It was a scorching weekend in the desert Oct. 29-30 in Fountain Hills, Ariz., with temperatures that hit triple-digits and plenty of sun beating down to cook the ground. It’s not a stretch of the imagination to assume ultrarunners contributed to that late-October heat, however, given the number of scorching performances turned in at the Javelina Jundred, a 100-mile and 100-kilometer race.
The 100-mile course record when up in smoke as 30-year-old Zach Bitter of Carmichael, Calif., covered his six loops around the course faster than anyone ever, eclipsing Hal Koerner’s course record by 17 minutes in the process. Bitter’s winning time of 13:30:28 was an hour and 45 minutes ahead of the runner-up, Brett Sanborn, 30, of Albuquerque, N.M., and more than three hours ahead of third-place finisher Ryan Kaiser, 37, of Bend, Ore.
Of the 576 runners to start the race, 278 finished. Of those who finished, just 17 finished in less than 20 hours. A Massachusetts resident was part of that select group. Neil Feldman, 46, of Boylston, Mass., finished 17th overall in 19:38:25.
Feldman’s previous 100-mile finishes include Leadville and Vermont.
Another Massachusetts resident also finished the 100-mile race. Henry Ward, III, 46, of Chelmsford, Mass., finished 107th overall in 25:07:06.
Four Bay State residents started the 100-mile race but did not finish. Adena Schutzbert, 52, of Somerville, Mass., dropped at 80.6 miles after 24:29:16 elapsed. Maddy McCarthy, 32, of Newburyport, Mass., dropped after 61.2 miles in 11:26:48. Both Noah Duarte, 41, of Shelburne Falls, Mass., and Seng-Lai Tan, 45, of Sudbury, Mass., dropped after 41.8 miles.
Another head-turning performance was delivered in the 100K race where 31-year-old Courtney Dauwalter turned in the fastest performance in race history by anybody, male or female. The resident of Golden, Colo., was the overall 100K champion in 8:48:25 – a full 70 minutes ahead of the second-place finisher. Additionally, she knocked 54 minutes off of the women’s course record and finished 20 minutes ahead of the men’s course record.
Gregory Esbitt got in on the speedy action, too. The 42-year-old from Salem, Mass., finished eighth overall and was the fifth male finisher in 11:05:07. It was the latest top-10 finish during a year in which Esbitt already notched top-10 performances at the TARC Spring Classic marathon, the Pineland Farms 50K, the TARC Summer Classic 50K, the TARC Fall Classic 50K, and the Pisgah Mountain 50K.
Maria Vicens of Newburyport, Mass., built upon her 14th-place female finish at the Pineland Farms 50K by earning a 21st-place finish overall at the Javelina Jundred 100K. The 33-year-old was also the ninth-place female finisher in a time of 13:45:42. Another Newburyport resident, Sean McCarthy, 39, finished 52nd overall in 16:06:23.
A total of 201 runners started the 100K race and 122 finished.
Autumn Leaves 50/50
A fast fall 50K and 50-miler took place at the Autumn Leaves 50/50 on Saturday, Oct. 29, at Champoeg State Park in St. Paul, Ore., and a Massachusetts resident was among the fastest in the field.
The race took place on a flat 10K loop consisting mostly of paved asphalt with a little bit of singletrack dirt trail mixed in. Runners in the 50K race circled the loop five times. It was designed for speed, and many of the runners took advantage of that opportunity.
Kenneth Hawkes, 27, of Happy Valley, Ore., capitalized on the fast course by hammering out a winning performance in 3:45:38. Only one other runner finished in less than four hours.
Meg Reilly of Cambridge, Mass., also took advantage of the fast course and delivered a speedy performance. Reilly, 33, blazed to a finishing time of 4:41:59, good for 14th overall and sixth-place female honors. Reilly ran a remarkably consistent race. The course tracked 5K splits along the way, and three of her 5K splits were at precisely 8:40-per-mile pace, another 5K split was 8:39, and two others were 8:43 and 8:48.
A total of 72 runners finished the 50K in less than 10 hours.
The event also included a 50-mile race, however no Massachusetts residents took part in it.
*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.