Roundup: Massanutten, Cruel Jewel, PCT, Superior, and the Keys Ultras

Kelsey Allen made her long-awaited 100-mile debut at the Massanutten Mountain Trails 100 in Virginia, and she didn’t disappoint. The gritty mountain-runner turned in a second-place finish in her first crack at triple-digit mileage. Not to be outdone, Tom Flummerfelt headed back to Georgia and delivered a third consecutive top-10 finish at the Cruel Jewel 100. Other Massachusetts ultrarunners joined them in Virginia and Georgia, as well as at races in Florida, Minnesota, and California. We’ve got ‘em covered in this week’s roundup.

Massanutten 100

Kelsey Allen certainly didn’t pick an easy first 100-miler. The Massanutten Mountain Trails 100 boasts around 19,000 feet of climbing in 103.7 miles over technical terrain on a course that’s usually wet or covered with a bit of snow. Allen got rain – around an inch of it – prior to and during the race May 19-20 in Fort Valley, Va. None of it stopped her.

Allen, 34, of Wendell, Mass., is accustomed to nasty weather and gnarly terrain from her vast experience tackling the trails of central and western Massachusetts, so she handled the race-day conditions just fine. She was one of 190 runners to toe the starting line, and by the time it was done she finished 17th overall and second-place in the women’s field in 26:17:15.

Kathleen Cusick, 43, from Cantonsville, Md., earned her 10th straight finish of the race and won it for the fourth time in 24:27:24. Cusick was 13th out of all runners in the field.

Matthew Thompson, 37, of Crozet, Va., was the men’s winner in 19:07:59, followed by Jason Lantz, 37, of Bethlehem, N.H., in 20:35:25.

Eleven runners finished the race in less than 24 hours.

While Allen led the way for the Massachusetts contingent, Brian Huffman was the top finisher of the local men. Huffman, 34, of Framingham, earned his first Massanutten finish and second 100-mile finish overall – he finished the Vermont 100 in 23:49:02 in 2017. Huffmann placed 26th overall at Massanutten in 27:19:58.

In addition to Allen and Huffman, two more Massachusetts residents finished the race. Harry Mattison, 45, of Allston made his first trip to Massanutten a successful journey as he finished 81st overall in 33:09:40. Meanwhile, 60-year-old Kevin Mullen of Fairhaven earned his fourth Massanutten finish by placing 86th in 33:30:08.

Of the 190 runners who started the race, 126 finished within the 36-hour time limit.

Five other Bay State residents – John Correiro, 49, of Westport; Russell Dresher, 36, of Hudson; Giles Gregory, 50, of Nantucket; Mike Maher, 53, of South Easton; and Nicole Ponte, 19, of Dartmouth – all started the race but did not finish.

Cruel Jewel 100

Tom Flummerfelt is becoming a regular at the grueling Cruel Jewel 100-miler, a Hardrock qualifier that earns its threatening name from its 33,000 feet of vertical gain during the course of 106 miles on the out-and-back course through the Chattahoochee National Forest in the North Georgia Mountains.

The sixth annual Cruel Jewel 100 took place April 19-20 in Blairsville, Ga., and Flummerfelt – a 44-year-old resident of Winchester, Mass. – was back at the starting line for the third year in a row.

Flummerfelt earned top-10 finishes during each of his first two years at the race, placing sixth in 2016 (27:48:57) and fourth in 2017 (28:29:30). He earned another top-10 finish this year, placing ninth overall in 29:35:36.

Andy Pearson, 33, of Santa Monica, Calif., won the race in 24:19:32, followed by Xavier Perreault, 27, of Terrebonne, Quebec, in 26:45:42.

Flummerfelt wasn’t the lone Bay State resident to finish the race. He was joined at the finish line by 25-year-old Danvers resident Ryan Fecteau who finished 13th overall in 30:44:18 in his Cruel Jewel debut.

Runners had 48 hours to finish the race, and 100 did so within the time limit.

Both Flummerfelt and Fecteau are building up to the Bigfoot 200 in August.

PCT 50

After logging a pair of 50K finishes in his home state during 2017, Douglas Hsu headed to the opposite coast to tackle his first 50-miler.

Hsu, 37, of West Roxbury, Mass., took part in the 15th annual PCT 50 on Saturday, May 19, in San Diego County, Calif. The course challenged Hsu and his fellow runners with around 7,500 feet of climbing on the out-and-back course in the Cleveland National Forest. Runners had 13 1/2 hours to finish the race, but Hsu didn’t need the full time limit. He had a strong race and finished 23rd overall out of 87 finishers (121 starters) in 10:41:17. California resident Jessie Haynes, 45, won the race in 7:34:14, followed by women’s champion and second overall finisher Teresa Kaiser, 29, of San Diego, Calif., in 8:40:04.

Superior Spring Trail Race

The 16th annual Superior Spring Trail Race 50K took place Saturday, May 19, in Lusten, Minn., and Dan O’Brien of Burlington, Mass., was among the finishers.

O’Brien, 32, took on the 31-mile out-and-back course on the Superior Hiking Trail – home to the Superior Sawtooth 100-miler – overcoming numerous technical climbs and amassing around 4,200 feet of vertical gain. O’Brien finished in the middle of the field in 6:33:32. There were 232 finishers within 10 hours.

The overall win went to 33-year-old Benjamin Cogger of Duluth, Minn., in 3:42:09. He was the lone sub-4-hour finisher and set a new course-record, bettering his time from 2017 by more than three minutes. Cogger became a four-time winner in five tries at the race.

Keys Ultras

Running 100 miles can be painful enough on trail, but Patrick Loustau did it on pavement. Loustau, 55, of Lexington, Mass., tackled 100 miles – almost entirely on pavement – on April 19-20 when he ran the Keys 100. The course began in Key Largo and followed US Highway 1 to Key West. Runners spent most of their time on the Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail – a paved bike and pedestrian path that runs parallel to the highway – but covered about a quarter of the course on the highway’s shoulder.

Loustau was one of 141 runners to finish within the 32-hour time limit – and he was among the fastest. He placed 16thoverall in 20:36:07. Zandy Mangold, 44, of Brooklyn, N.Y., won the race in 16:05:41.

In the 50-mile race, 64 runners completed the last half of the 100-mile course to Key West. Michael Stanton was among them. The 30-year-old resident of Shrewsbury, Mass., finished 12th overall in 9:59:07. Cole Bataille, 35, of Winter Haven, Fla., won in 6:50:38.

An additional 60 runners finished the Keys’ 50K race, including 27-year-old Adreanna Rodriguez of Worcester, Mass. She finished 27th overall and was the eighth-place woman in 6:42:00. James Nelson, 54, of West Hartford, Conn., was the men’s winner in 4:37:00, and April Reber, 38, of Arlington, Texas, was the women’s winner in 5:55:23.

*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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