From a gritty 100-mile finish in Georgia for Mark Leuner, to a 50K victory for Shelley Cheung in Washington, to races in Florida and Connecticut, Massachusetts ultrarunners found finish lines across the country on April 22-23.
Double Top 100
The tough mountain trails of northern Georgia threw a mighty test at Mark Leuner at the sixth annual Double Top 100 on April 22-23 at Fort Mountain State Park in Chatsworth, Ga., and he was up to the challenge.
The Double Top course winds through the Cohutta Mountains on an approximately 20-mile loop, with runners grinding through around 25,000 feet of vertical gain during the course of 100 miles. Each loop of the course takes runners up and down the Pinhoti Connector Trail twice, a course feature that gives the race its name.
Leuner, a resident of Brookline, Mass., was one of five runners to successfully finish the 100-mile race. He finished fourth overall in 35:45:00. Susan Donnelly, 54, of Oak Ridge, Tenn., was the overall winner in 31:01:00.
The event also included 72-hour, 100K and 50K options.
Double Top is the latest addition to Leuner’s 100-mile resume that also includes Massanutten, Grindstone, Rocky Road, Woodstock, the Great New York Running Exposition, the Badger Mountain Challenge, Running Dead, Rocky Raccoon, and two successful efforts at Ghost Train.
JW Corbett Trail Races
Warren Jackson was the lone non-Floridian in the crowd when he stepped to the starting line for the 50K race at the sixth annual J.W. Corbett Trail Races on Saturday, April 22, in Loxahatchee, Fla.
Jackson, 29, of Somerville, Mass., made the trip to Florida count as he ran through the wild lands and, at times jungle-like atmosphere, of the J.W. Corbett Wildlife Management Area and crossed the finish line in 8:56:33.
Of the 39 runners who started the race, 36 finished led by Kristen Hite, 46, of Altamonte Springs, Fla., who earned the overall victory in 5:24:42. She was one of four runners to finish in less than six hours.
The event also offered a 50-mile ultramarathon where every participant was a Florida resident.
Grand Ridge Trail Runs 50K
The trails of Grand Ridge Regional Park led to victory lane for Shelley Cheung.
Cheung, 32, of Brighton, Mass., was one of 14 runners to finish the 50K race at the Grand Ridge Trail Runs on Saturday, April 22, in Issaquah, Wash. The endurance festival also included marathon, half marathon, and five-mile distances.
Cheung finished sixth overall and was the first-place female finisher in 6:40:56.
The overall victory went to 50-year-old Stuart Johnson of Bainbridge Island, Wash., who cruised to victory in 5:08:22 and finished more than 16 minutes ahead of the second-place finisher.
Enchanted Forest 6-Hour Ultra
Deb Anderson’s build-up to a trio of ultramarathons later in the year – the Spring Fling 600 10-hour, the Jug End Loop Ultra, and the Ghost Train 30-miler – took a step forward with a strong showing at the Enchanted Forest 6-Hour Ultra on Saturday, April 22, in Stratford, Conn.
The course consisted of a 3.1-mile loop course winding on trails through the Roosevelt Forest. Fifty-two runners took part in the event, and 18 ran farther than a marathon during the time limit. That included Anderson, 42, of Hampden, Mass., who finished 18th overall with 28 miles completed in 5:57:45.
Raphael Sarfati, 29, of New Haven, Conn., logged the most miles with 42 completed in 5:39:41. Second-place Simon Edgett, 41, of Milford, Conn., posted 38.5 miles. Additionally, a dozen runners completed 31.5 miles.
*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.