MassUltra Roundup (Part 2): Big A, Bear Mountain, Wildflower, and Miwok

Last weekend’s busy ultramarathon schedule was so jam-packed that it merited two roundups. Part 1 featured the White Lake Ultras, as well as the Connecticut Trail Mixers’ Spring Fling, the Salt Flats 100, the Strolling Jim 40, and the Mt. Si 50K. Part 2 catches you up on the Big A 50K in Maine, The North Face Endurance Challenge 50-mile and 50K ultras at Bear Mountain in New York, the Wildflower 50K in Texas, and the Miwok 100K in California.

Big A 50K

Teddy Lyman is dreaming big in 2018. The 23-year-old resident of Beverly, Mass., has his sights set on his first 100-miler – the Run Rabbit Run 100 in Steamboat Springs, Colo. – in September, and his preparation now includes a big performance at the Big A 50K.

Lyman dominated the eighth annual Big A 50K on Saturday, May 5, in York, Maine. He hammered all three 10.35-mile loops of the course, racing up and down Mount Agamenticus and its surrounding area on singletrack and doubletrack trails while gaining nearly 6,000 feet by the time the race was done. Lyman was unable to match Patrick Caron’s course record of 4:48 from 2017, but Lyman still cruised to the victory in a speedy 5:18. His closest male and female competitors followed 44 minutes behind.

First-place woman Kristen Smith, 32, and second-place man William Jackson, 36, both of Salem, Mass., finished together in 6:02. Smith didn’t threaten Kristina Folcik-Welts’ women’s course record of 5:48 from 2015, but she finished nearly an hour ahead of her closest competitor, 45-year-old Jessica Goldman of Portsmouth, N.H., who finished in 6:58.

Richard Kee, 29, of Beverly, Mass., rounded out the men’s podium in 6:26 while finishing fourth overall, and Nicole Ponte, 19, of Dartmouth, Mass., rounded out the women’s podium while finishing 10th overall in 7:32.

Of the 78 runners who took part, 27 finished all three loops for a 50K finish. A large contingent of Massachusetts residents were among the ultramarathon finishers. Lyman, Smith, Jackson, Kee, and Ponte were joined by seven other Bay State residents at the finish line. Waltham’s Ryan Trott, 30, finished ninth overall in 7:31; Dartmouth’s Brian Tjersland, 51, finished 13th in 7:41; New Bedford’s Lynn Poyant, 55, finished 14th in 7:46; Fairhaven’s Ryan Powers, 37, was 15th in 7:48; New Bedford’s Jeremy Fuller, 36, finished in 8:28; North Andover’s Greg Shea, 41, finished in 8:56; and Quincy’s Brian Jowder, 43, finished in 9:17.

TNFEC- Bear Mountain

William Hafferty has had a busy 2018 on the trails. He opened the year with a victory at the Cape Cod Frozen Fat Ass 50K, and followed it up with a strong showing at the Black Canyon 100K in Arizona in February before earning a third-place finish at the Jack Bristol Lake Waramaug 50-miler in Connecticut in late April.

Hafferty ran his fourth ultra in four states for the year at The North Face Endurance Challenge – Bear Mountain on Saturday, May 5, at Bear Mountain State Park in New York.

Hafferty was among the 266 runners to finish the 50-miler within the 14-hour time limit. He had a strong, steady race along the trails of the Catskill foothills and the shores of the Hudson River. By the time the 30-year-old resident of Somerville, Mass., crossed the finish line, he found himself among the top 10 percent of the field, placing 25th overall in 9:39:47.

A pair of Canadian runners swept the 50-mile victories with 30-year-old Mathieu Blanchard of Montreal winning among the men’s field in 7:01:42 and 30-year-old Sarah Verguet Moniz of Rouyn-Noranda earning the women’s win in 9:21:15.

The top seven overall finishers completed the race in less than eight hours while Blanchard nearly broke the seven-hour barrier. His closest competitor, 25-year-old Luke Paulson of Carrboro, N.C., finished nearly 28 minutes behind Blanchard.

Three other Massachusetts residents joined Hafferty among the 50-mile finishers. David Horton, 38, of Natick finished 101st in 11:32:44; 52-year-old Elizabeth Lynch of Shrewsbury finished 123rd in 11:52:11; and 41-year-old Alan Schuller of Wakefield reached the finish line with a few minutes to spare on the 14-hour time limit, finishing in 13:51:34.

In the 50K race, Canadians swept the victories – and also swept the entire men’s podium – among the field of 440 finishers within the 12-hour time limit. Toronto’s Jesse Bruce, 36, earned the win in 4:21:55, a few minutes ahead of runner-up Charlie Sikkema, 26, of Hamilton in 4:24:15, and third-place Remi Poitras, 24, of Maria who finished in 4:36:54. The ladies’ champion was 30-year-old Sarah Bergeron-Larouch of Quebec in 4:56:15, nearly 10 minutes ahead of runner-up Julia Davis, 31, of the United Kingdom who finished in 5:05:51.

The top Massachusetts finisher was Serena Wilcox. The 31-year-old Cambridge resident rounded out the women’s podium in 5:31:16. Meanwhile, the top local male finisher was another Cambridge resident, 29-year-old David Blitzer, who finished 12th overall in 4:58:51. Quincy’s Matthew McKenna, 32, joined him in the top 25, finishing 24th overall in 5:24:36.

Other Massachusetts finishers were Nathan Landis, 25, of Beverly (5:36:27); John Lord, 30, of Weston (6:52:33); Daniel Green, 31, of Boston (6:53:38); Joel Cox, 24, of Beverly (6:59:29); Jean-Francois LaPalme, 46, of Peabody (7:09:31); Jill Rahon, 33, of Cambridge (7:21:01); James Medeiros, 47, of Charlestown (7:21:51); Jennifer Yee, 32, of Brookline (7:39:59); Daniel Gravelle, 55, of Newburyport (7:51:05); Elizabeth Proctor, 33, of Boston (7:57:04); Chris Mitchell, 49, of Boston (8:12:36); Charles Sposato, 35, of South Boston (8:17:05); Peter Thorne, 55, of Cambridge (8:46:06); Lain Coryell, 55, of Roslindale (8:50:04); and Alex Bruni, 41, of Wellesley (9:55:20).

Wildflower 50K

Seng-Lai Tan has spent the past decade traveling the country – and the world – to explore new trails. The 46-year-old found himself in Texas on Saturday, May 5, for the first time since running the Rocky Raccoon 50 in 2012. This time he was in Bastrop to take on the Wildflower 50K for the first time.

The third annual Wildflower 50K took place on a 10K loop that Tan and his fellow ultrarunners had to circle five times within a 12-hour time limit at Mayfest Park. Tan didn’t need that much time. He completed the race in 7:06:53 and placed in the top half of the field, finishing 38th out of 79.

Collin Bohne, 26, of Keller, Texas, won the race in 4:17:40, edging 34-year-old Luis Murillo of Houston, Texas, by 20 seconds. Nele Lefeldt, 33, of Houston was the women’s winner in 4:52:34.

Miwok 100K

Thirty states were represented in the field at this year’s Miwok 100K on Saturday, May 5, in Stinson Beach, Calif. That included two runners who traveled cross-country from Massachusetts. Kate Cook of Boston and Sarah Weigel of Salem both made the journey West to take on Miwok and its challenging course with nearly 12,000 feet of climbing.

Runners had 15 1/2 hours to complete the course, which consisted of singletrack trails and fire roads with spectacular views of San Francisco and numerous mountains along the way. Cook, 41, completed the race in 15:01:28. Weigel, 41, finished a little bit later in 15:28:30 – just in time to beat the cutoff.

Of the 284 finishers, the top four finished in less than 10 hours. Franz van der Groen, 33, of San Rafael, Calif., led the way with a time of 9:23:06. The first-place woman was 34-year-old Megan Arauzo of Novato, Calif. She was the 13th overall finisher in 10:36:10.

*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.

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