Two in-state ultramarathons kept many of the Massachusetts ultrarunning community busy during the Aug. 11-12 weekend, but a few made a short drive to neighboring New Hampshire to take part in the Ragged 75 Stage Race and 50K in Danbury, N.H. The 50K race served as the USATF 50K Trail National Championship. Both the 50K and the Stage Race share this week’s roundup.
More than 100 runners stepped to a rain-soaked starting line in Sunapee, N.H., on Sunday, Aug. 12, to compete for the 2018 USATF 50K Trail National Championship at the Ragged 50K. A point-to-point course awaited them, winding through the mountains with 6,300 feet of climbing during the course of 33 miles. Their final destination was the Ragged Mountain Ski Area.
During the course of the race, 16 runners would fall by the wayside and 94 would finish. Two would be crowned as national champions. Ultimately, both national titles went to Vermont residents as 26-year-old David Sinclair of Peru outpaced the men’s field for the win in 4:17:36 and 38-year-old Kasie Enman of Huntington secured the women’s championship in 5:11:23 while placing 10th overall. Both pocketed $750 in prize money for their efforts.
Podium finishes eluded the Massachusetts crew this year, but not by much. The USATF podium stretched four deep with prize money at stake, and Boston resident Joe McConaughy came within a few minutes of collecting some cash. He finished sixth in the men’s field and overall in 4:56:27, nine minutes out of the money.
The top seven overall finishers clocked times of less than five hours.
Drew Best, 36, of Amherst, Mass., joined McConaughy in the top 10, placing ninth overall in 5:08:59.
The top Massachusetts woman finisher was 31-year-old Rachel Bainbridge of Arlington. She placed seventh in the women’s category, 27th overall, in 6:16:20. The final money-winner for the women was 28-year-old Kassandra Marin of Merrimack, N.H., who earned $200 for her fourth-place finish (14th overall) in 5:30:30.
Kehr Davis, 41, of Great Barrington, Mass., joined Bainbridge in the women’s top 10. Davis was 10th in 6:39:01.
Fifteen other runners from the Bay State were among the finishers. Others included Matthew Shamey, 38, of Leverett in 5:37:25; Todd Callaghan, 48, of Beverly in 5:37:50; Paulo Amaral, 37, of Lowell in 6:20:33; Brian Amaral, 27, of Tewksbury in 6:20:33; Gabriel Wolofsky, 23, of Cambridge in 6:37:21; Gary Sullivan, 45, of Acton, in 6:42:52; Dave Dillon, 34, of Tewksbury in 6:51:20; Ericka Emerson, 47, of Easthampton in 8:28:01; Ray Desautels, 52, of Oxford in 9:31:21; Rob Crawford, 49, of Weston in 9:52:21; Connor Williams, 24, of south Dennis in 10:07:59; Gregg Norris, 51, of Rockport in 10:17:20; Elise Reitshamer, 47, of Lexington in 10:26:50; Bart McCarthy, 45, of Beverly in 10:47:23; and Bryan O’Keefe, 35, of Billerica in 11:35:57.
Ragged 75 Stage Race
While the National Championship 50K race placed a spotlight on the Ragged 75, the heart of the event was a three-day Stage Race that took place Aug. 10-12 and covered approximately 75 miles – closer to 80, actually – while sending runners up and down mountains to the tune of 15,500 feet of vertical gain.
Thirty-three runners took part in the second annual event, and 31 completed all three days. For the second year in a row 39-year-old Brian Rusiecki of South Deerfield, Mass., was the men’s winner. He was the overall winner on all three days of the Stage Race, winning the 22-mile opening stage by a 40-minute margin on Matthew Warta, 37, of Lancaster, N.Y., with Sean Berry, 30, of Portsmouth, N.H., following a minute behind Warta. The trio swept the men’s podium all three days, with Rusiecki taking the top spot each time. Rusiecki won the 25-mile second stage by 42 minutes and secured the win on the 33-mile third stage by more than an hour.
His wife, 39-year-old Amy Rusiecki, also made her second appearance at the Stage Race. She tied for the top spot among the women in 2017, and in 2018 she dueled with Stacia Broderick, 40, of Plymouth, Mass., throughout the weekend. Both finished in the top seven overall each day and were within seconds of each other at each finish line.
Broderick was the first female and fourth overall finisher at stage one, with Rusiecki finishing two minutes behind her as the second female and seventh overall finisher. They were once again the top two women during stage two, finishing fifth and sixth overall with Broderick crossing the finish line three seconds ahead of Rusiecki. The decisive stage three saw Rusiecki finish fourth overall and first among the women with Broderick crossing the finish line 42 seconds later in fifth overall. Ultimately, Broderick – fresh off of a fifth-place finish at the Vermont 100 in July – earned the top spot on the podium for the women’s category, completing the three-day event less than two minutes faster than runner-up Rusiecki.
In addition to the Rusieckis and Broderick, four more Massachusetts residents completed the full three-day Stage Race. They were Matt Howard, 34, of Westfield; Joshua Millich, 28, of Somerset; Catherine Bannish, 26, of Somerville; and Mark Brito, 40, of Billerica. Both Bannish and Brito also finished the Stage Race in 2017.
*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.