The 2017 ultramarathon season closed out and 2018 was ushered in at the 34th annual Across the Years Ultrarunning Festival in Arizona where Mattapoisett resident Clifford Lange lodged perhaps the final ultra finish of the year for a Massachusetts resident, and then Cambridge’s Julien Klaudt-Moreau and Boylston’s Neil Feldman opened the 2018 season with strong showings in Arizona and Texas.
Klaudt-Moreau’s top-three finish at the San Tan Scramble, Feldman’s negative-split 100K, and Lange’s 48-hour run kick off the first MassUltra Roundup of the new year.
San Tan Scramble 50K
Julien Klaudt-Moreau kicked off the 2018 racing season with an impressive 50K debut performance at the eighth annual San Tan Scramble 50K on Saturday, Jan. 6, in Queen Creek, Ariz.
A 25-year-old resident of Cambridge, Mass., Klaudt-Moreau was one of just a handful of non-Arizona residents to take part in the race, but he was the fastest of the non-Grand Canyon State runners – as well as one of the fastest overall. Of the 72 runners who started the race, 59 finished within the nine-hour time limit. Klaudt-Moreau finished third.
Aaron Newell, 24, of Flagstaff, Ariz., ran away with the victory. His winning time of 4:19:34 was 28 minutes ahead of the next fastest runner. The race for second was down to the wire, however. Klaudt-Moreau found himself in a tight battle with 44-year-old Nathan Hawks of Gilbert, Ariz. Hawks ultimately got to the finish line slightly faster and claimed second in 4:47:24. Klaudt-Moreau finished 36 seconds later and nabbed the final spot on the podium in 4:48:00.
The top six finishers completed the race in less than five hours.
Neil Feldman’s 2017 ultramarathon racing season included a pair of noteworthy performances as he notched a top-10 finish at the inaugural North Face Endurance Challenge 50-miler at Wachusett Mountain in Princeton, Mass., and followed it up with a sub-20-hour 100-miler at the Vermont 100.
Feldman, 47, of Boylston, Mass., built on that by kicking off 2018 with a solid effort at the Bandera 100K on Saturday, Jan. 6, at the Hill Country State Natural Area in Bandera, Texas. The two-loop course features plenty of up-and-down running on rocky, rugged terrain surrounded by thorny brush, and runners typically sacrifice plenty of blood as part of their effort.
Feldman handled the challenging course well and turned in a negative-split effort. He completed his first loop in 6:56:35, and then knocked out his second loop in 6:12:38. His time of 13:09:13 placed him 56th overall out of 248 finishers within the 24-hour time limit.
A year after dropping from the race, 31-year-old Mario Mendoza of Bend, Ore., delivered a decisive victory in 8:07:45. Meanwhile, 26-year-old Cody Reed of Flagstaff, Ariz., made his Bandera debut and finished second in 8:24:36. The top five runners all finished in less than nine hours. Top honors among the women went to 36-year-old Camille Herron of Warr Acres, Okla., who finished in 9:56:02.
Across the Years 48-Hour
It’s not quite an annual tradition, but Clifford Lange is somewhat of a regular at the Across the Years Ultrarunning Festival that has rung in the new year in Arizona since 1983. Lange, 60, of Mattapoisett, Mass., made his third trip to Phoenix for the event – which offers 24-hour, 48-hour, 72-hour and six-day races – from Dec. 28 to Jan. 3.
In 2015, Lange completed 120.73 miles in the 72-hour event. In 2014, he ran 36.742 miles in the 24-hour race. This time, he tackled the 48-hour offering and placed 72nd out of 85 runners with 61.93 miles on the approximately one-mile dirt loop course.
Thomas Jackson, 57, of Moses Lake, Wash., led all runners in the 48-hour event with 192.1 miles. John Maroushek, 51, of Mesa, Ariz., was second with 186.86 miles.
*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.