Eighty-five runners stuck to the trails of Massachusetts to race during the July 28-29 weekend at the Jug End Loop Ultra in Egremont, but a handful of others ventured beyond the Bay State to tackle ultras on unfamiliar terrain. Christopher Russell was among them as the Littleton resident headed to Ohio for his first 100-miler. Meanwhile, Lakeville’s Shaun Daylor headed to Colorado, and a few others hit the road for a race in Pennsylvania. All are captured in this week’s roundup.
Burning River 100
Christopher Russell left the rugged terrain of New England to take on his first 100-mile race in the Rust Belt. Russell, 55, of Littleton, Mass., took part in the 12th annual Burning River 100 on July 28-29 in Willoughby Hills, Ohio.
The point-to-point race started at the North Chagrin Reservation in Willoughby Hills, connected to the South Chagrin Reservation, and then took runners through the Bedford Reservation on their way to the Ohio Canal Corridor Towpath Trail before winding through multiple other reservations on their way to the HiHo Brewing Company in Cuyahoga Falls. Russell successfully navigated the course and crossed the finish line in 26:44:52, good for 75th place out of 160 finishers within the 30-hour time limit. Ohio resident Jeremy Pope, 32, defended his home turf for the win in 17:13:08. He was followed closely by 29-year-old Shaun Pope of Black Mountain, N.C., in 17:15:25.
Never Summer 100K
The fourth annual Never Summer 100K took place Saturday, July 28, in Gould, Colo., taking runners on a journey between the Never Summer Mountains and the Medicine Bow Mountains. Runners crested multiple peaks on the scenic course with much of the race taking place in alpine regions. It also tossed a mixture of technicality at the runners, sometimes offering smooth dirt singletrack and other times rugged rocky sections.
The 2018 edition saw 263 runners complete the course within 24 hours, one finish just past the time limit, and another 77 whose race ended early. The one Massachusetts resident who took on the challenge earned a trip across the finish line. Lakeville resident Shaun Daylor, 39, finished in the top half of the field, placing 118th overall in 19:26:19.
The top overall spot went to 31-year-old Mark Marzen of Denver, Colo., who established a new course record with his winning time of 11:47:16. Runner-up Frank Pipp, 41, of Longmont, Colo., finished 24 minutes later. Longmont resident Addie Bracy, 31, was the women’s winner and fifth overall finisher in 13:10:39.
Viaduct Trail Ultramarathons
The 12th annual Viaduct Trail Ultramarathon took place July 28-29 in Lanesboro, Pa. Runners faced took on an out-and-back course that stretched 12.5 miles one way along a portion of the D&H Rail Trail. The race challenged runners to tackle four out-and-backs for 100 miles or two trips through the course for 50 miles.
Twenty runners took on the 100-mile distance, and 11 ultimately finished the race. One of them hailed from the Bay State. Kaylo Littlejohn, a 21-year-old Boston resident, finished the 100-miler in 30:12. The win went to 40-year-old Tsutomu Bessho, 40, of Glen Ridge, N.J., in 18:05, followed by 23-year-old Dimitri Kaliakin of Landenberg, Pa., in 19:41.
In addition to the 100-miler, 22 runners completed the 50-mile race, led by overall winner Laura Garcia Marshall, 22, of Barrington, R.I., in 9:19. She was followed by men’s champion Mike Randall, 50, of Towanda, Pa., in 10:09. A pair of Massachusetts men were among the finishers as 36-year-old Russell McAfee of New Bedford finished in 17:22 and 27-year-old Craig Fox of Woburn finished in 18:02.
*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.