MassUltra Roundup: Pony Express, Bimblers Bluff, Elk-Kings, and Goatz

A large crop of Bay State residents journeyed a few strides beyond the state border into New Hampshire last weekend for the Ghost Train Rail Trail Races. Results of that event are still being finalized, so we will highlight it in a separate article later this week. Not everyone went north to race, however. A handful of Massachusetts residents headed elsewhere to take on ultramarathon challenges, and we have included four of those events in this week’s roundup.

Pony Express 100

Alan Wright notched a 100-mile finish at the Pony Express 100, and he did it with just minutes to spare.

Wright, 55, of North Oxford, Mass., was the final runner to cross the finish line before the 30-hour time limit on Saturday, Oct. 22, at the dirt road race in Western Utah. Of the 35 runners who started the race on Friday, Oct. 21, Wright was the 24th and final one to reach the finish line when he crossed it in 29:48:06.

Steven Jeffs, 41, of Kaysville, Utah, was the overall champion with the second-fastest time in the 11-year history of the event. Jeffs’ winning time of 16:31:41 was more than five hours faster than runner-up Justin Larson, 39, of Lehi, Utah.

Bimblers Bluff 50K

South Deerfield, Mass., resident Brian Rusiecki’s Bimblers Bluff 50K course record of 4:14:39 was threatened but not surpassed during the ninth annual event Sunday, Oct. 23, in Guilford, Conn.

Morgan Kennedy of Portland, Conn., made a good run at Rusiecki’s course standard from 2011, but the 28-year-old Kennedy was unable to surpass it. Still, he rolled to a 12-minute victory in 4:19:21 and notched the second-fastest time in course history. Meanwhile, 38-year-old Sarah Slater of Guilford, Conn., was the women’s champion and 11th overall in 5:31:24.

A trio of Bay State residents were among the 137 finishers of the race, and the fastest was 29-year-old Lauren Desautels. The resident of Brighton, Mass., was the 10th-place female finisher and 53rd overall in 6:38:52. It marked her second strong race of the month to go along with her second-place overall finish at the Tesla Hertz 50K on Oct. 8 in Rocky Point, N.Y.

In addition, 44-year-old Rui Lopes of Charlestown, Mass., finished 78th overall in 7:04:58, and 54-year-old Roy Van Buren of Woburn, Mass., earned his seventh Bimblers Bluff finish as he crossed the finish line in 9:20:24.

Elk-Kings 50K

The fourth running of the Elk-Kings 50K was delayed by a week due to inclement weather, but that didn’t stop Somerville, Mass., resident Michael Tworoger from taking on the ultramarathon in Tillamook, Ore.

Tworoger, 47, made the cross-country trip and tackled a double-out-and-back course that included plenty of technical terrain and approximately 6,500 feet of vertical gain on Sunday, Oct. 23. Tworoger completed the race in 6:44:17. He was 29th out of 55 runners who finished the race.

Tyler Green, 32, of Portland, Ore., was the overall champion in 4:17:27. He broke the previous course record by more than seven minutes.

Goatz Trail Runs 50K

Benjamin Nosek made sure New England was well represented in the heartland on Sunday, Oct. 23, at Cunningham Lake in Omaha, Neb. Nosek, 41, of Milton, Mass., was one of 163 runners to complete the 50K race at the Goatz Trail Runs, which is regarded as Omaha’s first 50K.

Plenty of speedy times were turned in, including by Nosek. He finished 26th overall in 5:12:04. Meanwhile, the first- and third-fastest times ever run on the course by a male or female were recorded as Omaha residents Cory Logsdon, 28, and Kaci Lickteig, 30, both broke their own course records. Logsdon was the overall champion with a time of 3:38:58 – 30 seconds faster than he ran in 2015. Meanwhile, Lickteig – the 2016 women’s Western States 100 champion – finished second overall in 3:45:46 and knocked nearly nine minutes off of her old women’s course record. Only Logsdon (in 2015 and 2016) has ever covered the course faster than Lickteig during the five-year history of the event.

*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.

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