Mountain races out West and a rail-to-trail 100-miler in the rust belt earned places in this week’s roundup as Massachusetts ultrarunners took on races beyond the Bay State.
Leadville Silver Rush 50
While New Englanders have ample opportunities to train for the terrain of Colorado mountain races, it’s hard to replicate the challenge that altitude will present in the Rocky Mountains. Still, four Bay State residents conquered the altitude and the trails at the Silver Rush 50-miler on Sunday, July 9, in Leadville, Colo.
The out-and-back course exists almost completely at 10,000 feet above sea level or higher, with four trips above 12,000 feet and approximately 7,500 feet of total vertical gain. Only five runners completed the course in less than eight hours. Devon Olson, 29, of Steamboat Springs, Colo., was the lone sub-seven-hour finisher as he posted a winning time of 6:53:26. Leadville local Timmy Parr, 35, finished second in 7:13:47.
Of the 425 runners who started the race, 329 finished within the 14-hour time limit. Just 24 finished in less than nine hours, and one of them was Jared Moore of Brighton, Mass. Moore, 25, placed 21stoverall in 8:54:16. Silver Rush was Moore’s second 50-miler. He finished 31st overall at his inaugural 50-miler at Pineland Farms in Maine in 2016 with a time of 8:36:59.
Moore was joined at the finish line in Leadville by three more Massachusetts residents – Wakefield’s Gavin MacBeath, 47, who finished in 12:46:03; Revere’s Michael Condella, 29, who finished in 13:21:40; and Andover’s Kyung Nam, 49, who finished in 13:52:42.
Mt. Hood 50
No Massachusetts residents toed the starting line for the 50-mile race at the Mt. Hood 50 on Saturday, July 8, when Keely Henninger of Portland, Ore., threw down a women’s course-record performance and fellow Portland resident Patrick Reaves notched the second-fastest time ever by a male on the course. A day later, however, two Massachusetts men took part in the 50K race as part of the weekend’s running festivities in Clackamas Lake, Ore.
North Attleboro’s Jeff Dixon and Foxborough’s Todd Sankey both competed in the 50K race on an out-and-back course that was largely on the Pacific Crest Trail in the shadow of Mt. Hood. Dixon, 51, earned himself a spot in the top half of the field as he finished 53rd overall in 5:41:53. Sankey, 54, finished 80thin 6:09:48.
The top 13 runners finished in less than four hours. Dustin Franta, 28, of Portland, Ore., led the way with a 50K course-record time of 3:18:06. Runner-up Keith Laverty, 30, of Bainbridge Island, Wash., also broke the previous course record with his time of 3:22:06. A total of 143 runners finished the race within nine hours.
Canal Corridor 100
Zach Cross was one of the first runners to secure a finisher’s belt buckle from the Canal Corridor 100-miler. The 24-year-old resident of Carlisle, Mass., took part in the inaugural event July 8-9 on the Towpath Trail – a fast, smooth, rails-to-trails course that started and finished in downtown Akron, Ohio.
The race was the first 100-miler for Cross, and he finished 40th overall in 28:07:17.
Sixty-eight runners started the race, and 49 finished within the 30-hour time limit. Nineteen runners finished in less than 24 hours, led by 32-year-old Zach Merrin of North Canton, Ohio, who scorched the course in 15:17:34. Christopher Miller, 41, of Radford, Va., was a distant second in 16:36:34, and first-place female Connie Gardner, 53, of Akron, Ohio, placed third overall in 17:52:44.
*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.