Thanksgiving weekend was mostly quiet for the Massachusetts ultrarunning scene, at least in terms of racing. Many runners took to the trails for multiple long runs on what—for many—was a four-day weekend. The racing schedule wasn’t silent, however. This week’s roundup features two races in Florida, one on the holiday weekend and one the week prior. Medford’s Andy Novis took on 24 hours at the Icarus UltraFest, and Arlington’s Ray Rey finished 50 miles at Saint Sebastian.
Icarus Florida UltraFest
Andy Novis is no stranger to long-distance races. The 54-year-old from Medford, Mass., is a 10-time finisher of the Vermont 100 and a two-time finisher of the TARC 100, and he has dozens of other ultramarathon finishes to his credit since the late 1990s.
Novis tried something new this month when he took part in the 24-hour race at the Icarus Florida UltraFest. The endurance festival included 144-hour, 72-hour, 48-hour and 12-hour timed events Nov. 13-19 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Novis has taken part in other time-based events, but not one with so many different offerings.
Novis was the lone Bay State resident to take part in the event, and he was one of 16 runners in the 24-hour race. Novis placed sixth overall and was the fourth-place male, logging 101.7627 miles on the 1-kilometer loop course. Andrew Farretta, 32, of Hollywood, Fla., won the 24-hour race with 114.1858 miles. Seven runners broke the 100-mile mark.
Eleven runners competed in the 144-hour race, and 38-year-old Nicolae Buceanu of Romania earned the victory with 409.6755 miles.
Saint Sebastian Ultras
Ray Rey found a small and intimate endurance festival to be the site of his inaugural ultramarathon.
Rey, 44, of Arlington, Mass., was one of 35 runners to take on either the 100-mile, 50-mile or – new for 2017 – 50K distance at the second annual event Nov. 25-26 in Sebastian, Fla.
Rey and 13 other runners toed the starting line for the 50-mile race, which consisted of five 10-mile loops of the mostly flat, sun-soaked course. He also was among 10 who reached the finish line. Juan Hincapie Castillo, 27, of Gainesville, Fla., won the race in 9:13:58 and was one of two runners to finish in less than 10 hours. Rey placed fourth overall in 11:30:32. He was 20 minutes behind third place, but comfortably ahead of the fifth-place runner.
Seven runners attempted the 100-mile distance. Only one, 48-year-old Charles Pinto of Fort Myers, Fla., completed the race within the 30-hour time limit. He finished in 28:19:51. Additionally, 12 of the 14 runners who started the 50K finished, including 56-year-old Jacqueline Brown of St. Albans Bay, Vt., who was the lone New England resident to take on that distance.
*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.