Massachusetts residents eased into Thanksgiving week with a pair of in-state ultramarathons to burn pre-Turkey Day calories at the TARCkey Trot 6-Hour Ultra and the Village Ultra 10-Hour Run. That made for a quiet Nov. 18-19 weekend for Bay State runners at out-of-state ultras – but there were a few. Runners headed as far away as Utah, and stayed as close as Maryland and New York City to log some big mileage before the holiday weekend.
Dead Horse Ultras
Matthew Moison found himself surrounded by speedy runners and stunning scenery when he stepped to the starting line of the Dead Horse Ultras 50-miler on Saturday, Nov. 18, in Moab, Utah.
Facing a course of desert-like conditions, plenty of classic Utah slickrock, 4,500 feet of climbing, and views for miles, the 50-year-old made his first 50-mile footrace a memorable one. Moison, 50, of Fitchburg, Mass., didn’t stick with the leaders – who blitzed the course at record-setting pace – but he was among the faster runners in the field. Moison cruised to a 20th-place overall finish (15th among the men) in a fast time of 8:52:51.
It was a scorching day on the course as the top five men all broke the course record. Jeason Murphy sizzled to a new course standard as the 37-year-old from Carbondale, Colo., posted a winning time of 6:25:59, nearly 11 minutes ahead of runner-up Dustin Moore, 31, of Leadville, Colo. The top five finishers all broke seven hours. The women’s course record also fell as 30-year-old Alice Baumgartner of Boulder, Colo., logged a winning time of 7:49:47.
There were 117 finishers of the 50-mile race within the 13-hour time limit.
In addition to the 50-mile race, 228 runners completed the 50K ultra distance led by overall winner Joshua Ferenc, a 35-year-old from Athens, Vt., who dominated the race with a winning time of 3:31:56. His closest competitor finished nearly 16 minutes later. The first-place female, 30-year-old Ruth Senior of Albuquerque, N.M., finished sixth overall in 3:56:54.
One Massachusetts resident was among the 50K finishers. Josephine Fisher, 27, of Cambridge, made her ultramarathon debut at Dead Horse by placing 43rd overall and 12th among the women in 5:01:10.
More than a dozen Massachusetts residents were among the 752 runners to complete the 55th annual JFK 50-Miler on Saturday, Nov. 18, in Boonsboro, Md.
The classic race took runners over rocky portions of the Appalachian Trail, flat and smooth dirt on the C&O Canal Towpath, and ultimately onto paved roads for the final push to the finish line.
The JFK 50 is known for fast times, in particular since the toughest part of the course is in the beginning. Weather that, and it’s easy running for the final 34 miles to the finish line. Eric Senseman, 28, of Flagstaff, Ariz., hammered the course with a winning time of 5:46:54. He was the lone runner to break six hours this year, and he won by nearly 16 minutes. The top female finisher, 31-year-old Flagstaff resident Emily Harrison Torrence, placed ninth overall and outdistanced the rest of the ladies’ field by nearly 30 minutes.
Thirteen Massachusetts residents also completed the course, led by Great Barrington’s Bill Boyer. The 54-year-old Boyer placed 81st overall in 8:18:35. Joining Boyer in finishing in less than 10 hours were Brookline’s Greg Arendt, 41, who finished 169th overall in 9:11:34; North Reading’s Lori Mitchener, 41, who placed 216th overall in 9:32:33; and Lexington’s Frank Wang, 55, who placed 274th in 9:55:23.
Other Bay State finishers were Pepperell’s Andrew Bragg, 48, in 10:02:25; Dudley’s Chelsea Jones, 29, in 10:18:42; Pepperell’s James Marley, 27, in 10:45:47; Bedford’s John Wiedey, 47, in 11:09:26; Arlington’s David Poirier, 52, in 11:09:26; Boston’s Alison Levy, 32, in 11:11:33; Cohasset’s Craig Coffey, 47, in 11:11:33; Andover’s Allison Washkurak, 55, in 11:14:58; and Fairview Heights’ Michael Fairchild, 59, in 11:27:20.
New York Road Runners’ NYC 60K
Matthew McKenna has been the definition of consistency at the New York Road Runners’ NYC Knickerbocker 60K Ultra. McKenna, 32, of Quincy, Mass., has taken part in the race three times in the past four years – most recently on Saturday, Nov. 18 – and each time he has earned the same result.
Racing through New York City’s famed Central Park, McKenna placed fifth out of 357 finishers this year in 4:40:08.
Previously, McKenna placed fifth in 4:37:06 in 2015, and he was fifth in 4:46:23 in 2014.
McKenna wasn’t quite able to hang with 2017 champion Dmytro Molchanov, 28, as the Ukranian runner cruised to victory in 4:12:21, beating runner-up Edward Hartman, 35, of Australia by 10 minutes. McKenna was less than five minutes behind third-place finisher Lyman Hawbaker III of New York, N.Y, as the 30-year-old finished in 4:35:38.
The women’s champion, 28-year-old New Yorker Brittany Lewis, placed 11th overall in 4:54:33.
Two more Massachusetts residents joined McKenna in finishing the race. Brookline’s Jonathan Toto, 45, finished in 6:12:17, and Somerville’s Anne Giovanoni, 44, finished in 7:02:16.
*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.