Massachusetts ultrarunners were all over the map last weekend, from the Southwest, to the Northeast, and America’s heartland. They even ran right here at home – although that will be covered in a separate article.
As if running 100 miles wasn’t tough enough, William Jackson found a race with six bonus miles.
Jackson, 34, of Salem, Mass., took on the Mogollon Monster 100 on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 17-18. The race, which takes place in Pine, Ariz., and navigates the Mogollon Rim, actually measures 106 miles. Add to the distance the extremely technical terrain, approximately 23,000 feet of vertical gain, and the fact that the entire course exists between 5,000 and 8,000 feet above sea level, and it’s understandable that only three runners have completed the course in less than 24 hours in the five-year history of the event.
Andy Pearson, 31, of Santa Monica, Calif., was the race champion in 23:16:31, and he was the only runner to finish sub-24.
Jackson was one of 33 runners to finish the race. He crossed the finish line side-by-side with Trent Wester, 32, of Santa Fe, N.M., as the pair tied for 14th in 31:19:08. Jackson is the first runner from Massachusetts to finish the Mogollon Monster.
Run Rabbit Run
After months of training at just a few dozen feet above sea level, Massachusetts residents Russ Dresher and Lisa Rising conquered the high altitude of the Rocky Mountains at the Run Rabbit Run 100/50 trail races Sept. 16-17 in Steamboat Springs, Colo.
Dresher, 34, of Hudson, Mass., was one of 223 runners to toe the starting line of the 102.7-mile race in the Tortoise Division, and he was one of 150 to complete the course and its 21,000 feet of vertical gain within the 36-hour time limit. Dresher battled to a 70th-place overall finish in 31:43:17 and earned his second 100-mile finish of the year. Dresher previously completed the Massanutten Mountains 100 in May in Virginia.
Kevin Sturmer, 36, of Estes Park, Colo., was the overall winner of the Tortoise Division in 22:12:52.
Alex Nichols, 30, of Colorado Springs, Colo., was the 100-mile champion in the Hare Division in 17:57:33. Nichols won by well more than an hour.
Meanwhile, Rising chose to make Run Rabbit Run her first foray into the 50-mile distance, and she handled the mountain course and its more than 9,000 feet of vertical gain just fine. Rising, 25, of Cambridge, Mass., was one of 192 runners to start the race and one of 135 to finish. She placed 56th overall and was the 14th female finisher in 11:44:24. Rising also placed sixth in her age group (F20-29).
Timmy Parr, 34, of Leadville, Colo., was the overall champion by more than an hour as he crossed the finish line in 7:26:59. Blair Doney, 24, was the women’s champion and placed 10th overall. The Denver, Colo., resident finished in 9:18:59.
The Barkley Fall Classic
The Barkley Marathons tempts many an ultrarunner with its grueling course, difficulty to enter, and storied lore. Two Massachusetts residents got a taste of what the full Barkley must be like when they took on the Barkley Fall Classic 50K on Saturday, Sept. 17, at Frozen Head State Park in Tennessee.
Ryan Trott and Christopher Acree were among the 119 runners to finish the 50K – not an easy feat by any means. In addition to being run on much of the same terrain where the legendary race takes place, the Fall Classic does not allow participants to wear a GPS device. In addition, runners are given the choice after 22.1 miles to drop down for a marathon finish and end their suffering early – or continue for nine more miles to complete the 50K.
Trott, 28, of Waltham, Mass., finished 44th overall in the 50K in 11:41:21. Acree, 26, of Somerville, Mass., placed 75th in 12:15:12.
Jason Lantz, 35, of Lancaster, Pa., was the overall champion in 8:20:40. He was one of just two runners to finish in less than nine hours. Only nine runners completed the 50K in less than 10 hours.
Pisgah Mountain 50K
Fresh off of finishing the Ultra-Trail Du Mont-Blanc in Chamonix, France, Brian Rusiecki returned to competition stateside at the Pisgah Mountain 50K. True to form when competing in the United States, Rusiecki was back near the front of the pack.
The 37-year-old from South Deerfield, Mass., battled David Herr of Canaan, Vt., throughout the day, but it was Herr who ultimately prevailed. Herr, 51, didn’t match his course-record time of 3:40:11 from 2012, but he secured the victory in 4:12:45. Rusiecki was the runner-up in 4:16:10, followed by 22-year-old Shawn Provost of Keene, N.H., in 4:28:16.
While the overall runner-up hailed from Massachusetts, so did the women’s champion. Kehr Davis, 39, of Great Barrington, Mass., finished 12th overall and earned the victory on the ladies’ side in 5:13:39, outdistancing runner-up Sarah Slater, 38, of Guilford, N.H., who was 13th overall in 5:23:37. Kristen Peterson of Brighton, Mass., was the third-place female and 15th overall. Peterson, 25, finished in 5:25:08.
While the Bay State was well represented on the podium, it also made a strong showing throughout the field. Of the 80 finishers, nearly half hailed from Massachusetts. That included top-10 overall finishers Ari Ofsevit, 32, of Cambridge, Mass., who was seventh in 5:00:00; Pavol Cvik, 32, of Boston, Mass., who was eighth in 5:04:10; and Gregory Esbitt, 42, of Salem, Mass., who was 10th in 5:08:49.
Additional top-25 finishers were Alex Parker, 49, of West Roxbury, Mass., who was 17th in 5:26:57; Sarah Jacqz, 21, of Ipswich, Mass., who was 18th overall and the fourth-place female in 5:37:16; Taylor Scott Berkley, 22, of Concord, Mass., who was 22nd in 5:43:26; Jeff LeBlanc, 30, of Medford, Mass., who finished 23rd in 5:43:39; and Matt Elam, 24, of Allston, Mass., who placed 25th in 5:50:50.
Boulder Field 100
The inaugural running of the Boulder Field 100 took place Saturday, Sept. 17, in Jim Thorpe, Pa., and it included two ultra distances – a 100K and a 50K. Two Massachusetts women competed in the 50K.
Kelly Adams, 39, of Hingham, Mass., finished 35th overall out of 151 finishers in 6:03:56. Violet Mirochnik, 29, of Charlestown, Mass., placed 107th in 7:28:29.
Patrick Heine, 28, of Emmaus, Pa., was the overall champion in 3:54:57, and the women’s title went to Emily Clay, 27, of Baltimore, Md., who finished fifth overall in 4:56:48.
A total of 35 runners completed the 100K race which had a 16-hour time limit and consisted of two loops of the 50K course for a total of 8,000 feet of elevation gain. Michael Daigeaun, 36, of Philadephia, Pa., was the winner in 8:57:25.
North Face Endurance Challenge – Wisconsin
Two Massachusetts ultrarunners traveled to Eagle, Wis., for the North Face Endurance Challenge 50-mile race Saturday, Sept. 17, and both finished solidly in the middle of the pack in a large field of competitors.
Quang Le, 41, of Dorchester, Mass., finished 72nd in 10:33:48, and 34-year-old Andrew Pollard of Framingham, Mass., was 105th in 11:13:51.
A total of 185 runners completed the course, and Scott Gall, 41, of Cedar Falls, Iowa, was the fastest. Gall earned the victory in 6:32:02, outdistancing the rest of the field by at least 14 minutes.
Jeffrey Lou was the lone East Coast representative and one of just three non-California residents in the field at the Coastal 50K on Sunday, Sept. 18, in Stinson Beach, Calif.
Still, the 27-year-old resident of Boston, Mass., held his own just fine.
Of the 72 runners to start the race from Stinson Beach to Rodeo Beach, 59 finished. Lou placed 21st overall in 7:14:35.
Craig Hilsenbeck, 40, of San Francisco, Calif., was the overall winner in 5:12:25 and one of just two runners to finish in less than six hours.
*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.