Andover residents Will Swenson and Joe Loureiro made Massachusetts’ presence felt at the USATF 100K Trail National Championship at Bandera, and Brittany Ames of West Bridgewater started her 100-miler in 2016 and finished it in 2017.
Swenson a National Champion at Bandera 100K
American ultrarunning’s first high-profile event of the new year took place Jan. 7-8 at the Hill Country State Natural Area in Bandera, Texas, where the Bandera 100K served as the USATF 100K Trail National Championship.
Will Swenson and Joe Loureiro made the trip to Texas to test themselves against some of the best runners in the country, and the buddies from Andover, Mass., made their presence felt.
Swenson, 45, entered the event knowing all about successful running in Texas. After all, he finished fourth overall and was the third-place male at the Rocky Raccoon 100 in Texas in 2016. At Bandera, Swenson put together a strong first 50K on the rocky, technical course and cruised through the halfway point in 14th place overall in 4:42:10. His pace slipped during the second half of the race, but he held strong and completed the course in 10:30:56. Swenson’s performance earned him 16th place overall, and he also was the men’s national champion for the 45-49 age group.
Loureiro, 49, had a stellar day, too. Just like Swenson, Loureiro was among the fastest runners on the course. He ran with the top 25 throughout the first half of the race and was 21st at the midpoint in 5:05:51. The second loop of the course was a grind for Louriero, and even though he needed more than an extra hour to cover the final 31 miles he still held his ground among the top 25 before ultimately finishing 24th overall in 11:34:12 as well as third nationally in the 45-49 age group.
The overall champion and women’s national champion was 33-year-old Stephanie Violett Howe of Bend, Ore., who was in sixth overall after the first loop of the course but ultimately surged into the lead during the second half of the race and earned the victory in 9:08:35. Men’s national champion, 36-year-old Justin Ricks of Colorado Springs, Colo., finished second overall in 9:13:11.
Ames Logs 101 Miles at Across the Years
Brittany Ames may deserve credit for being the final Massachusetts ultrarunner to complete a 100-mile race in 2016 – or the first to do so in 2017. The resident of West Bridgewater, Mass., traveled to Phoenix, Ariz., and took part in the 72-hour event at Across the Years, an ultrarunning festival that has taken place for more than 30 years.
Across the Years provides runners with numerous opportunities – 24-hour, 48-hour, 72-hour and six-day events – to test themselves with major miles during the final days and hours of the closing year and the first days and hours of the new year.
Ames, 24, was one of 48 runners to take part in the 72-hour event beginning Dec. 29 and finishing in the morning on Jan. 1 on a 1.05-mile dirt and asphalt loop at Camelback Ranch – Glendale, the spring training baseball home of the Chicago White Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers. Thirty-six runners in the 72-hour event completed 100 miles or more, led by 48-year-old Iso Yucra of Millares, Bolivia, who completed 248.8026 miles. Geoffrey Foote, 48, of Chandler, Ariz., was second with 209.96 miles.
Ames was 27th overall with 101.8306 miles completed.
*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.