MassUltra Roundup: Forbidden Forest and the Finger Lakes 50s

The weekend prior to the Fourth of July is typically quiet on the ultramarathon scene with only a handful of options nationally. Two of them took place in the Northeast and included finishers from Massachusetts. Beverly’s Scott Defusco had the biggest weekend as he won the inaugural Forbidden Forest 30-Hour Ultra in Connecticut, and four runners from the Bay State brought home 50K finishes at the Finger Lakes 50s in New York. Both offer some light reading after a light weekend of racing.

Forbidden Forest 30-Hour Ultra

Options for 100-mile footraces in New England are limited compared to other regions of the country, but a growing trend for triple-digit mileage in the Northeast has been 30-hour timed events. Connecticut became the latest state in the region to offer runners a shot at completing 100 miles or more with the inaugural Forbidden Forest 30-Hour Ultra on June 30-July 1 at the Roosevelt Forest in Stratford, Conn.

The race advertised itself as Connecticut’s only 100-miler, and five runners made sure it lived up to the billing by circling the 2.22-mile loop course enough times to meet or surpass the milestone mileage.

Scott Defusco led the way by logging more miles than any of the other 51 runners who took part in the race. Defusco, 42, of Beverly, Mass., covered the rolling hills of the dirt course 53 times, dodging occasional rocks and roots along the way, and amassing a winning total of 117.66 miles. His closest competitor, 41-year-old Matthew MacDonald of Concord, N.H., tallied 104.34 miles. Women’s winner Sarah Slater, 40, of Guilford, Conn., finished third overall with 102.12 miles, while Michael Bielik, 39, of Forest Hills, N.Y., and Alex McDaniel, 40, of New Haven, Conn., each finished with exactly 100 miles.

Seven more Massachusetts runners were among those who logged ultramarathon distances. Dan Mathers led the way as the 46-year-old Stoughton resident finished sixth overall with 91.02 miles, followed closely by 66-year-old James Gawle of Webster with 86.58 miles. Karen Giroux, 52, of Salem was 15th overall and the fifth-place female with 71.04 miles. Billy Jenkins, 30, of Malden earned a 100K finish with 62.16 miles. Additionally, Jason Silva, 47, of Plymouth, and Joshua Milich, 28, of Somerset also had big days as both completed 51.06 miles.

Twenty-nine runners completed at least 50 miles, and 50 ran at least a 50K. That included 34-year-old Colin Wickes of Norton, Mass., who completed 33.30 miles.

Finger Lakes 50s

Four Massachusetts ultrarunners were among the finishers of the 50K race at the 21st annual Finger Lakes 50s on Saturday, June 30, in Finger Lakes National Forest in Hector, N.Y.

Jeremy Shaw of Watertown, Carly Tucker of Cambridge, Jonna Green of Brighton, and Emily Macaluso of Lewiston were among the 121 runners who completed the 50K course within the 12-hour time limit. In fact, they actually conquered a “heavy” 50K course that measured nearly 33 miles. Michael Heimes, 40, of Reading, Pa., was the men’s winner by a 55-minute margin in 4:19:20. The women’s winner was 40-year-old Laura Webber of Pittsford, N.Y., who placed ninth overall in 6:12:45.

Shaw, 32, was the 18th overall finisher and top performer from the Bay State with a time of 6:40:10. Tucker, 25, finished in 7:23:36; Green, 32, finished in 7:59:27; and Macaluso, 27, completed the course in 8:24:58.

In addition to the 50K, runners also had the option of racing a 50-miler. No Massachusetts runners were among the finishers at that distance.

*Editor’s Note: Results are found on a variety of sites, including, 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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