While the 2019 ultrarunning season in New England kicked off on Saturday, Jan. 5, at Bradley Palmer State Park in Topsfield, Mass. (separate story in the works), races also got underway around the country. For Douglas MacLean of Jamaica Plain, Mass., and four other ultrarunners from New England, that meant hopping on a plane to Texas to take part in the 17th running of the Bandera 100K.
The race, which took place Jan. 5-6 in Bandera, Texas, was forced to change its venue to nearby Camp Eagle after heavy thunderstorms soaked the traditional course. The race still counted as a Western States Golden Ticket event, meaning the top two men and top two women finishers received automatic entry into the Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run this summer. Those spots went to Tyler Green, 34, of Portland, Ore., (8:26:37) and Chris Mocko, 32, of Boulder, Colo. (8:27:02) on the men’s side and Brittany Peterson, 32, of Pocatello, Id. (9:26:59), and Ladia Albertson-Junkans, 33, of Snoqualmie, Wash. (9:37:44) for the women.
While the elite runners secured the Golden Tickets, all five New England residents finished the race in less than 17 hours, meaning they all qualified to enter the lottery for the 2020 Western States Endurance Run.
MacLean finished 68th overall in 13:48:09. Meanwhile, the top New England finisher was 43-year-old Jessie Donavan of Cornwall, Vt. Donovan placed 26th overall in 11:34:33 for her longest ultramarathon finish ever. She recently was the women’s runner-up in the 40-mile race at the Fells Winter Ultra in December. Another top finisher from the region, 47-year-old Christin Doneski of Hopkinton, N.H., followed up her overall win at December’s Seth’s Fat Ass 50K in Springfield, Mass., by finishing 43rd overall at Bandera in 12:47:10.
A pair of residents of Portland, Maine, 27-year-old Todd Reutlinger and 9-year-old Chelsea Peterson, also finished the race. Reutlinger completed the race in 15:38:38 and Peterson finished in 16:40:59.
There were 268 finishers of the 100K within 23 hours.
In addition to the 100K race, another 209 runners finished the 50K distance within 14 hours, led by men’s winner Erik Wingfield, 22, of Salt Lake City, Utah, in 4:10:55, and women’s winner Marianne Stone, 40, of Kansas City, Mo., in 5:39:56. No New England residents were among the 50K finishers.
*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.