The 2018 ultra season is starting to hit full swing with at least 38 ultramarathons taking place in North America during the first weekend of May. Runners from the Bay State scattered to tackle races throughout the country, from nearby New England states to trails out West. In fact, the weekend was so jam-packed with performances that it merits a two-part roundup this week. Here’s the first part. Stay tuned for Part 2 (Bear Mountain, Big A 50K, Peak).
White Lake Ultras
The inaugural White Lake Ultras was an intimate affair as the debut event for Rockhopper Races offered runners 6-, 12- and 24-hour options to see how many times they could tackle a 2.4-mile loop around White Lake on May 5-6 in Tamworth, N.H.
Nearly two-dozen runners took part in the event, including a trio – 47-year-old Chris Ballou (58 miles) of Conway, N.H.; 38-year-old Claire Robinson-White (55.10 miles) of Richmond, Vt.; and 52-year-old James Richard (26.10 miles) of Jaffrey, N.H.) – who tackled the 24-hour option. Five runners took on the course for 12 hours, led by 39-year-old Chris Casey of Keene, N.H., who posted a first-place tally of 49.30 miles. Karen Giroux, 52, of Salem, Mass., was the lone Massachusetts resident to take part in that time option, and she was the second-place female and had the fourth-highest overall mileage total with 40.60 miles.
Additionally, 13 runners were entered in the six-hour race. Mark Sheeren led the Massachusetts contingent with 26.10 miles as the 58-year-old Walpole resident earned the men’s victory and third-place overall. Diane Keenan, 37, of Wallingford, Conn., was the first-place female and overall winner with 34.80 miles, followed by 42-year-old Kristine Reardon of Meredith, N.H., with 29.00 miles. Other finishers from the Bay State were Chris Butler, 43, of Holyoke (26.10 miles); Rick Fijalkowski, 50, of Tyngsboro (20.30 miles); and Emily Macaluso, 27, of Roslindale (17.40 miles).
CT Trailmixers Spring Fling 600
Ultramarathon season is ramping up in nearby Connecticut, and the state’s longest time-based event of the year so far took place on Sunday, May 6, with the Trailmixers’ Spring Fling 600, a 10-hour event in Southington, Conn. Runners had the opportunity to take on a 3.1-mile trail loop as many times as they wanted within the time limit.
Nearly 130 runners took part in the event by running at least one loop, and 60 surpassed the marathon distance. Nobody covered more ground than Ryan Timme. The 31-year-old from Branford, Conn., led all runners with 58.90 miles, followed by 40-year-old Alex McDaniel of New Haven, Conn., with 55.80 miles. Four more runners surpassed the 50-mile mark with 52.70 miles.
First-place honors among the women went to 42-year-old Rebecca Burke of Portland, Conn., who was seventh overall with 49.60 miles. Ann Alessandrini, 57, of Johnsonville, N.Y., was the ladies’ runner-up with 43.40 miles.
Three Massachusetts residents were among the runners to log an ultramarathon distance. Jason Silva, 47, of Plymouth was one of eight runners to finish the day with 40.30 miles. Allison Fitch-Molony, 26, of Boston was one of three runners to log 37.20 miles, and she was the fourth-place woman. Additionally, 47-year-old Eric Conti of Spencer was one of 26 runners to complete a solid 50K with 31.00 miles.
The Trailmixers also host a Fall Fling 400-minute event. The 2018 Fall Fling hasn’t yet been announced, but it took place in November of 2016 and 2017.
Salt Flats Endurance Runs
Mary Troy, 33, of Southwick, Mass., made her 100-mile debut at the eighth annual Salt Flats Endurance runs May 3-4 in Wendover, Utah.
Starting and finishing at the Bonneville Salt Flats Speedway, the race took runners through salt and mud flats, as well as to numerous mountain peaks rising from the salt. Forty-six runners started the 100-miler, and 31 finished within the 36-hour time limit. Troy finished just in time, crossing the finish line 30th overall in 35:10:36. The final runner crossed the finish line less than six minutes before timing out.
In addition to the 100-mile distance, runners had 50-mile and 50K options.
Jaimie Gosselin took on one of the oldest ultramarathons in the east when she traveled to Wartrace, Tenn., to take part in the 40th annual Strolling Jim 40-miler on Saturday, May 5. The road race takes runners through the hills of scenic Bedford County, and it is one of the early creations of legendary Barkley Marathons race director Gary Cantrell (Lazarus Lake).
Gosselin, 39, of Millbury, Mass., finished 64th out of 189 runners in 7:26:01. Runners had 13 hours to complete the race.
Olaf Wasternack, 38, of Franklin, Tenn., was the first-place male and overall winner in 4:38:20. He was the lone sub-5-hour finisher. Alondra Moody, 41, of Andersonville, Tenn., was the women’s winner and seventh overall finisher in 5:38:15.
Mt. Si Ultras
The name might imply it’s a mountain race, but the Mt. Si ultras take place around the base of Mt. Si, making for some fast running in a mountainous setting. Massachusetts resident Allison Kunze-Amico was among the runners to take on one of the event’s ultramarathon distances on Sunday, April 29, in Snoqualmie, Wash.
Kunze-Amico took part in the 50K race on a course that consisted largely of singletrack dirt on the Snoqualmie Valley Trail and Iron Horse Trail with around 1,000 feet of vertical gain.
Kunze-Amico, 26, finished in 6:37:46 and was one of 64 runners to complete the race within 8 1/2 hours.
Alex Barkley, 28, of Seattle, Wash., was the first-place male finisher in 3:41:07. Riva Muehlbauer, 36, of Underwood, Wash., was the women’s winner in 3:57:55.
In addition to the 50K, a 50-mile race was offered and had 30 finishers.
*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.