The final in-state ultramarathon of 2016 took place Saturday with the TARC Fells Winter Ultra at the Middlesex Fells Reservation (an article about that event will be posted later this week), but a few Massachusetts runners took on out-of-state ultras last weekend, too.
Last Chance 50K
The last time many in the Massachusetts ultrarunning community saw Billy Preston, he was aggressively chasing down Patrick Caron and ultimately rallying for a victory at the 2015 TARC Fall Classic 50-miler. The remarkable comeback capped a 2015 racing season where Preston also was the champion of the TARC Summer Classic 50K and the runner-up at the TARC Spring Classic 50K.
At the time, Preston was a resident of Hanscom Air Force Base in Bedford, Mass. Preston recently relocated to Charleston, S.C., and the 33-year-old didn’t leave his speed behind with the move.
Preston took part in the fifth annual Last Chance 50K on Saturday, Dec. 3, in Huger, S.C., and he blazed to a first-place finish out of 33 runners in 3:47:28. Preston broke the course record by nine minutes and outdistanced runner-up Andrew Nicholson, 26, of Hendersonville, N.C., by nearly 31 minutes.
The North Face Endurance Challenge – California
Eight Massachusetts residents traveled cross-country to take part in one of the United States’ final large ultrarunning events of the year at The North Face Endurance Challenge – California on Saturday, Dec. 3, at the Golden Gate National Recreation Area in San Francisco, Calif.
All eight took part in the 50K race, which had six major climbs, more than 7,000 feet of vertical gain and a 10-hour time limit. Matthew Mulligan, 25, of Boston, Mass., was the fastest local finisher. He blazed to a 34th-place finish out of 507 total finishers in a time of 5:16:03. Close behind was 28-year-old Victoria Macias of Cambridge, Mass. She placed 44th overall and was the 12th female finisher in 5:22:22. Christopher Capozzi, 28, of Boston was 52nd overall in 5:25:31.
Alex Binder, 27, of Boston finished 114th in 5:57:06; and Paul Rohde, 28, of Cambridge, was 156th in 6:17:00. Other finishers included 23-year-old Carly Tucker of Cambridge in 7:02:03, 37-year-old Jesse Ledin of Boston in 7:19:56, and 28-year-old Isabel Broer of Cambridge in 8:05:03.
Cole Watson, 25, of Ashland, Ore., ran away with the victory in a speedy 3:48:32, a solid 23 minutes ahead of runner-up Christopher Baird, 27, of San Francisco, Calif. The women’s champion, 25-year-old Abby Levene of Boulder, Colo., finished 14th overall in 4:48:27.
The event also included a 50-mile race that featured more than 11,000 feet of vertical gain. Zach Miller, 28, of Manitou Springs, Colo., was the overall champion in 5:56:03. Meredith Pinault, 39, of Belmont, Mass., represented the Bay State in the 50-miler with a strong showing, completing the course in 11:14:17. A total of 538 runners completed the 50-miler ahead of the 14-hour cutoff.
*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.