A few new faces in New England made big splashes during their return trip to the West Coast last weekend as Boston resident Lance Doherty delivered a top-10 finish at the Marin Ultra Challenge 50K in California and Vincent Dimassa of New Haven, Conn., had a happy homecoming by winning the 50-miler. Those performances, plus the Trail Trashed Ultra in Nevada and the Everglades Ultras in Florida are featured in this week’s roundup.
Marin Ultra Challenge
Scenic and challenging, the Marin Ultra Challenge tested ultrarunners with 6,300 feet of climbing in the 50K race and 10,500 feet of gain in the 50-mile race on the winding trails and fire roads of the Marin Headlands and Muir Woods on Saturday, March 9, in Sausalito, Calif.
The 50K was the largest race at the eighth annual event, and two runners from Massachusetts made their presence felt with fast times on the gorgeous West Coast course that started and finished at Rodeo Beach.
Lance Doherty of Boston and Nicole Sassu of South Boston both had solid outings.
Doherty, 42, recently moved to the Bay State from San Leandro, Calif., and he raced extensively throughout the Sunshine State during the past eight years. He had a successful homecoming as he hammered out a sixth-place finish in 4:17:28. The top-10 finish was familiar territory for Doherty. That’s where he has ended up in most races, including the Rio Del Lago 100-miler, Skyline 50K, Canyons 100K, Ruck-a-Chuck 50K, and Chabot/Redtail Ridge 50K during the past two years. The performance at the Marin Ultra Challenge is the first big effort in Doherty’s build-up to the Yeti 100-miler in Virginia in late September.
Alex Varner, 33, of Mill Valley, Calif., cruised to the win by a 24-minute margin in 3:36:06.
Meanwhile, Sassu had a personal-best performance for 50K. The 27-year-old placed 21st in the women’s field and 82nd overall in 5:49:27 while earning a 15-minute PR for the distance. Her previous fastest time for the distance was a 6:04:58 at the 2018 Traprock 50K where she finished fourth. Katie Arnold, 47, of Santa Fe, N.M., was the women’s winner and eighth overall finisher in 4:29:06.
The 50K race had 240 finishers within 12 hours.
Meanwhile, two New England residents took part in the 50-mile race, and one brought home the overall victory. Vincent Dimassa of New Haven, Conn., earned the win in 6:57:04. It was a homecoming of sorts. The 25-year-old moved to New England in late 2018 from Windsor, Calif., and he had plenty of success on the trails out West before his cross-country move. In fact, Dimassa finished third in the Marin Ultra Challenge 50-miler in 2018 (8:01:48), won the 2018 Salt Point 50K, and also enjoyed top-10 finishes in the Broken Arrow Skyrace 52K and Castle Peak 100K. Shortly after moving to Connecticut, he returned to California in January and earned a victory at the Steep Ravine 50K, so he was primed for what was a winning effort in Sausalito.
John Lavoie, 66, of St. Albans, Vt., also completed the 50-miler. He placed 135th in 12:22:16. There were 179 finishers within the 14 1/2-hour time limit.
Trail Trashed Ultra
After running her first ultramarathon last October at the Ghost Train Trail Races, Marit Von Tetzchner built upon that 30-mile effort in Brookline, N.H., by testing her abilities out West in Henderson, Nev.
Von Tetzchner, 48, of Gloucester, Mass., took part in the 50K race at the Trail Trashed Ultras just a few miles from the Las Vegas Strip. The trip was a successful one as Von Tetzchner earned a spot on the women’s podium, finishing third in the women’s field and seventh overall in 8:28:33.
Christine Gadoury, 42, a Las Vegas local, was the women’s winner in 7:52:11. Douglas Donovan, 48, of Henderson, was the men’s winner in 5:58:47.
The event also included 100K and 50-mile races, but none included runners from New England.
Peter MacEwen has spent the bulk of his ultrarunning career racing in New England and the greater Northeast region, but the 54-year-old resident of Beverly Farms, Mass., made his first race in Florida count.
MacEwen posted a personal-best time in the 50K race at the Everglades Ultras on Saturday, March 9, at Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park in Copeland, Fla. His time of 5:00:18 earned him 11th place overall out of 63 finishers and ninth place in the men’s field. Ramon Palomo, 37, of Miami, Fla., brought home the victory as the lone sub-four-hour finisher with a time of 3:37:38. Another Miami resident, 44-year-old Elizabeth Adkins, was the women’s winner and eighth overall finisher in 4:57:42.
MacEwen was one of two New England residents in the field. Thomas Howard, 42, of Burlington, Vt., tied for 24th overall in 5:46:28.
Additionally, the event included a 50-mile race. Thirty-eight runners completed that distance, but none were from New England.
*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.