This week’s roundup captured a few out-of-state races from the June 16-17 weekend—including the Drummer Hill 50K in nearby New Hampshire and the classic Bighorn 100-miler out West in Wyoming—but also allowed us to catch up on races we missed in recent weeks, like Jesse Carter’s runner-up finish in the 50K at Worlds End in early June in Pennsylvania. There’s a little bit of old and a little bit of new in this week’s roundup.
Drummer Hill 50K
The third annual Drummer Hill Trail Races offered a new twist to runners this year. By using a revised course with a 12.5K loop, runners were allowed to choose how many loops they wanted to tackle – as many as four to achieve a 50K – on Saturday, June 16, in Keene, N.H. Runners were not penalized for running fewer laps, but were credited only for completed loops.
Twenty runners completed four loops for a 50K within 10 hours, and none did so faster than Sara Dunham. The 41-year-old resident of Plattsburgh, N.Y., hammered the course with an overall winning time of 5:12:15. Men’s champion Keith Somers, 44, of Bow, N.H., followed in second overall in 5:23:21.
Two Massachusetts residents were among the ultramarathon finishers. Christina Neff, 39, of Groveland, Mass., finished ninth overall and was the fourth-place woman in 6:41:30. Meanwhile, Dietmar Bago, 50, of Andover, Mass., finished his 50K in 7:55:18.
Four Massachusetts men were among a field of nearly 350 runners to toe the starting line of the Bighorn 100 on Friday, June 15, in Dayton, Wyo. They were also among the 167 who successfully completed the out-and-back course with its nearly 18,000 feet of climbing.
Waban’s Neil Martin, 29, got it done first, placing 29th overall in 26:43:19. He was followed a few hours later by Cambridge resident Padraig Mullins, 36, who finished 61st overall in 29:29:29. Shortly after Mullins finished, 41-year-old Boston resident Joseph D’Alessio crossed the finish line 64th overall in 29:42:06. The final Bay State resident to finish was 47-year-old Peter Christie of Needham. He was the 93rd finisher in 31:20:05.
Less than 50 percent of the runners who started the race made it to the finish line within the 34-hour time limit. Gabe Joyes, 32, of Lander, Wyo., was the men’s winner in 20:57:53, while 41-year-old Yvonne Naughton of La Conner, Wash., was the first-place woman in 27:44:14.
In addition to the 100-miler, runners also were given 52-mile and 50K ultramarathon options. No Massachusetts residents took part in the 50K, but one was among the 89 finishers out of a field of 187 starters of the 52-miler. Matt Turnbull, 39, of Watertown, Mass., finished 28th overall in 12:21:20. David Ayala, 36, of Bozeman, Mont., won the race in 7:17:40. Another Bozeman resident, 41-year-old Megan Lawson, was the women’s champion in 10:04:25.
Broken Arrow Sky Race 52K
Tough running was to be expected at the third annual Broken Arrow Sky Race. The three-day endurance festival in Lake Tahoe, Calif., included a 52K race as its longest distance offering in addition to a 26K, 10K and Vertical K. The 52K took place Saturday, June 16, and it tested runners with more than 10,000 feet of climbing – much of it over technical terrain high above tree-line – making the 13-hour time limit not as generous as it might sound.
Matthew Mulligan, 27, of Boston, Mass., was among the runners who successfully navigated the course. Mulligan finished 54th overall in 6:58:32, placing among the top quarter of the field. It was a strong showing a week after taking third overall in the half marathon at The North Face Endurance Challenge at Wachusett Mountain in Princeton, Mass.
Only one runner finished the 52K in less than five hours. That was 31-year-old Jimmy Elam of Salt Lake City, Utah, who set a new men’s course record with his winning time of 4:54:43. Women’s champion Megan Kimmel, 38, of Ridgway, Colo., also set a new course record in 5:30:43 while placing fifth overall out of 235 finishers.
With his sights set on the No Business 100 in October, Jeff Dixon is building up with a series of tough races. The 52-year-old from North Attleboro, Mass., started with the To Hale and Back 5-Hour in March, and then tackled the Runamuck 50K in April, followed by the Manchester 2 Monadnock 55-miler in May. His June test took place at the seventh annual Eastern Divide 50K on Saturday, June 16, in Pembroke, Va.
Dixon handled the point-to-point course and finished in 7:03:27. He was one of 165 finishers within nine hours. Richard Morris, 30, of Richmond, Va., won the race in 3:48:08 and was the lone sub-4-hour finisher.
Up next for Dixon is the BURCS Summer Fat Ass 12-hour run in July, followed by the 25-miler at the inaugural Kilkenny Ridge Race in New Hampshire in September.
The Mohican Ultras are known primarily for their 100-mile race which was first offered in 1990 and is one of the oldest 100s in the Midwest. No Bay State residents were among the field of 91 finishers this year, however one tackled the race’s other distance offering—a 50-miler.
Diane Souza of Fall River, Mass., was one of 162 runners to complete the 50-miler within 20 hours. Souza, 53, tackled the almost entirely singletrack trail, forested course up and down its rolling hills and climbs, and crossed the finish line in 15:27:11.
Brian Polen, 38, of Wooster, Ohio, was the men’s winner in 7:25:28, while 34-year-old Tiffany England of New York, N.Y., was the women’s winner in 9:22:49.
The inaugural Wy’east Wonder ultras took place on Saturday, June 16, in Parkdale, Ore., offering runners 50-mile and 50K courses in the shadows of Mt. Hood. Massachusetts residents Brian Axelrod and Mae Polson accepted the challenge in the 50-miler, and they were treated to a point-to-point course that took runners along Gunsight Ridge and Surveyor’s Ridge on singletrack and doubletrack trails while climbing more than 6,000 feet and tackling nearly 9,000 feet of elevation loss.
Both Axelrod, 29, of Jamaica Plain, and Polson, 34, of Somerville, were among the 128 runners who conquered the course within 14 hours. Axelrod placed 51st overall in 10:05:39, and Polson was 88th in 11:21:34.
The race was the first 50-miler for both Axelrod and Polson.
Ryan Kaiser, 39, of Bend, Ore., was the men’s winner and lone sub-7-hour finisher in 6:39:29. Joanna Pisarki, 31, of Olympia, Wash., was the women’s winner in 9:12:21.
Worlds End Ultramarathons
The lone Massachusetts resident at the Worlds End Ultramarathons made sure his presence was felt. Great Barrington resident Jesse Carter, 32, turned in a stellar performance in the 50K race, finishing second overall out of 126 finishers in 5:44:20 at the third annual event on Saturday, June 2, at Worlds End State Park in Forksville, Pa. Only 37-year-old Eric Kosek of Wellsboro, Pa., was faster, winning in 5:05:24. Kristina Folcik, 40, of Tamworth, N.H., was the women’s winner and fourth overall finisher in 5:49:21.
In addition to the 50K, there were 100 finishers of the event’s signature event – the 100K – within its 19-hour time limit. None hailed from the Bay State. Wesley Atkinson, 19, of Mill Hall, Pa., won the race in 11:50:02, followed by 37-year-old Ryan Welts of Tamworth, N.H., in 12:17:17. Becky Kosek, 37, of Wellsboro, Pa., was the women’s winner in 15:03:13.
*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.