Virginia has been mighty good to Brian and Amy Rusiecki.
Last October, the husband and wife trail-running duo from South Deerfield, Mass., traveled to Swoope, Va., and returned home with the men’s and women’s championships at the Grindstone 100.
On Saturday, April 9, the Rusieckis were back in Virginia – this time in Clifton – for the Bull Run Run 50-Mile Race. Again, they swept the men’s and women’s titles.
Brian, 37, blazed to the overall championship in 6:40:31. He was the only runner to complete the course in less than seven hours and won with a 27-minute cushion. It was a dominant performance less than a month after taking 11th overall at the 68-mile Georgia Death Race.
Amy, 36, took top female honors at Bull Run Run and finished 17th overall in 8:24:43, a comfortable 13 minutes of women’s runner-up Ragan Petrie, 50, of Arlington, Va.
There were 265 total finishers.
The Bull Run Run has been something of a friendly course to Brian Rusiecki. This year marked his fourth victory in five tries on the course. He took second in 2010. After missing the 2011 event, he won three straight titles in 2012, 2013, and 2014 before skipping the 2015 event.
Amy Rusiecki’s victory came in her third race on the course. She was the fourth-place female and 22nd overall in 2010, and also ran in 2014.
Pietari is TNFEC Champ in D.C.
Kyle Pietari is no stranger to running near the front of the pack. After all, the Boston, Mass., resident won the TARC Fells Trail Ultra 32-miler in December at the Middlesex Fells Reservation, and he also was the 60-mile champion at the Ghost Train Rail Trail race in Brookline, N.H., as well as the runner-up at the Leadville Trail 100 in Leadville, Colo.
If Saturday, April 9, was any indication, Pietari plans to stay at the front from a while longer.
Pietari, 29, earned a first-place finish at The North Face Endurance Challenge – Washington D.C. 50-miler in Sterling, Va. He was the lone runner to finish in less than seven hours, earning a time winning time of 6:52:14. The event runner-up, Paul Riley, 34, of Tomball, Texas, finished in 7:04:50. There were a total of 233 finishers.
Pietari’s next scheduled race is back home in Massachusetts. He is registered for the TARC Spring Classic 50K on Saturday, April 23, in Weston, Mass.
Darnell Places 3rd at Austin Rattler
Max Darnell closed out the 2015 ultrarunning season strong when he placed 14th overall at the Vermont 50, and he carried that momentum into his 2016 ultrarunning season-opener at the Austin Rattler 66K trail race in Smithville, Texas.
Darnell, 27, of Somerville, Mass., raced near the front of the pack the entire day and earned a third-place finish in 5:20:47. Ryan Smith of Kingwood, Texas, was the only sub-five-hour finisher en route to his winning time of 4:56:11. Jadd Martinez of San Luis Obispo, Calif., placed second in 5:05:50. There were 66 total finishers.
Lake Sonoma 50
Todd Callaghan of Beverly, Mass., represented the Bay State at the Lake Sonoma 50 on Saturday, April 9, in Healdsburg, Calif.
Callaghan, 46, was 68th out of 304 total finishers in the 50-mile race, covering the rugged course in 9:02:50.
Jim Walmsley, 26, of Flagstaff, Ariz., was the overall champion in 6:00:52.
Gorge Waterfalls 50K
A majority of the running field at the Gorge Waterfalls 50K consisted of residents of Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia, but Massachusetts was represented by a pair of ultrarunners at the race on Saturday, April 9, at the Columbia River Gorge in Cascade Locks, Ore.
Chelsea Mitchell, 24, of Mattapoisett, Mass., finished 74th overall in 6:40:11, and Stephen Demare, 28, of Boston finished 125th overall in 7:09:26.
Ian Sharman, 35, of Bend, Ore., was the overall champion in 4:28:05.
The course included approximately 6,000 feet of vertical gain, and 261 runners finished the race – 257 of them ahead of the official nine-hour time limit.
*Editor’s Note: Results are found on a variety of sites, including ultrasignup.com, UltraRunning Magazine, and official race websites. We do the best we can to find as many results as possible to report on and recognize the local ultrarunning community.