WINCHESTER AND LEXINGTON, Mass. – The newest addition to the Trail Animals Running Club’s TARC Trail Series was, in a way, a feast before the feast.
The inaugural TARCkey Trot 6-Hour Ultra, which took place Saturday, Nov. 19, was scheduled to give runners an opportunity to feast on technical trails, burn some extra calories, and chew up some extra miles before chowing down on smorgasbords of food five days later on Thanksgiving.
Race Director Josh Katzman designed a 5K loop that started and finished at historic Wright-Locke Farm in Winchester, but mostly wound through the twisty, rocky, root-filled trails of Lexington’s Whipple Hill. Each loop included around 450 feet of vertical gain, which made for a course that slowly ground down the runners. Additionally, runners only received credit for full loops completed.
Eighty-nine runners toed the starting line for the six-hour event, and 16 of them surpassed the marathon distance within the allotted time.
The odds-on favorite to log the most miles was 19-year-old Patrick Caron. The Needham, Mass., native signed up for the event at the last minute and arrived at the starting line moments before the race began. He promptly took the lead within seconds of the race starting, and never relinquished the pole position. John Paul Lewicke, 31, of Arlington, Mass., and Sylvain Olier, 41, of Andover, Mass., gave chase and stayed within close contact of Caron for the first few loops, but they were unable to reel him in.
Caron lapped most of the field multiple times en route to 12 loops of the course for a first-place total of 37.2 miles. Olier capped a strong performance with a second-place finish as he successfully navigated 11 loops for 34.1 miles.
The TARCkey Trot may have provided a preview of what is to come Dec. 3 at the TARC Fells Trail Winter Ultra in Stoneham, Mass. Both Caron and Olier are registered for the 40-mile race. The pair previously finished 1-2 at the Mother’s Day 6-Hour race in Topsfield, Mass., in early May, and both finished in the top five at the Pineland Farms 50-miler in late May in Maine.
Lewicke finished the day in third place overall with 10 loops completed for 31 miles. Close behind him was Alexandra Brinkert, 30, of Medford, Mass. Brinkert also logged 31 miles and was the first-place female while finishing fourth overall. It was the second straight TARC race where Brinkert secured top female honors. She was the women’s champion and third overall in the 100K at the TARC 100 in October.
Three more runners also had 10-lap days. Tom Dmukauskas, 41, of Somerville, Mass., started his day back in the pack, but he put together a smart, consistent performance and steadily worked his way up to fifth overall with 31 miles. Daniel Gulas, 39, of Watertown, Mass., finished sixth with 31 miles, and Joe Fournier, 36, of Biddeford, Maine, also logged 31 miles.
Nine more runners ran beyond the marathon distance by completing nine loops for 27.9 miles. Included among that group were Justine Cohen, 44, of Lexington, Mass., and Kara Spera, 34, of Lynn, Mass., who were the second- and third-place female finishers.
Ultra Distances Only
Place; Name; Age; City; State; Distance
1 Patrick Caron, 19; Needham, MA; 37.2
2 Sylvain Olier, 41; Andover, MA; 34.1
3 John Paul Lewicke, 31; Arlington, MA; 31.0
4 Alexandra Brinkert, 30; Medford, MA; 31.0
5 Tom Dmukauskas, 41; Somerville, MA; 31.0
6 Daniel Gulas, 39; Watertown, MA; 31.0
7 Joe Fournier, 36; Biddeford, ME; 31.0
8 Benjamin Silberman, 23; Lexington, MA; 27.9
9 Kurt Berna, 45; Lyndeborough, NH; 27.9
10 Joe Fubel, 45; Winchester, MA; 27.9
11 Justine Cohen, 44; Lexington, MA; 27.9
12 Chris Wristen, 36; Medford, MA; 27.9
13 Kara Spera, 34; Lynn, MA; 27.9
14 Ross Anderson, 37; Franklin, MA; 27.9
15 Phoebe Seltzer, 20; Sudbury, MA; 27.9
16 Jason Devarennes, 38; Maynard, MA; 27.9
For complete results, click here.