a minute of silence with you all at race start time."

"Competing way too close for comfort alongside Chris was one of the many reasons to keep showing up [for the skimo races].  It’s that competitive fire he has, and he did it with such a gentle, humble smile. A tremendous person and gentlemen, husband and father -- hits too close too home.  [...]  Post-race socials catching up on all his trail running and cycling pursuits and cooldown laps will not be the same because he is gone.  [...]  I miss him already guys. He is a part of this special group forever now, and all of us will race for Chris on Saturday and take a little piece of his adventurous spirit along for the ride for many years to come."

2020 Middlebury:

2020, Bromley -- the race scheduled for March 14 had been cancelled for the pandemic, but the course had been marked two days earlier (i.e., the day before the world changed), so a few of us assembled to take down the course markings and hold an informal time trial:

2021, Berkshire East -- masks required for the mass start and the first few minutes of skinning:

2021, DCR Mt Greylock:

2022 Dartmouth (Chris's alma mater -- B.A., B.E., M.E.M.), post-race awards, with his son Theodore in the stroller, just shy of one year old: