MassUltra Roundup: The Rut, Jay Peak, and the SLO Ultra

While the eyes of the ultrarunning world were on the World Summit of Trail-Running – more commonly known as the UTMB – last week in Europe, there were still a few ultramarathons back in the United States. Runners from Massachusetts took part in a few of them, hitting the road to neighboring Vermont and flying to the West Coast to tackle tough trails in California and Montana. The UTMB recap is separate, so a trio of out-of-state US races are featured in this week’s roundup.

Run the Rut

While the notoriously difficult Run the Rut 50K takes place out west, ultrarunners from New England made their presence felt on Sunday, Sept. 2, at Big Sky Resort in Big Sky, Mont. Tackling a highly technical course at altitude with 10,500 feet of climbing, three New England men were among the top eight overall finishers and a New England woman earned a spot on the podium.

Jackson Brill, 20, of Boulder, Colo., brought home the overall win in 5:17:55. Derrick Hamel, 35, of Newmarket, N.H., led the New England contingent by finishing fourth overall in 5:35:02. He missed a spot on the men’s podium by less than two minutes. Jeff Rome, 29, of Bangor, Maine, placed seventh overall in 5:56:06, and Brandon Newbould, 36, of Nottingham, N.H., was eighth in 5:59:27. Only the top eight finishers completed the race in less than six hours.

Phoebe Novello, 24, of Windsor, Vt., snagged the final spot on the women’s podium as she placed third in 6:48:48. Sandi Nypaver, 30, of Boulder, Colo., won the women’s race in 6:13:36.

A half-dozen Massachusetts residents also were among the 407 runners to finish the Rut within 12 hours. Daniel Hoer, 31, of Cambridge led the way with a 36th-place overall finish in 7:00:50. The first local woman to finish was 23-year-old Concord resident Isabella Caruso who posted a time of 8:25:12. Other Bay State finishers were 23-year-old Terence Hughes of Cambridge in 8:46:38; 28-year-old Boston resident Taylor Wetherby in 8:59:05; 34-year-old Somerville resident Mae Polson in 10:08:09; and 33-year-old Cambridge resident Jeffrey Marlow in 10:08:16.

Jay Peak Trail Running Festival

The seventh annual Jay Peak Trail Running Festival took place Sept. 1-2 at Jay Peak Resort in Vermont where the main event was a 53.1K ultramarathon on an 11-mile loop course with 3,000 feet of gain per loop. Runners circled the loop three times, amassing 9,000 feet of vertical gain on a mixture of smooth dirt, grass, and technical trails.

Just 18 runners finished the ultramarathon within 9 1/2 hours, including four Massachusetts residents. Waltham’s Jason Dejoannis, 44, placed eighth in 7:38:24; Melrose’s Matthew Berk, 34, was 11th in 7:46:47; Andover’s Jeff Miner, 47, was 12th in 7:51:08; and Waltham’s Mark Zagata, 32, was 13th in 8:11:32. The overall win went to 28-year-old Jason Smith of Bath, Maine, in 6:45:59. Jessie Donovan, 42, of Middlebury, Vt., earned the women’s win in 7:24:09. Only two runners finished the race in less than seven hours.

The event also included a two-loop 35.4K race, a one-loop 17.7K race and 5K races. David Chorney, 31, of Charlestown, MA, and Lindsay Weigel, 25, of Boston, MA, were the men’s and women’s winners of the 35.4K. Alex Calderwood, 28, of Somerville, MA, and Joanna Fortier, 28, of Burlington, Vt., won the 17.7K.

SLO Ultra

Fresh off of a successful multi-day adventure through the Rocky Mountains at the TransRockies Run, Kyle Robidoux of Roxbury, Mass., headed further west to California to take on the scenic SLO Ultra 50K on Saturday, Sept. 1 in San Luis Obispo.

A visually impaired runner, the 42-year-old Robidoux is gearing up for his third 100-miler in late September at The Yeti Endurance Run in Virginia. The SLO 50K was his final tune-up, and he tackled the race with the support of sighted guides, including UltraRunnerPodcast host Eric Schranz who guided Robidoux for 23 miles of the race. Robidoux finished in the middle of the field in 7:26:35. Runners had 10 hours to finish the race, and 113 did so. Brian Tinder, 38, of Flagstaff, Ariz., was the men’s winner by a 25-minute margin in 4:10:58. Lauren Totten, 28, of Santa Barbara, Calif., was the women’s winner, third overall finisher and just seconds behind the second overall finisher in 4:35:31.

*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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