The New York presence was heavy at the Vegan Power 50K – heavy as in eight of the top 10 finishers hailed from the Empire State.
Even so, a Bay State resident made sure the home state was represented with a champion Saturday, June 18, at Pittsfield State Forest in Pittsfield, Mass.
Samantha LeBlanc of Medford, Mass., dominated the women’s field, blazing to victory with a 44-minute cushion as she finished the six-loop singletrack course in 5:33:25. Her time was good for 14th among all runners, and it was the third-fastest time by a female on the course in the three-year history of the event. While LeBlanc, 27, was fully in control heading into the final loops of the race, the closer battle among the women was for second place. Jasmine Brooks of Peru, Maine, fended off Lara Ezor of Somerville, Mass., for the runner-up spot. Brooks, 30, finished in 6:17:47, while Ezor, 28, finished in 6:25:06.
In addition to owning the top 10, and the New Yorkers accounted for seven of the eight sub-five-hour finishing times. Jason Mintz, 36, of Syracuse, N.Y., claimed the overall victory in a course-record time of 4:08:49. Daven Oskvig, 39, of Amherst, N.Y., was the runner-up in 4:16:23; and Ian Shultis, 23, of Poughkeepsie, N.Y., finished third in 4:34:17.
Timothy Sullivan, 28, of Cambridge, Mass., was the lone Bay-Stater to crack the top 10. He finished ninth overall in 5:03:04. Three more Massachusetts residents secured spots in the top 20 overall: Aaron Keene, 36, of Easthampton, was 13th in 5:29:29; Jeff LeBlanc, 30, of Medford, was 19th in 6:04:35; and Jason Como, 41, of Chicopee, finished 20th in 6:10:04.
Full results can be viewed here.
The Vegan Power 50K, which took place in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts just a few miles from the New York border, was the first race of the season in the Berkshire Ultra Running Community for Service’s BURCS Race Series. The other races in the series are the Sweltering Summer 8-Hour Run on Aug. 8, and the Free to Run 50-Mile on Sept. 17.