MassUltra Roundup: Ragged 75, Eastern States, Bigfoot, and Steep Rock

Four big races and some big performances by local runners are featured in this week’s roundup. Needham’s Patrick Caron was the solo champion while South Deerfield’s Brian and Amy Rusiecki earned Stage Race victories in New Hampshire; Drew Quigley, Padraig Mullins and Sam Jurek all represented the Bay State at the finish line of the Eastern States 100; Lakeville’s Shaun Daylor battled to a top-10 finish in a 200-mile race; and Holden’s Michael Jones landed in the top 10 at a tough 50K in Connecticut.

Ragged 75 Stage Race and 50K

Fresh off of a flight home from Yellowstone National Park the day before, Patrick Caron shook off the jet leg by rocketing through the Ragged 50K course on Sunday, Aug. 13, in Danbury, N.H.

Caron, 20, of Needham, Mass., was the lone runner out of 96 finishers to complete the course in less than five hours. Starting at Mt. Sunapee, runners covered approximately 33 miles and climbed more than 6,000 feet while making their way to the finish line at Ragged Mountain Resort. Caron hammered out a 4:53:26 to win the race and also secure the USATF-New England 50K Championship.

Caron’s closest competitor was 38-year-old Brian Rusiecki of South Deerfield, Mass. Rusiecki was the second-place finisher in 5:25:02, just ahead of 37-year-old Iain Ridgway of Grantham, N.H., who placed third in 5:27:46. Unlike Caron, however, Rusiecki didn’t arrive at the starting line after a drive from the airport. Instead, Rusiecki spent the two previous days running to Sunday’s starting line as part of the Ragged 75 Stage Race, a three-day, approximately 75-mile unsupported race with around 15,000 feet of vertical gain.

The first two days covered around 25 miles and took runners to the summits of Mt. Ragged and Mt. Kearsarge. Day two was nearly 23 miles with a trip to the top of Mt. Sunapee. Day three was the heavy 50K. Rusiecki was the top finisher during each of the first two days and was the overall winner of the stage race in 14:07:20.

The top women in the stage race were Leslie O’Dell, 41, of Albany, N.H., and Amy Rusiecki, 38, of South Deerfield, Mass. They tied for the win in 17:31:34, and they had the exact same time on each of the three days. In fact, their time of 7:12:42 in Sunday’s 50K tied them for second place among the women.

Hilary McCloy, 34, of Madison, N.H., was the top female in the 50K and 11th overall in 6:48:25. Like Caron, McCloy’s victory earned her a USATF-New England 50K Championship.

Brian and Amy Rusiecki were among 34 runners to complete the three-day stage race. Other Massachusetts residents who finished 75-mile event were Ian Lavery, 37, of Somerville; Catherine Bannish, 25, of Somerville; Mark Brito, 39, of Billerica; and Ilya Bass of Weston.

Additionally, Massachusetts residents who completed only the 50K were Carsten Braun, 48, of Greenfield, who was 12th overall in 7:00:50; Peter LaGoy, 58, of Hopkinton, who was 13th in 7:07:20; Arthur Kreig, 59, of Cambridge, who was 14th in 7:09:08; Brad McCarthy, 39, of Mashpee, who was 15th in 7:11:51; David Loutzenheiser, 50, of Cambridge, who was 26th in 7:41:30; Matt Howard, 33, of Westfield, who was 34th in 8:14:58; Juan Mejia, 38, of Waltham, who was 35th in 8:15:10; Chael Christopher, 42, of Winchester, who was 44th in 8:31:47; Steven Kendall, 36, of West Roxbury, Mass., who was 51st in 9:03:36; William McCarthy, 57, of Fall River, in 11:29:14; and Tim Reif, 49, of Dedham, and Kristen Evan, 55, of Needham, both in 11:34:34.

Eastern States 100

A trio of Massachusetts ultrarunners battled to hard-earned finishes Aug. 12-13 at the fourth annual Eastern States 100-miler in Waterville, Pa. Drew Quigley, Padraig Mullins and Sam Jurek all navigated the 103-mile course and its more than 20,000 feet of vertical gain over rugged, rock-strewn singletrack trails through thick forests in the remote Pennsylvania wilderness.

Jayson Kolb, 30, of Wehawken, N.J., earned the overall victory in 21:13:16 while turning in the second-fastest time in course history. David Lantz, 28, of Leola, Pa., was second with the seventh-fastest course mark ever in 21:58:14. Tsutomo Bessho, 39, of Glen Ridge, N.J., rounded out the top three in 23:37:14.

Only five runners finished in less than 25 hours.

The women’s champion was a well-known presence at Eastern States. Kathleen Cusick, 42, of Indian Harbour Beach, Fla., returned to Eastern States after a year away, and she earned her third victory in three tries while finishing 13th overall in 27:51:19. Also the winner in 2014 and 2015, Cusick owns three of the five fastest times on the women’s course-record board.

Quigley led the Massachusetts contingent as the 28-year-old Peabody resident finished 28th in 29:44:15. It was his second time finishing Eastern States. In 2015, Quigley finished 13th overall at the event in 29:19:53.

Fresh off of a sub-20-hour finish at the Vermont 100, Mullins added an Eastern States belt buckle to his collection. The 35-year-old Cambridge resident finished 44th overall in 31:31:52 in his Eastern States debut.

Jurek, 30, of Oak Bluffs, also made his Eastern States debut and he finished 75th overall in 33:25:33.

Runners had 36 hours to complete the course. Of the 202 who started, 121 finished within the time limit.

Bigfoot 200 Endurance Run

Shaun Daylor already has numerous 100-mile finishes to his credit, including TARC, Umstead, Massanutten and Vermont. Now, the 39-year-old resident of Lakeville, Mass., has his first 200-mile finish.

Daylor was one of 78 runners to complete the Bigfoot 200 Endurance Run this year. The event started Friday, Aug. 11, and wrapped up Tuesday, Aug. 15. Runners had 105 hours to cover 206.5 miles through the Cascade Mountains, beginning at Mount St. Helens and finishing on the track at White Pass High School in Randle, Wash.

Jason Kinsella, 39, of Edmonton, Alberta, secured a dominant victory in 55:49:01, while 36-year-old Peter Mortimer of Phoenix, Ariz., was a distant second in 60:50:52, more than four hours ahead of third place. Kinsella and Mortimer logged the two fastest times in the event’s three-year history.

Daylor joined Kinsella and Mortimer in the top 10. He was the ninth male finisher and placed 10th overall in 72:44:33.

Now with a 200-mile finish under his belt, Daylor will return to the 100-mile distance. He is registered for the Ghost Train 100 in October in Brookline, N.H.

XTERRA Steep Rock Trail Runs

The EXTERRA Northeast Trail Run Series’ Steep Rock Trail Runs took place Saturday, August 5, in Washington Depot, Conn., with ultramarathon distance offerings of 50 miles and 50K, as well as 25K and 10K offerings for those not seeking an ultra.

In fact, those interested in ultras received some bonus mileage – the 50K actually measured 33.4 miles – and it challenged runners with nearly 5,000 feet of gain. Fifteen runners completed the 50K within 10 hours, including 39-year-old Michael Jones of Holden, Mass. Jones finished the two-loop course in 7:33:14 and placed 10th overall.

Russ Kalbach, 31, of Wayne, Pa., was the race champion in 5:23:25.

Two runners finished the 50-mile race. They were Charles Roche, 37, of Fairfield, Conn., in 8:57:04, and Gregory Bubniak, 44, of Oak Ridge, N.J., in 11:50:31.

*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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