MassUltra Roundup: Promise Land, TNFEC – DC, Tillamook Burn, and Hyner 50K

From a UROC tune-up in Virginia, to The North Face Endurance Challenge in the nation’s capitol, to the Tillamook Burn in Oregon, Massachusetts ultrarunners took to the trails on both coasts on April 29-30. Additionally, we tracked down results from the Hyner 50K in Pennsylvania for this week’s roundup.

Promise Land 50K

Brian and Amy Rusiecki have gotten to know the trails of Virginia quite well in recent years, including with their 2017 race schedule so far. For Brian, that includes a second-place finish at the Terrapin Mountain 50K in March and the overall victory. Meanwhile, Amy was the second-place female at Terrapin Mountain and the fourth-place female at the Holiday Lake 50K in February.

The residents of South Deerfield, Mass., are building up to the Ultra Race of Champions 100K on May 13, in Skylark, Va., where they will test themselves against some of the top ultrarunners in the United States, as well as from the international scene.

Their final tune-up in Virginia came on Saturday, April 29, at the 17th annual Promise Land 50K in Bedford, Va. They took on a course that featured around 8,000 feet of vertical gain, and both made a strong showing in a field of 305 finishers.

Brian, 38, was one of just four runners to finish in less than five hours as he battled to a second-place overall finish in 4:48:12, five minutes ahead of third-place finisher Sam Chaney, 24, of Frederick, Md.

Amy, 37, was the fifth-place female and 33rd overall in 6:09:53. The first female finisher was 36-year-old Rian Landers-Ramos of Columbia, Md., who crossed the finish line 22nd overall in 5:48:25. The second through sixth women all finished within a four-minute window.

The overall win went to 28-year-old Michael Owen of Pomeroy, Ohio, who cruised to the victory in 4:31:16.

TNFEC – Washington, D.C.

The North Face kicked off its 2017 Endurance Challenge Series with its Washington, D.C., event on Saturday, April 29, at Algonkian Regional Park in Sterling, Va. The Endurance Challenge Series – which will make its Massachusetts debut in June at Wachusett Mountain – features 50-mile and 50K ultramarathons in addition to shorter distance offerings.

A handful of Massachusetts residents were among the field outside of the nation’s capitol to take part in the ultra distances on the Potomac Heritage Trail.

Two were among the 156 finishers of the 50-mile race as Jimmy Stavlo and Juan Mejia both completed the course well within the 13-hour time limit. Stavlo, 27, of Falmouth, Mass., delivered a strong performance and finished 18thoverall in 9:04:14. Stephen Tucker, 34, of Chester, Pa., was the overall champion in 6:59:50. Mejia, 37, of Waltham, Mass., finished the 50-miler in 11:49:34.

Meanwhile, a larger crop of runners took part in the 50K race, and seven from Massachusetts were among the 391 finishers within the nine-hour time limit. That included a standout performance from 31-year-old Boston, Mass., resident Pavol Cvik who raced to a top-10 finish. Cvik was the eighth overall finisher and seventh-place male in 4:35:38.

Rudy Kashar, 28, of Washington, D.C., was the overall winner and lone sub-four-hour finisher in 3:55:14. Women’s champion and second overall finisher Abby Levene, 26, of Boulder, Colo., finished in 4:10:45.

Cvik wasn’t the lone local runner to have a big day. Alexandra Earle, 25, of Cambridge, Mass., was the sixth overall female finisher and 44th overall in 5:20:23.

Additionally, 23-year-old AnnaJoy Gillis of Somerville, Mass., finished 134th in 6:12:53; Lu Neuse, 36, of Greenfield, Mass., was 222nd in 7:07:16; Danielle Montez, 31, of Chelsea, Mass., was 237th in 7:17:52; Zhaoliang Lun, 28, of Hadley, Mass., was 252nd in 7:24:50; and Carolann McVeigh Fenton, 41, of Duxbury, Mass., was 352nd in 8:49:57.

Tillamook Burn 50M

Lizzy Dickey has spent the past few years taking on ultramarathons in the northeast, but in December she made her first foray to the West Coast and raced in The North Face Endurance Challenge 50-Mile Championship

in San Francisco, Calif. Dickey, 30, of Boston, Mass., headed west for another race on Saturday, April 29, this time in Oregon where she took part in the second running of the Tillamook Burn 50-Mile Trail Run through the Tillamook State Forest.

Winding her way through lush forest in the Oregon Coast Range mountains, Dickey tackled singletrack trails and forest roads to the tune of around 9,300 feet of vertical gain.

Dickey covered the course in 10:36:03 and was the ninth-place female finisher. She was 54th overall in a field of 125 finishers and 140 starters.

The overall victory went to Ryan Kaiser, 38, of Bend, Ore., who posted a winning time of 6:46:04, outdistancing the second-place runner by 16 minutes and the third-place finisher by more than an hour. The first-place female was 37-year-old Jameson Clover of Portland, Ore., who finished 13th overall in 8:58:56 and held a seven-minute cushion on women’s runner-up Makenna Tague, 24, of Powell Butte, Ore.

Hyner Trail Challenge 50K

Jonathan Barboza took on a monumental task when he signed up for the Pennsylvania Triple Crown of Mountain Running. The Triple Crown includes a trio of Pennsylvania’s wildest, most rugged trail ultramarathons, beginning with the Hyner Trail Challenge 50K in April, followed by the Worlds End 100K in June and capped off with the Eastern States 100-miler in August. The races in the series get harder the longer they get, with lots of gnarly terrain and steep climbs.

The Triple Crown kicked off with the Hyner 50K on Saturday, April 22, in Hyner, Pa., on a course with five major climbs and approximately 7,500 feet of vertical gain.

Barboza, 37, of Dartmouth, Mass., battled the tough course and earned a finish in 9:35:16.

Clayton Bouchard, 43, of Likens, Pa., earned the overall victory in 4:47:59 and was one of just five runners to finish in less than five hours. Just 38 of the 243 total finishers completed the course in less than six hours.

Barboza’s next step in his pursuit of the Triple Crown will take place June 3 at Worlds End State Park.

*Editor’s Note: Results are found on a variety of sites, including, 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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