While the largest cropping of Massachusetts ultrarunners spent the weekend of Oct. 8-9 racing or volunteering at the TARC 100 ultrarunning festival in Westwood, Mass., (see additional TARC 100 coverage on MassUltra.com), a handful of Bay State residents scattered throughout the country to tackle other ultras. We’ve included five of them in this week’s roundup. If we’ve missed your event (here’s looking at you, Grindstone), don’t worry, we’ll include it next week.
One of the newest and most challenging trail ultramarathons in the United States began in 2015 with the creation of the Bigfoot 120 in Washington. The point-to-point race through the Cascade Mountains from Mount Adams to Mount St. Helens challenges runners with nearly 30,000 feet of climbing.
The second running of the event took place Oct. 7-9, as 62 runners toed the starting line of the 120-mile race. By the time it was over, just 27 had finished. Five of those finishers hailed from Massachusetts.
Christopher Cappellini of Norton, Mass., was the top local performer. The 50-year-old followed up his victory in the 24-hour race at the Anchor Down Ultra in August by taking top male honors and finishing second overall at Bigfoot in 34:04:16. He was joined in the top 10 by 52-year-old Mark Blakeley of Norton, Mass., who finished fourth in 37:02:38, and 41-year-old Peter Agbay of Shrewsbury, Mass., who was ninth overall in 40:08:37.
Additionally, 38-year-old Tim Finocchio of Holbrook, Mass., placed 11th in 42:21:38, and 55-year-old Bob Warren of Attleboro, Mass., was 26th in 48:14:53.
The overall champion was 41-year-old Darcy Piceu of Boulder, Colo. Piceu, who is among the world’s elite mountain runners – male or female – posted a winning time of 30:57:09 just one month removed from earning the women’s championship at the Wasatch Front 100-miler in Utah.
In the 100K race – which uses a heavy course of 68.8 miles – 26-year-old Tess Harvey of Brighton, Mass., finished 41st overall and was the 12th-place female finisher in 25:06:52. A total of 112 runners started the 100K race, and 80 finished within the 32-your time limit. Derek Wright, 43, of Hood River, Ore., was the overall champion in 13:59:40. Jameson Clover, 36, of Portland, Ore., was the first female finisher and seventh overall in 17:42:48.
Farm to Farm Ultras
The sixth running of the Farm to Farm Ultras had a strong Massachusetts presence on Sunday, Oct. 9, in Freeport, Maine, as Bay State residents captured top male honors in both the 50-mile and 50K distances and top female honors in the 50K.
The 50-mile race had seven finishers, and four hailed from the Bay State. Daniel Gulas, 39, of Watertown, Mass., was the men’s champion and second overall finisher in 7:42:17, trailing only Angie Darbyson, 34, of Gatineau, Quebec, who cruised to victory in 7:07:23. Darbyson set a women’s course record and posted the second-fastest overall time – male or female – on the course. Gulas’ time was the third-fastest ever by a male in the six-year history of the event.
Robert Shapiro, 43, of Lunenburg, Mass., finished third overall in 8:32:12. Additionally, 50-year-old William Nourse of Amesbury, Mass., finished in 9;20:13; and Amanda Kourtz, 33, of Raynham, Mass., finished in 9:47:17.
Meanwhile, the 50K race had 15 total finishers, and none ran faster than Jeff Ingalls. The 45-year-old from Newburyport, Mass., posted the second-fastest time in course history en route to a runaway victory in 4:00:09. The second-place finisher – 44-year-old Ron Korstanje of Bar Harbor, Maine – was 20 minutes behind.
Eric Schenker, 42, of Hamilton, Mass., joined Ingalls on the podium by finishing third overall in 4:39:00.
The women’s champion – 31-year-old Linnea Laverty of Lynn, Mass. – finished fifth overall in 4:46:51, the fourth-fastest time by a female in course history.
Marie Ball, 40, of Feeding Hills, Mass., also completed the course as she finished 12th in 6:51:15.
Three years after taking top female honors in the 50K race at the Tesla Hertz run, Lauren Desautels returned to the event on Saturday, Oct. 8, in Rocky Point, N.Y., and replicated her result.
Desautels, 29, of Brighton, Mass., was the women’s champion and second-place overall finisher in 5:15:51. In fact, she was in the hunt for the overall victory, but couldn’t quite beat out 39-year-old Christian Luhmann of Coram, N.Y., who was the overall champion in 5:13:54.
The third overall finisher was second-place female Nora Guido, 43, of Rocky Point, N.Y., who finished 20 minutes behind Desautels in 5:35:59.
A total of 22 runners finished the race.
In addition to the 50K, the event also included 100-mile, 100K, and 50-mile distances, although there were no Massachusetts residents in those races.
Nearly 18,000 feet of climbing in rugged Pennsylvania wasn’t enough to stop Damien Pinault.
Pinault, 44, of Belmont, Mass., endured the challenges that the tough course threw at him and finished the Oil Creek 100-miler Oct. 8-9 in Titusville, Pa. Pinault’s time of 30:35:35 earned him 73rd place out of 98 runners who beat the 32-hour time limit.
Daven Oskvig, 39, of Amherst, N.Y., was the overall champion in 18:17:01, nearly two hours ahead of the second-place finisher.
In addition, the event had 100K and 50K races, although there were no Massachusetts residents in those races.
Water Gap 50K
A pair of Massachusetts residents took on the Water Gap 50K on Saturday, Oct. 8, in Milford, Pa., and they finished the race side-by-side.
Courtney Koschei, 31, and Robert Busby, 37 – both of Melrose, Mass. – finished the race tied for 25th in 5:03:58.
Sam Morse, 33, of Camden, N.Y., was the overall champion in 3:16:45. He beat runner-up Rich Heffron, 33, of Ithaca, N.Y., by 10 minutes.
A total of 82 runners finished the race.
*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.