MassUltra Roundup: Infinitus and Black Mountain Monster

While most New England ultrarunners racing on June 8-9 did so at Wachusett Mountain at The North Face Endurance Challenge-Massachusetts, a few were recovering from the previous week’s assortment of ultra distances at Infinitus in Vermont and a few more traveled to North Carolina for the Black Mountain Monster. With heavy in-state racing last weekend, it’s a light week for this week’s roundup.


The Endurance Society once again lured runners to the Blueberry Hill Outdoor Center from May 23-June 1 for the annual Infinitus Ultras on the trails through the mud and mountains of Goshen, Vt.

The event featured its traditional lineup of extreme ultramarathon distances – the 888K and Deca-Marathons – as well as the usual 100-miler and 88K, in addition to two non-ultra distances (marathon and 8-mile).

True to its tradition, the endurance festival saw plenty of runners achieve personal milestones for distance covered, many of them still being credited with a “did not finish” due to the nature of the task at hand. Take the event’s signature 888K race, for example. Runners had 240 hours to complete the 551.778-mile race. None of the six achieved that distance – although few in the event’s history ever have. Dover, N.H., resident Jessica Goldman did achieve a major personal milestone, however. The 46-year-old led all runners with 534K completed.

Only four runners completed Infinitus’ second-longest event, the notorious Deca-Marathon (10 marathons in 10 days). Those runners had a 240-hour cutoff. John Izzo, 69, of Salisbury, Vt., completed the distance in 81:19:00 and 72-year-old John Spelko Jr. of Monson, Mass., followed in 84:13:00.

Only 10 runners started the 250-mile race. Of them, just four finished within the 120-hour time limit, none of them from New England. A notable performance among the non-finishers was turned in by 42-year-old Su Mittra of Medford, Mass., who set a distance personal record by completing 110 miles.

Of the 50 runners who tackled the 100-mile distance, just 58 percent of the field finished within the 48-hour time limit. None broke the 24-hour barrier, although 50-year-old James Ploof of Salisbury, Vt., came the closest, winning in 26:51:00. Two Massachusetts residents – 40-year-old Robert Froelich of Bedford and 47-year-old Fernando Salcido of Somerville – rounded out the top three. Froelich finished in 28:38:00 and Salcido logged a time of 29:42:00. The top two women to finish the 100-miler were 28-year-old Taylor Verville of Tiverton, R.I., in 31:06:00 and 33-year-old Ashley Campbell of Hollis, N.H., in 32:06:11.

Other 100-mile finishers from New England included Jason Mosel, 33, of Corinth, Vt. (34:13:46); Pete Bennett, 40, of Amherst, N.H. (35:29:07); Eric Matta, 37, of Southbridge, Mass. (35:32:04); Josh Milich, 29, of Somerset, Mass. (35:50:18); Phil LaCroix, 36, of Jericho, Vt. (35:53:18); Brian Ladeau, 48, of Bristol, Vt. (37:00:56); Zach Redin, 30, of Southington, Conn. (37:15:45); Sabrina Lewis, 32, of Norwalk, Conn. (38:47:47); and Daniel Cramer, 38, of Norwalk, Conn. (45:31:45).

Runners in the 88K race had 24 hours to finish; 26 did so. Ashley Vana was the top finisher from New England. The 32-year-old from Manchester, N.H., finished second overall and was the first-place woman in 12:45:32. Lee Pellerin was the fastest male finisher from New England. The 40-year-old from East Hardwick, Vt., finished 10th overall in 14:38:04. Other finishers included Bethany Briere, 35, of West Greenwich, R.I. (15:48:14); Harry Torres, 37, of Methuen, Mass. (16:36:13); Jared Buchanan, 29, of Ellington, Conn. (16:38:55); Jennifer Sorrell, 55, of Essex Junction, Vt. (17:09:38); Amber Mosel of Corinth, Vt. (18:01:20); Danielle Howes, 46, of Moretown, Vt. (18:25:17); Joshua White, 43, of Bethel, Vt. (21:31:54); Rick Kraics, 42, of Cotuit, Mass. (21:31:54); and Dan Levy, 50, of Bethel, Vt. (21:31:54).

Black Mountain Monster

In preparation for the 72-hour race at the Notchview Ultra on Fourth of July weekend in Windsor, Mass., a trio of New England residents headed to North Carolina for a tune-up at a race with a similar format. Marie Gryszowka, Mike Caristi and Tara Mayo all took part in the 11th annual Black Mountain Monster Ultras on June 8-9 at Montreat College’s White Oak Estate in Black Mountain, N.C.

The event offered 24-hour, 12-hour and 6-hour races on a 3.125-mile course that consisted of singletrack dirt, grass and a little bit of asphalt. Both Gryszowka, 34, of Spencer, Mass., and Caristi, 50, of Mont Vernon, N.H., took part in the 24-hour event. Gryszowka finished 38th overall out of 74 runners with 37.5 miles. Caristi finished with 21.875 miles.

Sixty-three runners took part in the six-hour race, including Mayo, 43, of Lincoln, Vt. She finished the day with 21.875 miles.

No New England residents were among the 71 runners who took part in the 12-hour race.

*Editor’s Note: Results are found on a variety of sites, including, 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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