Four in-state ultramarathons loom on the calendar this month, making it a massive month of ultra options in Massachusetts. That said, the month opened quietly for Bay State runners at out-of-state events. The mountains of Vermont and Colorado called – as did the Alps, which will be covered in another story – with runners taking to the trails at the Jay Peak Ultra and the Grand Traverse.
Jay Peak Ultra
Running in the mountains of Vermont apparently is never tough enough, because the organizers of the Jay Peak Trail Running Festival found a way to make this year’s Jay Peak Ultra more difficult than before. Organizers added nearly two miles to the 50K course, stretching it to 33 miles – 53.1 kilometers, officially – for the event on Sunday, Sept. 3, at the Hotel Jay Pavilion in Jay, Vt.
Runners completed an 11-mile loop three times on challenging trails with plenty of climbs and descents to ensure a long day on the trail for even the fastest runners.
A trio of Vermont residents dueled for the overall victory, with 46-year-old Corey Barrett of Waterbury earning the win in 6:38:56, followed by 39-year-old Alexander Jinks of Montpelier in 6:51:00, and then 52-year-old David Herr of Canaan in 6:56:30.
First-place female honors also went to a Vermont resident as South Burlington’s Jamie Sheahan, 29, won in 8:01:31.
Six Massachusetts residents also finished the race. Sudbury’s Seng-Lai Tan, 46, was the lone Bay State resident to crack the top 10. He finished 10th overall in 7:23:44. Other local finishers were Marlborough’s Tim Glickman, 29, in 7:53:33; Wakefield’s Tim Welch, 31, in 8:36:03; Dracut’s Reynald Lescarbeau, 31, in 9:07:03; Boxborough’s Edith Pfister, 42, in 9:41:37; and Groton’s Gina Estrada, 34, in 9:50:33.
Twenty-seven runners finished the race within the 10-hour time limit.
Grand Traverse 40-Mile
Gary Jewett of Beverly, Mass., is no stranger to high-altitude races in Colorado. The 51-year-old has completed the Pikes Peak Marathon numerous times, climbing more than 7,500 feet from the mountain’s base in Manitou Springs to a high point above 14,000 feet before turning around and racing back down to the finish line.
Jewett, 51, returned to Colorado for a new high-altitude challenge when he took part in the Grand Traverse 40-mile race on Saturday, Sept. 2, beginning in Crested Butte, Colo., and finishing in Aspen.
The third annual race includes around 6,000 feet of vertical gain and more than 7,000 feet of loss while reaching a high point above 12,000 feet.
Jewett was one of 152 runners to start the race, and he was one of 143 to finish. He completed the course in 11:38:46.
Jeff Colt of Carbondale, Colo., cruised to the overall victory in 6:15:19. Runner-up Noah Brautigam of Salt Lake City, Utah, was a distant second in 6:32:59. The top six runners finished in less than seven hours.
*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.