More than 200 ultrarunners – most of them from New England – are counting down the days until the inaugural TARCtic Frozen Yeti 30-hour ultra and 15-mile races. Two weeks before taking on what are anticipated to be frigid conditions in the Bay State, a few local runners sought refuge on the trails in much warmer climates. For Ryan Fecteau of Danvers, Mass., that meant heading to Hawaii for the HURT 100. Meanwhile, Lynnfield, Mass., resident Dan Kelley headed back to sunny California for another successful race. Both of their performances are featured in this week’s roundup.
The name alone instills a little bit of fear, or at least gives ultrarunners reason to pause before signing up. The HURT 100 doles out plenty of pain, and the 19th edition of the grueling ultra took place Jan. 19-20 in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Ryan Fecteau knew what he was getting into when he registered for the race, and he withstood the challenge of five 20-mile laps of the course while climbing nearly 25,000 feet on muddy, root-covered trails.
Fecteau, 25, of Danvers, Mass., is no stranger to difficult courses. He finished the TARC 100 in 2016, added Infinitus and Vermont 100-mile belt buckles to his collection in 2017, and then completed the Cruel Jewel 100 and the Bigfoot 200-miler in 2018. Suffice to say, he wasn’t going to back down from the toughest trails Hawaii would throw at him.
Of the 120 runners who started the race, 69 ultimately finished within the 36-hour time limit. Nate Jaqua, 37, of Eugene, Ore., was the men’s winner in 22:37:54, while 28-year-old Sabrina Stanley of Steamboat Springs, Colo., was the women’s winner in 28:28:06. Fecteau ran most of the race in close contact with Travis Liles, a veteran ultrarunner from Portland, Ore., and the pair completed the final five miles together. Their legs caked in mud, Fecteau and Liles crossed the finish line side-by-side, but their times denoted a five-second gap based on when they crossed the starting line. Fecteau placed 21st overall in 29:15:41, followed seconds later by Liles.
Fecteau wasn’t the only New Englander to finish the race. David Maloney, 32, of Bridgewater, N.H., placed 61st in 35:37:12. It was Maloney’s third 100-mile finish. He previously finished the 2015 Ghost Train 100 and the 2017 Leadville 100.
Crystal Springs Winter 50K
Another race in California produced another solid result for Dan Kelley.
A 41-year-old resident of Lynnfield, Mass., Kelley raced in the Golden State three times in 2018 and earned podium finishes each time, first while winning the 46-mile race at the San Diego 50 in Escondido, followed by runner-up finishes at the Golden Gate 50K in Rodeo Beach and the SPASM Lake Chabot 50K in Casto Valley.
Kelley opened his 2019 racing schedule at the 10th annual Crystal Springs Winter Trail Run 50K on Sunday, Jan. 20, in Woodside, Calif., and he again found his way onto the podium. Racing on a course that took runners through Huddart Park, King’s Mountain, and Bear Gulch, Kelley was one of just three runners to complete the race in less than five hours. He finished third overall in 4:31:54. Chris Thoburn, 30, of Oakland, Calif., won the race in 4:00:44.
Fifty-five runners finished the race within nine hours.
Kelley’s California racing will continue later in the year. He is entered in the Angeles Crest 100-miler in August in Wrightwood. It will be his first 100-miler.
Crystal Springs also had a 35K race, and Dan O’Brien, 32, of Burlington, Mass., finished 18th out of 41 runners in 3:56:50.
*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.