The grind of back-to-back weekends of tough trail racing did nothing to thwart Brian Rusiecki’s effort to defend his championship at the Massanutten Mountain Trails 100-mile race on Saturday, May 14, and Sunday, May 15, in Fort Valley, Va.
Rusiecki, 37, of South Deerfield, Mass., logged second-place finishes at The North Face Endurance Challenge – New York 50-miler and the Seven Sisters Trail Race during the two weekends prior to Massanutten. Race day in Virginia saw Rusiecki ascend back to the top of the podium.
Rusiecki pushed to the lead early. A two-minute cushion after 20 miles grew to a nine-minute lead by mile 54. From there, he pushed through mid-afternoon rain and continued to pull away, ultimately claiming victory by more than an hour in the 103.7-mile race.
Rusiecki’s winning time of 19:15:14 was a 21-minute improvement over his winning mark of 19:36:25 at the 2015 race. He was the runner-up in 2014 in 19:06:09.
Runner-up Jason Lantz, 35, of Lancaster, Penn., finished in 20:24:57 and earned his sixth Massanutten finisher’s buckle. Greg Brant, 34, of Virginia Beach, Va., completed the course in 21:07:45.
Kathleen Cusick, 41, of Alexandria, Va., placed 11th overall in 23:30:13, defended her women’s title, and earned her seventh Massanutten finish.
Just three weeks removed from finishing 15th overall at the TARC Spring Classic 50K, Shaun Daylor, 37, of Lakeville, Mass., battled to a top-25 finish at Massanutten, placing 24th overall in 25:46:01.
Another Massachusetts runner, Christopher Agbay, reached the finish line less than 10 minutes later. Agbay, 38, of Jefferson, Mass., placed 25th overall in 25:55:10. This was Agbay’s third time finishing Massanutten, as well as a race that will be a tune-up for this summer’s Hardrock 100 Endurance Run in Silverton, Colo.
Christopher Martin of Needham, Mass., also became a three-time Massanutten finisher. Martin, 49, placed 27th overall in 26:26:04. It was his fastest performance on the course by far, topping his time of 31:13:32 from 2013 and 30:12:58 from 2014.
Russell Dresher, 34, of Hudson, Mass., placed 46th overall in 28:48:48 while finishing Massanutten for the second time.
Additionally, John Correiro, 47, of Westport, Mass., and Kevin Mullen, 58, of Fairhaven, Mass., finished side-by-side in 35:35:12.
Amy Rusiecki, 36, sought her third Massanutten finish, but she dropped from the race after 63.9 miles.
A total of 197 runners started the race, and 151 finished within the 36-hour time limit.
Bay Staters Dominate Manchester 2 Monadnock
Massachusetts ultrarunners swept the top for spots at the Manchester 2 Monadnock 55-miler Saturday, May 14, in Manchester, N.H.
Jake Dissinger ran away with the victory by well over an hour. Dissinger, 34, of Leeds, Mass., cruised to victory in 8:32:56. It was his second ultramarathon victory in less than a month, having also won the 50K at the Jack Bristol Lake Waramaug Ultra on April 24 in New Preston, Conn.
The closest battle was for second place where Tom Dmukauskas edged Joe Loureiro by a matter of seconds. Dmukauskas, 40, of Somerville, Mass., crossed the finish line in 9:50:03, and Loureiro, 48, of Andover, Mass., finished 18 seconds later.
Jack Ryon, 34, of Everett, Mass., was a distant fourth in 10:23:22, and he had a 25-minute cushion on fifth place.
Also from Massachusetts, Nate Brown, 40, of Fitchburg, finished in 13:47:56, and Mark Evans, 53, of Plymouth, finished in 15:06:50.
The women’s champion also hailed from the Bay State. Kelly Facteau, 45, of Siasconset, Mass., finished ninth overall and was the top female finisher in 12:06:26. The next female finisher reached the finish line nearly an hour after Facteau.
Luciana Castellan, 56, of Cambridge, Mass., was the fifth-place female finisher and 20th overall in 15:21:06.
Thirty-six runners started the race, and 32 finished.
Dirty German Endurance Fest
A trio of ladies represented Massachusetts at the Dirty German Endurance Fest on Sunday, May 15, in Philadelphia, Penn.
Andrea Reissfelder, 50, of Westwood, Mass., finished 48th overall and was the 10th-place female finisher in the 50-miler in 9:06:20.
Meanwhile, in the 50K race, two residents of East Sandwich represented the Bay State. Kenna Garrison, 21, finished 36th overall and was the seventh-place female finisher in 4:59:57. Renee Demarsh, 51, was six minutes behind Garrison, placing 44th overall and claiming ninth-place female honors in 5:05:25.
*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.