MassUltra Roundup: Across the Years and the River Loop Ultra

The final days of the year are typically pretty quiet for ultramarathon racing, save for a handful of events. The biggest may be the Across the Years multi-day ultras in Arizona, which included two Massachusetts residents and two more New Englanders. Additionally, new Massachusetts resident Shalisa Davis threw down a runner-up performance at the River Loop Ultra 12-hour race in North Carolina. Both races are featured as we close out 2018 and kick off 2019 with this week’s roundup.

Across the Years

Ultrarunners have been closing out the old year and ringing in the new year at Across the Years in Phoenix, Ariz., since 1983. Occasionally that multi-day endurance party includes a few residents from the Bay State, and that was the case this year.

No Massachusetts residents took part in the signature six-day event this year, in fact no New Englanders did; however, Across the Years also offers 72-hour, 48-hour and 24-hour options. Clifford Lange of Mattapoisett and Kelli Jo Vazquez of Seekonk found options they preferred.

Lange, 61, was one of 70 runners and the lone New Englander to take part in the 72-hour race. He completed 83 loops of the course for 87.134 miles in 71:50:17. Charlotte Vasarhelyi, 42, of Kitchener, Ontario, was the overall winner of the 72-hour race with 249.854 miles. Pablo Espinosa, 38, of Saint-Polycarpe, Quebec, was the third overall finisher and first-place male with 225.708 miles.

Meanwhile, Vazquez joined 213 other runners in the 24-hour race and the 24-year-old finished in the middle of the pack with 39.892 miles completed. Mark Hammond, 33, of Mill Creek, Utah, led all runners with 131.225miles while Marisa Lizak, 39, of Marina Del Rey, Calif., was the women’s winner and second overall finisher with 130.176 miles completed. Another New Englander, 82-year-old Eugene Defronzo of Cheshire, Conn., took part in the 24-hour event and finished 26.245 miles.

One New Englander, 51-year-old Claire Gladstone of Ridgefield, Conn., competed in the 48-hour race. She finished 60th overall in a field of 104 runners with 100.781 miles completed. Scott Jaime, 49, of Highlands Ranch, Colo., was the overall 48-hour winner with 174.267 miles while women’s winner and second overall finisher Jess Mullen, 43, of Seattle, Wash., logged 167.969 miles.

The River Loop Ultra

Shalisa Davis is new to Massachusetts, and her first appearance while representing the Bay State certainly earned a place in this week’s roundup. The former Virginia resident now calls Natick home, and she did her new town proud in her final race of 2018.

Davis, 49, was part of a dominant field of women who took part in the 12-hour race at the inaugural River Loop Ultra on Monday, Dec. 31, in Mills River, N.C. The event also included 24-hour and 6-hour races.

Of the 10 finishers in the 12-hour event, the top three were women, as were six of the seven runners who completed at least a 50K distance. Davis finished second overall with 42.05 miles, trailing only 38-year-old Suzanne Byers of Pisgah Forest, N.C., who won with 47.85 miles.

*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.

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