MassUltra Roundup: Bel Monte and Land Between the Lakes

It was a quiet weekend for ultramarathons across North America as only around 15 events took place beyond the Bay State. Of those events, two Massachusetts residents reached finish lines – one in Virginia and another in Kentucky.

Bel Monte

Massachusetts has made its mark on the Bel Monte 50-miler throughout the course of the event’s 10-year history. In particular, South Deerfield, Mass., resident Brian Rusiecki has compiled some of the strongest performances in the race’s most competitive years. He was the runner-up in 2010 and 2011 when he logged the third- and fourth-fastest times in event history, trailing only the race champion each year. Rusiecki’s first-place finish in 2012 remains the sixth-fastest time in race history.

Rusiecki wasn’t at this year’s race, which took place Saturday, March 11, in Lyndhurst, Va., but the Bay State was still represented well. Jimmy Stavlo of Falmouth, Mass., took on his first ultra since the 2014 Bandera 100K, and he held his own in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Taking on a course with plenty of singletrack and around 6,500 feet of vertical gain, the 27-year-old Stavlo finished 15th overall in 10:58:22.

Only four runners finished in less than 10 hours. Russell Kalbach, 30, of Wayne, Pa., was the overall winner in 9:05:43 and finished with a more than 30-minute cushion on the rest of the field.

A total of 50 runners finished the 50-miler. A 50K distance also was offered, but no Massachusetts residents took part.

Land Between the Lakes

Deanna Nappi made her ultramarathon debut with a trip to Kentucky.

Nappi, a 23-year-old resident of Jamaica Plain, Mass., toed the starting line of the Land Between the Lakes 60K on Saturday, March 11, in Grand Rivers, Ky., and took on three loops of singletrack trail, mud and rolling hills at the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area.

Nappi held her own among the 133 runners who finished the race. In fact, she was the seventh-place female and 24th overall with a time of 6:43:07.

Cassie Smith, 33, of Kitchener, Ontario, finished fifth overall and was the women’s champion in 5:34:14.

August Pappas, a 23-year-old from Nashville, Tenn., and 29-year-old Travis Lavin of Silverthorne, Colo., battled down the stretch of the race with Pappas ultimately pulling away for the overall victory by a little more than a minute and posting a winning time of 4:36:05.

The event also included a 50-mile race, although no Massachusetts residents took part in that distance offering.

*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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