Padraig Mullins earned a runner-up finish at the USATF 24-hour running national championship and Jenny Hoffman and John Brown earned victories at the Forgotten Forest 9-Hour Ultra, highlighting a weekend of strong out-of-state ultrarunning by Massachusetts residents on Sept. 22-23. In addition to the 24-hour and 9-hour events, the Georgia Jewel 100-miler, Mountain Lakes 100-miler, and Baker’s Revenge 50K are featured in this week’s roundup.
Padraig Mullins threw down a personal-record for mileage in 24 hours and secured a second-place finish at the USATF 24-hour national championship with his effort at the 10th annual NorthCoast 24-Hour Endurance Run at Edgewater Park on Sept. 22-23 in Cleveland, Ohio.
Mullins, 36, of Cambridge, Mass., has taken part in numerous time-based events, but this one may have been his finest. He took advantage of comfortable conditions with temperatures in the 50s and low 60s, and a talented field around him to feed off of.
Virginia resident Oliver LeBlond brought home the national title with 160.497, and he was the only runner to surpass Mullins’ mileage total. Women’s national champion and third overall finisher Megan Alvarado, 30, of Virginia, tallied 140.514 miles.
There were 126 runners who took part in the event, and 28 surpassed the 100-mile distance.
Forgotten Forest 9-Hour Ultra
The third annual Forgotten Forest 9-Hour Ultra featured a pair of winners from Massachusetts on Saturday, Sept. 22, at the Roosevelt Forest in Stratford, Conn.
Runners had nine hours to complete the double-loop (3.5-mile loop and 2.7-mile loop) course as many times as possible, and Cambridge resident Jenny Hoffman and Northbridge resident John Brown logged more miles than anyone while bringing first-place finishes back to the Bay State.
Hoffman, 40, was the overall winner. In doing so, she smashed the women’s course record and tied the men’s course record with her winning mark of 53.27 miles. Brown, 60, was the second overall finisher and first-place male with 49.76 miles. Brown’s performance tied his 2016 effort for the third position on the men’s record board.
Notably, women’s runner-up Morgan Fowler, 33, of East Haven, Conn., joined Brown in running 49.76 miles and tied the previous women’s course record with her performance. No other runner came within six miles of Hoffman, Brown and Fowler for total mileage at this year’s event.
Thirty-four runners ran beyond the marathon distance, including three other Massachusetts residents. Sherry Brown, 56, of Uxbridge, and Alison Buchter, 39, of Tolland, both posted 34.61 miles, while 61-year-old Hollis Graham of Longmeadow logged 28.39 miles.
Additionally, 31-year-olds David and Katie Todd of Bedford, Mass., both completed 18.66 miles.
Forty-six runners took part in the event and completed at least 15.95 miles.
Georgia Jewel 100
Mark Leuner might call Brookline, Mass., home, but the 41-year-old has also spent plenty of time making himself at home on the trails of Georgia.
Leuner finished second at the Running Dead 100-miler in Senoia, Ga., in 2015, and then returned to Georgia for another 100-miler – this time the Double Top 100 – in 2017 when he finished fourth overall. Leuner made another trip in 2018 when he took part in the eighth annual Georgia Jewel 100 in Sept. 22-23 in Dalton, Ga. Of the 72 runners to start the race, Leuner was one of just 28 who reached the finish line within 33 hours.
Leuner finished 15th overall in 30:01:47.
Meg Landymore, 32, of Passadena, Md., was the overall winner by more than three hours – and she smashed the women’s course record by more than three hours, too – winning in 21:03:34. The men’s winner and second overall finisher was Alex Espinal, 48, of Rock Hill, S.C., in 24:40:20.
Mountain Lakes 100
Greg Watson was the lone Massachusetts resident to finish this year’s Mountain Lakes 100-miler, and the 47-year-old from Boston did so with a strong performance.
Of the 160 runners who started the fifth annual race on Sept. 22 at Olallie Lake Resort in Olallie Lake, Ore., Watson was among the 121 to cross the finish line within the 30-hour time limit. He also was one of the first to do so.
The race took runners past 25 scenic mountain lakes – which combine to give the race its name – and they also covered 60 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail as part of their journey while earning around 10,000 feet of vertical gain along the way. Watson wasn’t with the immediate front-runners, but he was well ahead of most of the field. In fact, he crossed the finish line 15th overall and 13th among the men in a speedy time of 21:40:55. He was one of 45 runners to finish in less than 24 hours.
A sizzling battle unfolded for the overall win as 35-year-old Ryan Shephard of Abbostford, B.C., edged 36-year-old Jesse Booi of Squamish, B.C., by two minutes. Shephard’s winning time was 17:15:16 while Booi followed in 17:17:32. Third-place finisher James Holk, 33, of Portland, Ore., followed in 17:26:49.
Lindsey Hagen, 34, of Bend, Ore., was the first-place woman in 20:33:05.
Karen Birdsall earned her third ultramarathon finish of the year at he second annual Baker’s Revenge 50K on Saturday, Sept. 22, in Mountainside, N.J.
A resident of Topsfield, Mass., Birdsall previously finished the Antelope Canyon 55K in February in Arizona and the Lighthouse 50-miler in Michigan in June. The 59-year-old added a third state to her list of ultramarathon finishes this year when she traveled to New Jersey and raced three 10-mile loops on the Sierra Trail at Watchung Reservation. Birdsall finished 36th overall in 8:06:05.
Sam Harris, 23, of Philadelphia, Pa., brought home the overall win in 4:20:07, while 44-year-old Jodi Zielinski of Montclair, N.J., won the women’s race in 6:08:32.
Forty-seven runners finished the race within the 10-hour time limit.
*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.