Caron Makes Gritty 100-Mile Debut at Eastern States
Patrick Caron has been running ultramarathons for just shy of a year, and he has quickly made his presence felt on the trails of New England.
For his 100-mile debut, however, he traveled to the Rust Belt to take on the rugged trails of north-central Pennsylvania at Little Pine State Park in Waterville. Rather than choosing more friendly terrain for his first 100, Caron elected to tackle the Eastern States 100 on course that is equal parts gorgeous and grueling with its stunning scenery and 19,000-plus feet of vertical gain.
With six ultra victories to his credit just this year, the 19-year-old from Needham, Mass., entered the race expecting to compete for the victory. He raced that way, too.
Caron led for much of the race before Devon Olson of Steamboat Springs, Colo., overtook him with less than 10 miles to go in the 102.9-mile race.
Olson, 28, pushed past Caron and pulled away for the victory in a course-record time of 20:30:26. Caron finished second in 21:53:12 and posted the fourth-fastest time in the three-year history of the event.
Jonathan Lantz, 31, of New Holland, Pa. – who won the Worlds End 100K at nearby Worlds End State Park in late May – finished third in 23:46:39. Lantz’s performances, combined with his sixth-place finish at the Hyner 50K in April – helped him secure the top spot in the Pennsylvania Triple Crown of Mountain Running.
While Eastern States was Caron’s first 100-miler, it was the third of the year for Christopher Agbay. The Jefferson, Mass., resident previously finished the Massanutten 100 in May in Virginia and then completed the Hard Rock 100 in Colorado in July before coming to Pennsylvania.
Agbay, 39, finished 44th overall in 34:39:51 during his third straight year running Eastern States.
Agbay finished the 2014 race in 34:41:24, and then improved his time to 32:39:08 in 2015.
A total of 196 runners started the race; just 66 finished within the 36-hour time limit.
D’Alessio Takes 25th at Fat Dog 120
The toughest trail ultramarathon in the United States is widely considered to be Hard Rock in Colorado. Canada’s answer to Hard Rock is the Fat Dog 120, a 120-mile mountain race in Manning Park, B.C. that features more than 28,000 feet of vertical gain.
Joseph D’Alessio of Boston, Mass., was up to the challenge, however. The 40-year-old D’Alessio took on the course Friday, Aug. 12, through Sunday, Aug. 14, and completed the race in well under the 49-hour time limit, finishing in 35:21:00 and placing 25th overall.
Of the 169 runners who started the race, 112 finished. The overall winner was 43-year-old John Burton of San Jose, Calif., who completed the course in 28:21:40 – the sixth-fastest performance in the history of the race.
Up next for D’Alessio are two more tough 100-mile races this year. First, he will compete at the Bear 100 in Utah in September, followed by the Pinhoti 100 in Alabama in November.
Massachusetts also was well represented in the 70-mile race. Cambridge, Mass., resident Jenny Hoffman, 38, placed sixth overall out of 63 starters and 46 finishers. Hoffman’s time of 15:51:42 also earned first-place female honors, more than 90 minutes faster than the second female finisher.
First place overall went to Graham Coombe, 28, of Vancouver, B.C., who completed the course in 13:07:34 and won by an hour and 40 minutes.
The 70-mile race had a 27-hour time limit.
Beast of Burden Summer Ultras
Two ultrarunners from Massachusetts completed the 50-mile race Saturday, Aug. 13, at the Beast of Burden Summer Ultras along the Erie Canal towpath in Lockport, N.Y.
George Barth, 54, of North Attleboro, Mass., finished 12th overall in 11:22:49. Bilal Ozaslan, 46, of Melrose, Mass., finished 45th in 16:03:52.
Vincent Donner, 24, of Niagara Falls, N.Y., was the overall champion in 8:23:31.
Of the 65 runners who started the 50-mile race, 51 finished.
Beast of Burden also included a 100-mile race. Only 20 of the 55 runners who started the race finished within the 30-hour time limit. No runners from Massachusetts completed the 100-mile race.
Six Hours in Paradise
Nineteen runners took part in the second running of Six Hours in Paradise, a six-hour timed event on a 2.2-mile loop at Paradise Park on Saturday, Aug. 13, in Windsor, Vt.
Six of those runners ran beyond the marathon distance during the allotted time, including two runners from Massachusetts.
Tim Drake, 56, of Dalton, Mass., finished third overall with 30.4 total miles. Ana Wolf, 44, of Cummington, Mass., was the second-place female and sixth overall with 26.6 miles.
Will Jaarsma, 17, of Cornish, N.H., ran the most miles of any runner as he finished the day with 35.8 total miles.
*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.