The final week of September was massive for Massachusetts ultrarunners, most notably with the annual TARC Fall Classic and Vermont 50 ultras that attracted hundreds of runners throughout the region. Both of those races are featured in other reports due to their size. Beyond the biggest local races, however, a handful of runners tackled other pursuits – many of them at 100-mile distances or beyond. That included Boston resident Will Holets earning his first 100-mile finish at the Beebe Farm 48 in Vermont, a trio of Bay State men securing hard-earned finishes at the Bear 100 out West, and Kyle Robidoux blazing to his first sub-24-hour 100-miler at the Yeti 100 in Virginia.
Beebe Farm 48
Fresh off a strong finish at the gnarly Kilkenny Ridge 50-miler two weeks earlier in New Hampshire, Will Holets was looking for the next adventure. Friend and Kilkenny Ridge winner Rob Rives posed an idea to Holets: Why not run a 24-hour race on a week’s notice?
A week later, Holets, 30, of Boston, Mass., and Rives, 29, of Richmond, Vt., lined up for the Friday 24-hour race as part of the inaugural Beebe Farm 48 at Harold Beebe Farm in East Dorset, Vt. The event offered 48-hour, 24-hour, 12-hour and 6-hour races on a .87-mile slightly rolling dirt and limestone loop course. The non-technical terrain and comfortable fall weather were ideal conditions for a long recovery run or a shot at doing something special. Holets opted for the latter and turned in his first 100-mile performance.
Holets finished the race in second place with 100.23 miles. Rives, an experience runner at 100 miles and beyond, completed one more loop for a winning tally of 101.1 miles. Five runners took part in the Friday 24-hour race. Another 11 ran the Saturday 24-hour race, including 43-year-old Eric Despres of Athol, Mass., who posted a winning total of 109.82 miles. James Gawle, 67, of Webster, Mass., also had a big day as he finished third with 87.16 miles.
Eleven runners took part in the main event, the 48-hour race. Seven of them ran at least 100 miles, including Karen Giroux, 52, of Salem, Mass., who finished third overall and was the top woman with 130.74 miles. Pablo Espinosa, 38, of St-Polycarpe, Quebec, posted the top mileage total with 162.99.
In addition to the 48- and 24-hour races, the event also offered 12-hour and 6-hour races. No Massachusetts residents took part in the 12-hour races, but two – Nancy Mead of Wendell and Janet Grimes of Northampton – both ran the 6-hour race. Mead, 54, completed 26.65 miles while Grimes, 55, finished 20.04 miles.
The Bear 100
Gregory Lowe is getting the hang of the Bear 100.
Lowe, 54, of Ipswich, Mass., learned his lessons on the point-to-point from Logan, Utah, to Fish Haven, Idaho, in 2016 when he took a tough DNF. He returned in 2017 and conquered the course and its 22,000 feet of climbing, finishing in 30:50:32.
Lowe returned once again this year for the Sept. 28-29 race, and he finished in nearly identical time. Lowe clocked a 10-minute improvement with his time of 30:40:41, earning 111th place out of 221 finishers within the 36-hour time limit.
Two more Massachusetts men and 100-miler veterans made their debuts on the course. Chris Neoh, 33, of Pelham, finished in 34:16:39, while 41-year-old Tom Morton of Chicopee finished moments later in 34:18:42.
Tyler Fox, 25, of Greenwood Village, Colo., was the overall winner and only sub-20-hour finisher with a time of 19:53:10. Kaytlyn Gerbin, 29, of Issaquah, Wash., was the third overall finisher and first female in 20:45:48 which established a new ladies’ course record by 14 minutes.
Yeti 100-Mile Endurance Run
Kyle Robidoux added another belt buckle to his collection on Saturday, Sept. 29, when he crossed the finish line of the Yeti 100-Mile Endurance Run.
The buckle was Robidoux’s second, but it was the 42-year-old Roxbury, Mass., resident’s third 100-mile finish. His first buckle came from his inaugural 100-miler, the 2017 Vermont 100. He then closed out that year by finishing the Ghost Train 100, but he did not pay for the optional buckle at that race.
Robidoux set the Yeti 100 as his 2018 goal early this year, and then spent the past few months building up to tackle the smooth rails-to-trails course in Abingdon, Va. Robidoux cruised through the race and finished 51stoverall in 23:10:23 for his first sub-24-hour 100-mile performance.
Christopher Larson, 41, of Banner Elk, N.C, was the overall winner in 16:34:00. Grace Fisher, 38, of Hancock, Md., was the winner of the women’s field and fifth overall finisher in 18:41:28. There were 179 finishers within the 30-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.