A Massachusetts duo did battle for the victory and a course record in Goshen, Vt., a Bay Stater earned his second 100-mile buckle at the Beast of Burden – Summer Edition, and other local ultrarunners took on races around Mount St. Helens and Area 51. All are featured in this week’s roundup.
The Moosalamoo 36-Mile Ultramarathon has earned a reputation for stinging nettles, shoe-sucking mud, and slower times due to the course’s always challenging conditions. The 2017 edition was no different – except for the part about slower times. A pair of ultrarunners from Massachusetts set a new standard for speed on the course on Saturday, Aug. 5, in Goshen, Vt.
Leigh Schmitt of Northampton and Palo Cvik of Boston battled close until the final miles of the race, but it was the 45-year-old Schmitt who held off 32-year-old Cvik for the victory. Schmitt’s winning time of 5:55:38 was less than three minutes faster than Cvik’s 5:58:14.
Both Schmitt and Cvik broke the old course record of 5:59:13 that was set by David Herr of Canaan, Vt., in 2015. The course was modified from previous years at the request of the National Forest Service, which took some of the stickiest mud and most irritating nettles out of the equation, but it was challenging nevertheless from the moment runners departed Blueberry Hill Inn until they returned for the finish-line party.
Evan Hardcastle, 39, of Housatonic, Mass., joined Schmitt and Cvik in the top 10. Hardcastle placed seventh overall in 6:29:12.
Other Massachusetts residents who finished the race were 31-year-old Jesse Carter of Great Barrington in 7:37:29; 56-year-old Sam Farnsworth of Stow in 7:41:55; 42-year-old Heather Barackman of Woburn in 8:49:56; 29-year-old Benjamin Draper of Somerville in 9:13:23; and 55-year-old Katya Divari of Ashland in 9:13:23.
Forty-seven runners finished the race within 13 hours. Additionally, 82 runners finished the 14-mile race.
Beast of Burden – Summer Edition
Justin Fitzgerald added another finish to his resume at the Beast of Burden 100-miler – Summer Edition. Fitzgerald, 34, of Malden, Mass., took part in the race Saturday, Aug. 5, in Lockport, N.Y., and he completed four out-and-backs on the Erie Canal Towpath in 28:53:11.
Fitzgerald previously finished the 2014 version of the race in 29:18:24. He started the 2016 race but did not finish.
Fitzgerald also has two finishes of the Ghost Train 100-miler to his credit (2016, 2015).
Jim Salmeri, 29, of Lockport, N.Y., set a new course record for Beast of Burden in 14:41:41, breaking the old mark by 17 minutes.
A pair of Massachusetts residents from Chelmsford were among the 38 runners who finished two out-and-backs of the course for the 50-mile race. Matthew Hoffman, 38, placed 12th overall in 10:19:10, and Paul Hoffman, 66, was 32nd in 12:45:28.
Matt Swoveland of Boston, Mass., earned a tough finish at the sixth annual Volcanic 50K on Saturday, Aug. 5, in Cougar, Wash.
Swoveland, 33, took on a course that included around 7,400 feet of gain while circling Mt. St. Helens on technical, forested singletrack. He finished in 11:56:12.
The course wasn’t designed for a PR – just three runners finished in less than six hours, led by 28-year-old Paul Weeks of Seattle, Wash., in 5:41 and 38-year-old Yassine Diboun of Portland, Ore., in 5:43:44. In fact, only the top 10 runners finished in less than seven hours. New Englander Ryan Welts, 36, of Tamworth, N.H., was the last one to do that as he finished 10th in 6:59:07.
Another New Englander from Tamworth, 39-year-old Kristina Folcik, was the second-place female and 15th overall finisher in 7:18:17.
Runners had 13 1/2 hours to finish the race, and 179 completed the course within that time.
E.T. Full Moon Midnight 51K
Racing outside of Las Vegas on a highway renowned for UFO sightings, Thomasz Adamusiak took on an unusual ultramarathon Sunday, Aug. 6, in Rachel, Nev.
Adamusiak, 36, of Boston, Mass., raced the 11th annual E.T. Full Moon Midnight 51K, a high desert road race at more than 4,000 feet above sea level on the outskirts of Area 51. Both the surface – pavement – and the distance – 51K, rather than the standard 50K – varied from a typical ultramarathon race, but both were fitting for the unusual setting where numerous extraterrestrial sightings have been reported. Adamusiak raced to a top-10 finish, placing 10th overall in 5:40:34. Only the top two runners finished in less than five hours, led by 19-year-old Cray Sistrunk of Belpre, Ohio, in 4:28:22. Matt Heacock, 39, of Scottsdale, Ariz., was a close second in 4:31:00.
Thirty runners completed the 51K race within eight hours. The event also included marathon, half marathon, 10K and 5K distances.
*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.