August closed out with plenty of out-of-state races as runners from the Bay State traveled to nearby Vermont, Connecticut and New York, while some flew as far away as California to take on the trails. South Deerfield’s Brian Rusiecki and Great Barrington’s Kehr Davis highlighted the weekend with their podium finishes at the Under Armour Killington 50K in Vermont, while Matthew Perkins of Cambridge hammered his way to a runner-up finish at the Tunxis Trail 60K.
Additionally, we tracked down the results of Maine’s Great Cranberry 100 from Aug. 17-18 where Billerica’s Bryan O’Keefe was among the half-dozen finishers.
Under Armor Killington
The second annual Under Armour Mountain Running Series returned to Killington, Vt., on Saturday, Aug. 25, to challenge runners with 50K of running on tough, technical mountain trails with more than 10,000 feet of climbing. For the second straight year, South Deerfield, Mass., resident Brian Rusiecki found himself in the thick of things at the front of the pack. Just like in 2017, the 39-year-old Rusiecki battled with the front runners and earned a third-place overall finish. He was one of three runners to break five hours, and his time of 4:49:48 was 20 minutes faster than a year ago. David Sinclair, 34, of Revelstoke, B.C., won the race in 4:18:15, followed by 36-year-old Joshua Ferenc of Athens, Vt., in 4:41:54.
Britta Clark, 24, of Goshen, Vt., won the women’s race in 5:23:57 and placed fifth overall. She was followed by 41-year-old Kehr Davis of Great Barrington, Mass., who placed seventh overall and was the women’s runner-up in 5:49:48.
Other Massachusetts residents who were among the 81 finishers were Amy Rusiecki, 39, of South Deerfield in 6:29:24; Roy Van Cleef, 39, of Harvard in 6:41:28; Kathryn Zioto, 32, of Boston in 6:52:57; Jason Kaplan, 35, of Brighton in 7:01:43; Joel Calloway, 28, of Chicopee in 7:45:00; Gina Estrada, 35, of Groton in 8:20:53; and Seng-Lai Tan, 46, of Sudbury in 9:00:03.
Tunxis Trail Ultra
Matthew Perkins was the lone Massachusetts resident to take on the 60K Tunxis Trail Ultra on Saturday, Aug. 25, in Burlington, Conn., and he gave it his best effort to try to stand alone at the top.
A Cambridge resident, Perkins, 32, was one of 17 runners who finished the race within 12 hours, and he finished with plenty of hours to spare. The course was a 30-kilometer figure-eight loop that included lots of singletrack and doubletrack trails as well as a little bit of road. Runners completed the loop twice. Leigh Schmitt, 46, of Millbrook, N.Y., looked like the runaway favorite when he exploded to a 27-minute lead after the first loop. Perkins and William Connell, 35, of Astoria, N.Y., were tied for second at that point. Schmitt fell way off the pace during the second loop, however, while Perkins surged ahead of Connell and closed in on Schmitt.
Schmitt ultimately held on for the win in 7:33:35, but Perkins cut mightily into the deficit and placed second in 7:44:00. Brian Whitney, 29, of Niantic, Conn., was a distant third in 7:56:46, followed by Connell in 8:10:57.
Lost Cat 50K
Two Massachusetts residents were among the 10 runners to finish the inaugural Lost Cat 50K on Saturday, Aug. 25, in East Dorset, Vt.
Rebekah Zimmerer, 30, of Northborough was the women’s runner-up in 6:57:23, while 35-year-old Disco Meisch of Brooklyn, N.Y., was the first-place female in 6:05:35.
Brookline resident Matthew Fein, 50, also was among the finishers in 7:33:41.
The race took place on Mount Aeolus in Dorset, Vt., and challenged runners with 4,500 feet of climbing on technical wooded trails.
After running her first ultramarathon in 2017 at the Free to Run 50-miler last September at Pittsfield State Forest in Pittsfield, Mass., Kelsey Weiss headed to the West Coast for her second.
A resident of Boston, Mass., Weiss took part in the 19th annual Tamalpa Headlands 50K on Saturday, Aug. 25, in Sausalito, Calif. The scenic race takes place on a loop course that starts and ends at Rodeo Beach near San Francisco, and it challenges runners with 7,000 feet of elevation change along the way.
Weiss, 31, was one of 166 runners to complete the race within 10 hours. She placed 84th overall in 7:05:56. Stephen Kersh, 26, of Flagstaff, Ariz., was the overall winner in 4:04:14. Emily Richards, 38, of Reno, Nev., brought home the win in the women’s race, placing ninth overall in 4:53:57. Only nine runners completed the course in less than five hours.
Green Lakes Endurance Runs
The 13th annual Green Lakes Endurance Runs took place on Saturday, Aug. 25, in Fayetteville, N.Y., and runners from the Bay State were among the finishers of the 100K and 50K races that both took place on a 7.75-mile loop course.
Kevin Maier was among the 13 runners to take on the 100K distance, and the 34-year-old resident of Bolton, Mass., was one of nine to finish. Maier finished seventh in 12:22:25. Laura Perry, 37, of Orleans, Ontario, was the overall winner in 10:20:25. Another Canadian, 48-year-old Ryan Lazareanu, 40, of Toronto, Ontario, was second overall and the men’s winner in 10:51:08.
Green Lakes was Maier’s second ultra of the year. He finished the 50-miler race at The North Face Endurance Challenge-Massachusetts in June at Wachusett Mountain.
Additionally, 63 runners finished the 50K race. Daniel Goldstein, 23, of Pittsburgh, Pa., was the overall winner by a 27-minute margin, finishing in a time of 3:59:41. Joanna Bunker, 21, of Cicero, N.Y., was the women’s winner and sixth overall finisher in 4:46:35. Bunker edged women’s runner-up Julia Smith, 26, of Orchard Park, N.Y., by just 36 seconds.
The lone Massachusetts resident to race the 50K finished in the top 10 among the men’s field. Medford resident Alexander Will, 23, placed eighth among the men and 12th overall in 5:11:58. The race was Will’s first ultramarathon, but it won’t be his last. He is entered in the 50K at the TARC Fall Classic in September.
Runners had 15 hours to complete the 100K and 50K distances at Green Lakes.
Great Cranberry 100
Getting into the Great Cranberry 100-miler wasn’t easy. A paper application was required, and just 18 applicants were selected to take part. Getting to the actual race site – on Great Cranberry Island, Maine – was even tougher. A ferry or water taxi was required just to get to the starting line. Toughest of all, however, was running 100 miles.
Runners took on 25 four-mile laps consisting of two miles out and two miles back on a rolling-hill course. They had 30 hours to complete the challenge, starting at noon Friday Aug. 17. Just six runners completed all 25 trips through the course. One of them, 35-year-old Bryan O’Keefe, hailed from Massachusetts. The Billerica resident needed most of the allotted time to become the sixth and final finisher in 29:19:08. Three of the finishers were Maine locals, another hailed from Florida, and the race winner – and only sub-24-hour finisher, was 44-year-old Michael Wardian of Arlington, Va. Wardian won the race in 15:29:59, nearly nine hours ahead of runner-up Bradford Lombardi, 49, of Jensen Beach, Fla.
*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.