MassUltra Roundup: Leadville, Waldo, Squamish, Hampshire, Anchor Down, and the Anchorage Run Fest

Eight from Massachusetts Overcome the Altitude at Leadville Trail 100

Eight Massachusetts residents were among the 340 runners to complete the Leadville Trail 100, also known as “the Race Across the Sky” for its high altitude.

The race took place Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 20-21, in Leadville, Colo., which is the highest incorporated city in the United States. The entire race takes place between 9,200 and 12,600 feet above sea level.

The race was won for the second year in a row by Ian Sharman, 35, of Bend, Ore. Sharman’s winning time was 16:22:39. The runner-up for the second straight year was Kyle Pietari, a recent Harvard Law graduate who moved from Boston to Denver, Colo., earlier this summer. Pietari’s time was 18:16:48, just 45 seconds slower than his second-place time in 2015.

Pietari, 29, has completed the Leadville 100 four times.

The fastest finisher from Massachusetts was Brighton resident Charles Hornbaker. Like Pietari, the 34-year-old Hornbaker was a Leadville veteran. He completed the race in both 2012 and 2013. Hornbaker finished 41stoverall this year, crossing the finish line in 23:08:00.

Not far behind Hornbaker was Max Darnell. The 27-year-old resident of Somerville, Mass., made his 100-mle debut with a solid effort at altitude, placing 56th overall in 23:50:02.

Close behind was Maartje Bastings of Jamaica Plain, Mass. Bastings, 32, notched her second 100-mile finish of the year, having already been the fourth-place female finisher at Rocky Raccoon in Huntsville, Texas, in February. Bastings was 71st overall at Leadville and the 12th-place female finisher in 24:15:50.

Hornbaker, Darnell and Bastings all earned the large finisher’s buckles for completing the race in less than 25 hours.

Editor’s Note: Check out our related Leadville content here.

Five more Massachusetts residents secured finisher’s buckles by crossing the finish line before the 30-hour time limit expired. Gregory Lowe, 52, of Ipswich, Mass., finished 128th in 27:18:38; Shaun Miller, 38, of Malden, Mass., was 186th in 28:31:03; Joseph Bafaro, Jr., 46, of Worcester, Mass, placed 229th in 29:01:26; Craig Reed, 49, of Westfield, Mass., was 242nd in 29:10:34; and Gavin MacBeath, 46, of Wakefield, Mass., finished 258th in 29:16:51.

Seven Massachusetts residents started the race but were unable to finish within the time limit. Elizabeth Masterjohn, 36, of Hudson, Mass., made it 76 miles. Jim Hughes, 44, of Boylston, Mass., and James Porter, 42, of Plymouth, Mass., made it 60.5 miles. Weng-Lai Tan, 44, of Sudbury, Mass., Teddy Nolan, 19, of North Attleboro, Mass., Giles Gregory, 48, of Nantucket, Mass., and Neil Feldman, 46, of Boylston, Mass., dropped earlier in the race.

Gale Notches Top-10 Finish at Waldo 100K

Chalk up another strong showing at a mountain ultra for Colton Gale.

The 25-year-old from Beverly, Mass., already had a sub-10-hour 50-mile finish to his credit this year at the Silver Rush 50 in July in Leadville, Colo. On Saturday, Aug. 20, he toed the starting line of an even longer race – the Waldo 100K – in Oakridge, Ore., and earned himself a top-10 finish.

Gale placed ninth overall in 12:08:18 on a course that was 4,900 feet or more above sea level and featured more than 11,000 feet of vertical gain.

Tyler Green, 32, of Portland, Ore., was the overall champion in 10:38:30.

Of the 121 runners who started the race, 80 finished.

Bay State Represented in B.C. at Squamish 50

More than 11,000 feet of vertical gain in the lush mountains of Squamish, British Columbia, were Greg Watson’s surroundings Saturday, Aug. 20, at the Squamish 50.

Watson, 45, of Boston, Mass., finished 82nd overall at the mountain race out of 195 finishers.

Dakota Jones, 25, of Durango, Colo., dominated the race. His winning time of 7:31:09 was 55 minutes faster than the second-place finisher.

Massachusetts Well-Represented at Hampshire 100

The Hampshire 100 Sports Weekend event lineup consists heavily of mountain bike races, but the event Sunday, Aug. 21, in Greenfield, N.H. also included 100K and 50K ultra runs.

Though the field of running competitors was small on the loop course (two loops for the 100K), Massachusetts was well-represented

Three of the top four finishers in the 100K hailed from Massachusetts. Eric Despres of Athol, Mass., placed second overall in 13:01:35, followed by Peter Guza of North Andover, Mass., in 13:27:59, and Dimitar Choley of Hyannis, Mass., in 13:32:53.

Two other Bay State residents completed the 100K. Joseph Sposato of Somerville, Mass., completed the course in 14:08:29, and Dave Horton of Natick, Mass., finished two seconds behind him.

Joshua Givens of Burlington, Vt., was the 100K champion in 11:26:24.

In the 50K race, three of the top four female finishers hailed from Massachusetts, including the champion. Phoebe Matthews of Cambridge, Mass., earned the victory in 4:46:50, and fellow Cambridge resident Hanna Lippe finished third in 5:28:40. Belchertown, Mass., resident Melissa Giroux placed fourth in 7:39:02.

Meanwhile, in the men’s competition, Frederic Tremblay of Boston finished 10th in 5:21:07. David Herr of Canaan, Vt., was champion in 4:35:05. Three other Massachusetts men also finished the race. Charlie Sposato of South Boston was 16th in 6:10:03, Damien Pinault of Belmont, Mass., finished three seconds later in 17th, and Scott Powers of Somerville, Mass., finished 21st in 6:20:49.

Cappellini, Defusco, Connolly Cross the Century Mark at Anchor Down Ultras

Ultrarunners encountered a smorgasbord of distance options at the Anchor Down Ultras on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 19-20, at Colt State Park in Bristol, R.I.

The event took place on a 2.45-mle loop consisting of pavement, dirt, and grass, and it featured 6-hour, 12-hour, 24-hour and 100-mile races, with any 24-hour runner who surpassed the century mark being counted in the 100-mile standings.

Only seven of the 55 runners entered in the 24-hour event surpassed the century mark, and three of them hailed from Massachusetts. Christopher Cappellini of Norton, Mass., was the overall champion as he logged 129.85 miles, edging out runner-up Scott Defusco of Beverly, Mass., who ran 120.05 miles.

Mike Connolly of Quincy, Mass., was the final runner to obtain triple-digit mileage, and he did so with less than 18 minutes to spare en route to a total of 100.45 miles.

Eight Massachusetts runners didn’t quite reach 100 miles but still surpassed 100 kilometers during they 24-hour time limit. Steve Drayton of New Bedford, Mass., tallied 90.65 miles; Ryan Powers of Fairhaven, Mass., recorded 80.85 miles; Ben Simanski of Greenfield, Mass., covered 66.15 miles; Johnny Bristol of Salem, Mass., John Brown of Northbridge, Mass., Jesse Mondor of Dudley, Mass., and Barbara Grandberg of Somerville, Mass., all notched 63.70 miles; and Tonya Tessier of Milford, Mass., ran 61.25 miles.

The 12-hour event featured numerous standout performances from Massachusetts women. Lisa Curtin of Somerville, Mass., notched 58.8 miles, good for third place overall and top female honors in the 12-hour competition while Tina Ryan of West Roxbury, Mass., was fourth overall with 56.35 miles. They trailed only Craig Coleman of Point Pleasant Beach, N.J., who notched 63.70 miles, and Paul Chekal of Providence, R.I., who logged 61.25 miles. Sandra Sheehy of North Attleboro, Mass., was tied for fifth overall with 51.45 miles.

Additionally, Derek Kane of Watertown, Mass., was the top Massachusetts male 12-hour finisher as he recorded 51.45 miles.

A total of 40 runners took part in the 12-hour event.

Of the 69 runners who took part in the six-hour event, 27 ran beyond the marathon distance. Taylor Days-Merrill of Fairhaven, Mass., covered more miles in the six-hour event than anybody else. He completed 44.10 miles, far ahead of runner-up Peter Harley of Bristol, R.I., who logged 36.75 miles.

Jimmy Andersen of Foxboro, Mass., and Hanna Littlefield of Bridgewater, Mass., both completed 29.40 miles, tied for 11th-most miles of any runner in the six-hour event.

Ambard Takes on Unusual Ultra Distance at Anchorage Run Fest

In recognition of Alaska’s status as the 49th state in the United States, the race directors of the Anchorage Run Fest paid tribute by altering the event’s ultramarathon distance ever so slightly.

Rather than having a standard 50K on Saturday, Aug. 20, in Anchorage, Alaska, the distance was trimmed down to a 49K.

A Massachusetts resident took part in that tribute race. Linda Ambard, who is a resident of Hanscomb Air Force Base in Bedford, Mass., placed 38th overall out of 92 finishers. Her time of 5:22:28 earned her 14th place among all female finishers, and the 55-year-old also placed second in her age group.

Anchorage resident James Miller was the overall champion in 3:28:28. The first-place female, Lisa Drumm of Talkeetna, Alaska, finished sixth overall in 4:28:12.

*Editor’s Note: Results are found on a variety of sites, including, 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.

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