While the ultrarunning calendar was quiet last weekend in Massachusetts, runners didn’t have to travel too far beyond the Bay State’s borders to find some competition. Sheffield’s John Kemp and Cambridge’s Padraig Mullins went to neighboring New York to race the Caumsett 50K. Meanwhile, Norwell’s Jim Diggins made his third straight March trip to Pennsylvania for the Naked Bavarian 40-miler. Additionally, Trail Animals Running Club legend Bob Crowley played in the mud out west at the Way Too Cool 50K. All three races are featured in this week’s roundup.
The Greater Long Island Running Club played host to the 15th annual Caumsett State Park 50K Championship on Sunday, March 3, in Lloyd Harbor, N.Y., featuring both championship and non-championship ultra races.
Derrick Hamel led the way for the New England contingent in the championship event with a third-place overall finish in a speedy 2:54:50. Only Zachary Ornelas, 27, of Plymouth, Mich. (2:50:02) and Austin Bogina, 25, of Arma, Kan. (2:50:55), were faster. Elizabeth Northern, 31, of Fort Worth, Texas, was the women’s winner in 3:24:07.
The top performer from Massachusetts in the championship race was John Kemp. The 51-year-old Sheffield resident finished in the top third of the field with his 14th-place finish in 3:48:41.
In addition to Hamel and Kemp, three more New England residents were among the 49 finishers in the Championship Division race. Brian Teason, 58, of Manchester, Vt., finished in 4:23:47; Bill Gross, 65, of Ridgefield, Conn., finished in 6:25:55; and Ted Cowles, 60, of West Granby, Conn., finished in 6:43:05.
Another 52 runners competed in the non-championship division. Padraig Mullins, 37, of Cambridge, Mass., was the runner-up in that field in 3:38:36. He trailed only 38-year-old Paolo Natali of Brooklyn, N.Y., who won in 3:04:11. Other New Englanders in the field were 54-year-old Richard Camerik of Ridgefield, Conn., who placed fifth in 4:14:15; 43-year-old Karen Woodward of Durham, Conn., who was 13th in 4:33:57; 45-year-old Albert Lione of Shelton, Conn., who finished in 6:36:43; and 65-year-old Lee Dickey of Danvers, Mass., who finished in 6:50:18.
Jim Diggins has turned into a regular at the Naked Bavarian.
Diggins, 50, of Norwell, Mass., made his third appearance at the 40-mile race in its five-year existence on Saturday, March 2, at Blue Marsh Lake in Leesport, Pa. He previously competed in the race in 2017 and 2018.
Runners had to complete two trips around the course, which consisted of a 6.5-mile outward bound stretch, followed by a 7-mile loop, and then a return trip on the 6.5-mile trail. The course was mildly technical, but its rolling hills amassed around 4,000 feet of vertical gain during the course of 40 miles.
Diggins finished 24th out of 54 in 8:33:36. Rich Riopel, 45, of Morganville, N.J., earned the win in 6:19:19. Michelle Kent, 22, of Wheatfield, Ind., finished third overall and was the first-place woman in 6:52:07.
Way Too Cool 50K
The Way Too Cool 50K was already a formidable event during its inaugural year when 130 runners completed the race back in 1990. In the decades since then, it has become one of the West Coast’s classic races and regularly attracts more than 500 ultrarunners.
Bob Crowley has seen the event’s growth up close. A Trail Animals Running Club legend and one of the Massachusetts-based organization’s original members, Crowley has taken part in more than half of the runnings of the Way Too Cool 50K. A former resident of Weston, Mass., who now makes his home in Fair Oaks, Calif., Crowley earned his 17th finish of the race during the 30th annual event on Saturday, March 2, in Cool, Calif.
The race takes place almost entirely on singletrack trails – including some of it on the hallowed trails of the Western States Endurance Run – challenging runners with 4,800 feet of climbing along the way.
No Massachusetts residents were among this year’s race field, but Crowley represented the Trail Animals alongside 619 other starters, 591 of which would ultimately complete the race.
Crowley, 61, placed 323rd in 6:35:32, and enjoyed a face-first dive into a deep mud puddle along the way. Two New England residents – 43-year-old Graham Sherriff of Montpelier, Vt., and 43-year-old Alicia MacLeay of Rome, Maine – also finished. Sherriff was 132nd overall in 5:23:58 while MacLeay was 356th in 6:49:51.
Anthony Costales, 30, of Salt Lake City, Utah, was the men’s winner in 3:17:19 and Clare Gallagher, 27, of Boulder, Colo., was the women’s winner in 3:53:10.
*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.