July 20-22 featured some prominent national ultramarathons, including the USATF 50-Mile Trail National Championships in New York, the notorious Speedgoat 50K in Utah, and the legendary Hardrock 100 in Colorado. Massachusetts ultrarunners toed the starting line at all of them, and we’ve included those races in this week’s roundup.
A majority of the Bay State ultrarunners who raced last weekend headed north to Vermont, and that massive event – featuring 100-mile and 100K races – will be covered in a separate story.
Cayuga Trails 50
Patrick Caron has spent the past few months racing in Europe, but the 21-year-old from Needham, Mass., returned stateside to do battle at the USATF 50-mile trail national championship at the Cayuga Trails 50 on Saturday, July 21, in Ithaca, N.Y. Caron spent his day racing among the frontrunners at Robert H. Treman State Park before making a wrong turn that caused him to lose track of the leaders. Ultimately he battled back and surged to a third-place overall finish in 7:16:31 while securing second place in the USATF rankings. Seth Marcaccio, a 23-year-old from London, Ontario, made his U.S. debut and took home the win for Canada in 6:56:07. Meanwhile, the 2017 winner – 32-year-old Tyler Sigl of Seymour, Wisc. – placed second overall in 7:06:37 and won the USATF championship as the top American.
Sabrina Little, 32, of Robinson, Texas, was the women’s national champion and fifth overall finisher in 8:06:33. The lone Massachusetts woman to finish the race was 35-year-old Kelsey Allen. Fresh off of her 100-mile debut at Massanutten and an outright 50K victory at the Chesterfield Gorge Ultra, Allen was the ninth-place female finisher in 10:29:37.
While Caron was the top male finisher from the Bay State, he wasn’t the lone local guy to turn in a fast showing on the out-and-back course and its 9,000 feet of climbing. Greenfield resident Luke Nugent also had a big day as the 31-year-old finished 13th overall and 11th among the men’s field in 8:54:54. The top 13 runners completed the race in less than nine hours, and 126 total runners completed the race within 15 hours. Ted MacMahon, 52, of North Andover finished 15th overall in 9:11:40, and 32-year-old Boston resident Palo Cvik cracked the top 25 as he placed 24th overall in 9:47:22. Other Massachusetts finishers were Hadley resident Paul Phifer, 47, in 10:35:41, and Cambridge resident Evren Gunduz, 36, in 10:52:34.
The 25th annual Hardrock 100 had one of its slower years in recent memory, thanks in part to the absence of four-time defending men’s champion Kilian Jornet of Spain, multi-time women’s winner Anna Frost of New Zealand, 2017 women’s champion Caroline Chaverot, and a few other prominent names, leaving the men’s and women’s top-10 record boards untouched by the conclusion of the 100.5-mile race July 20-22 in Silverton, Colo. That said, the race included plenty of excitement and intrigue.
New champions were crowned, first-time hard-rockers finally got their crack at the course, and savvy veterans returned for more punishment from the course that’s notorious for its high altitude and its 33,000 feet of climbing.
The women’s race saw a pair of first-time Hardrockers take the top two spots as 28-year-old Sabrina Stanley of Steamboat Springs, Colo., led from start to finish and secured the victory in 30:23:36. She was followed by former New Hampshire resident Nikki Kimball, 47, a resident of Bozeman, Mont., in 32:18:35. Kimball spent most of the race running in the top three, and she ultimately pulled away from third-place finisher Darla Askew, 45, of Bend, Ore., by a 34-minute margin.
The men’s race featured a bit more drama as 30-year-old Xavier Thevenard of Meyriat, France, led nearly wire-to-wire before being disqualified at the Cunningham Gulch aid station (mile 91.2) for having accepted aid from his crew outside of the authorized zone earlier in the race. That propelled Hardrock veteran Jeff Browning into the lead, and the 46-year-old from North Logan, Utah, marched on to Silverton where he secured his fourth Hardrock finish and first win on the course in 26:20:21. Shortly after Browning finished, a New Englander wrapped up a second-place finish as 29-year-old Jeff Rome of Bangor, Maine, finished in 26:34:33.
Two more New Englanders finished in the top 30 as Adam Wilcox, 36, of Candia, N.H., finished 16th overall in 32:15:12, and 41-year-old Ben Wyrick of Tilton, N.H., placed 27th in 35:22:45.
Longtime East Famouth, Mass., resident Jeff List – now of Anacortes, Wash. – also was among the finishers. The 59-year-old completed the race for the sixth straight summer and eighth time in eight tries, placing 46th overall in 38:46:07 – his fastest time ever.
Another former Massachusetts resident, Charles Hornbaker – formerly of Brighton and currently in Los Altos Hills, Calif. – earned his first Hardrock finish. Hornbaker, 36, placed 52nd overall in 39:58:33.
The lone current Massachusetts resident in the field, Dima Feinhaus of Waban, completed the mileage but was disqualified from the race after going off-course during a nighttime thunderstorm with about 13 miles to go. He and his pacer had hunkered down for about a half-hour to ride out the storm, which included hail, strong winds, and numerous lightning strikes, before Feinhaus attempted to go onward. Ultimately, he was unable to get back to the spot where he’d left the course and ended up on a road.
According to the race directors’ announcement, “After careful consideration, investigation of the facts, and conversations with the affected parties, it was confirmed that Dima turned off course at Stony Pass and returned to the course by looping around on roads to Cunningham Gulch rather than retracing his steps to the point of deviation.” The announcement also noted, “while the violation was clear and substantive, we do not feel it was made with malicious intent, and invite Dima to join the lottery for future Hardrocks.”
A reporter from the South China Morning Post recounted the events surrounding Feinhaus’s race and spoke with the 55-year-old about it, including his concern about suffering hypothermia if he waited much longer to get his body moving.
Feinhaus previously ran Hardrock in 2013 and finished the race in 40:46:41.
Other New Englanders to finish the race were first-time Hardrocker John Fegyveresi, 41, of Quechee, Vt., in 39:59:16, and four-time Hardrocker Mike Weigand, 44, of Middlebury, Vt., who finished in 42:29:04.
Ultimately, 114 of the 146 starters completed the race within the 48-hour time limit.
Mark Weber’s first 50K in Utah was on a highly runnable course. That was in 2016 when he ran the Antelope Island Buffalo Run, finishing in 6:05.
Weber, 31, of Cambridge, Mass., returned to Utah on Saturday, July 21 – this time at Snowbird Resort – and tackled much different conditions at the Speedgoat 50K. The race challenged Weber and the other runners with 11,800 feet of climbing on technical trails at altitude. Weber battled hard in the tough conditions and finished in 12:18:03. He was one of 223 runners to finish with 13 hours. Another 42 runners started the race but did not finish.
David Sinclair, 26, of Burlington Vt., brought home the overall victory in 5:27:13, edging 32-year-old Sage Canaday of Boulder, Colo., by two minutes. Tim Tollefson, 33, of Mammoth Lakes, Calif., was a distant third in 5:37:35.
*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.