MassUltra Roundup: Forbidden Forest, TGNY, and the Mountain Lakes Backyard Ultra

All eyes were on the Western States Endurance Run last weekend – well, almost all eyes. Some were focused on the trail of Roosevelt Forest in Stratford, Conn., where 68 runners took part in the 30-Hour Forbidden Forest Ultra, including 12 runners who finished more than 100 miles. In addition to that race, we also recap two out-of-state ultras from June 22-23 – the Great New York 100-Mile Running Exposition where Sheffield, Mass., resident John Kemp finished on the podium, and the inaugural Mountain Lakes Backyard Ultra in New York. That makes for some light reading as we’ve recapped the performances of New England runners at Western States in a separate write-up.

Forbidden Forest

The Tahoe 200-miler isn’t until September, but Matthew Pedersen and Matthew Cadieux are well on their way to being ready when race day arrives. Their biggest training day of the year came June 29-30 as the pair ran the second annual Forbidden Forest 30-Hour Ultra at the Roosevelt Forest in Stratford, Conn.

Pederson and Cadieux logged more miles than any of the 66 other runners. Pederson, 30, of Fairfield, Conn., led all runners with 113.73 miles while Cadieux, 38, of Westfield, Mass., finished a close second with 111.50 – one 2.23-mile loop of the course behind Pederson.

In total, 12 runners completed at least 100 miles. That included 34-year-old Morgan Fowler of East Haven, Conn., who finished fourth overall and set a women’s course-record with 102.58 miles; Justin Kousky, 39, of Westport, Conn., with 100.35 miles; Kaylo Littlejohn, 22, of Camden, Maine, with 100.35 miles; and Calin Wickes, 35, of Norton, Mass., with 100.35 miles.

Nine New England residents completed more than 100K but less than 100 miles. They were Kate Gelineau, 37, of Oxford, Conn. (86.97); Joseph Laskey, 50, of Southington, Conn. (86.97); Brian Nephew, 43, of East Hampton, Conn. (82.51); Rob Leder, 48, of Stamford, Conn. (82.51); David Maher, 34, of Norwich, Conn. (78.05); Joshua Franklin, 32, of Norwalk, Conn. (73.59); Ona Alpert, 46, of New Haven, Conn. (71.36); Lorraine Giantonio, 55, of Manchester, Conn. (66.90); and Chane Cullens, 62, of Sandy Hook, Conn. (64.67).

Other New England residents who completed at least ultramarathon distance mileage were Simon Edgett, 43, of Milford, Conn. (62.44); Sharon Czako, 33, of Plainville, Conn. (62.44); Fiona Cosham, 52, of Southbury, Conn, (62.44); James Kyer, 42, of Bridgeport, Conn. (62.44); Elizabeth Gillis, 31, of Lowell, Mass. (60.21); Todd Josselyn, 35, of Orange, Conn. (55.75); David Carruthers, 50, of Stratford, Conn. (53.52); John Brown, 61, of Northbridge, Mass. (51.29); Sarah Hendrick, 51, of Willimantic, Conn. (51.29); Jason Silva, 48, of Plymouth, Mass. (46.83); David Ramirez, 27, of Hartford, Conn. (44.60); Hollis Graham, 62, of Longmedow, Mass. (40.14); Bilal Ozaslan, 49, of Melrose, Mass. (35.68); David Danzak, 41, of Boston, Mass. (33.45); Jenny Rice, 36, of Seymour, Conn. (31.22); David Redline, 53, of Middlebury, Conn. (31.22); Christopher King, 43, of Cheshire, Conn. (28.99), and Lisa Shamaly, 51, of Oxford, Conn. (28.99).

TGNY

Since 2012, the Great New York 100-Mile Running Exposition has been challenging ultrarunners with a two-footed tour of New York City. The eighth annual urban ultra took place June 22-23, starting and finishing at the Times Square pedestrian plaza, and runners had 30 hours to complete the race.

Sixty-six did so, and a Massachusetts resident finished on the podium. John Kemp, 51, of Sheffield, placed third overall and was the second-place male in 18:24:45. Only 28-year-old Matt Collins of Philadelphia, Pa., finished faster in the men’s field, winning in 16:11:34. Meanwhile, 30-year-old Julie Kheyfets of New York, N.Y., finished second overall and was the first-place female with a new women’s course-record time of 16:51:25. The runner-up in the women’s field was 41-year-old Jenny Hoffman of Cambridge, Mass., who clocked a time of 22:27:54.

Two more New England residents finished the 100-miler. Amado Casuga Jr., 45, of Hamden, Conn., finished in 28:06:36, and 62-year-old Fred Murolo of Cheshire, Conn. – a mainstay at the Cape Cod Frozen Fat Ass 50K – finished in 29:32:26.

Another 50 runners finished the 100K race within 18 hours. Aliza Mon, 46, of Quincy, Mass., was the lone New England resident to finish that distance. She was the fifth female finisher and 16th overall finisher in 15:26:47. Qiang Chen, 51, of Syosset, N.Y., was the top male finisher in 10:22:54 and Jane Xiang, 51, of New York, N.Y., was the women’s 100K winner in 13:28:53.

Mountain Lakes Backyard Ultra

A Golden Ticket into the legendary Big Dog’s Backyard Ultra was at stake at the inaugural Mountain Lakes Backyard Ultra last person standing event on June 21-22 in North Salem, N.Y.

The New York race was formed in the spirit and format of the popular Big Backyard Ultra that was founded by Barkley Marathons founder Lazarus Lake in Tennessee. Similar to that race, the Mountain Lakes event used a 4.17-mile loop course during the daytime on both trails and a carriage road, and a nighttime out-and-back on the carriage road. Runners had one hour to complete the loop, with a new race starting on the hour every hour until only one runner was left.

Sixty-eight runners took part, and all completed at least two loops. Four surpassed the 100-mile mark, with 39-year-old Sean O’Connor of Phillipsburg, N.J., ultimately finishing 32 loops for the win with 133.44 miles. O’Connor earned the Golden Ticket into the Big Backyard Ultra, a race he took part in previously when he finished 104.167 miles and placed 29th overall in 2018. Jason Friedman, 32, of New Paltz, N.Y., finished second with 31 loops for 129.27 miles. Glen Redpath, 53, of New York, N.Y. (125.10 miles) and Michael Postaski, 37, of Maplewood, N.J. (120.93 miles), were the only other runners to surpass the 100-mile mark. Eric Kosek, 38, of Wellsboro, Pa., was a distant fifth with 70.89 miles.

The top New England performer was 36-year-old Charn McAllister of Norfolk, Mass., who finished eighth with 66.72 miles. Additionally, Connecticut residents Jared Gell, 39, of Ridgefield, and 47-year-old Philip Bloomfield of Norwalk tied for 11th with 62.55 miles. John Gregson, 39, of Wilton, Conn., tied for 16th with 58.38 miles. Tied for 19th with 50.04 miles were Connecticut residents Alene Lofink, 55; Jacob Bergmeier, 39; William Drew, 31; Peter Lofink, 58; Paul Woolley, 54; and Andrew Mailhot, 33.

Other New England residents who completed at least ultramarathon mileage were 34-year-old Morgan Fowler of East Haven, Conn., with 45.87 miles; Dave Messenheimer, 38, of Brookfield, Conn., and 42-year-old Chris Demuth of New Canaan, Conn., with 41.70 miles apiece; 40-year-old William Ozanne of Darien, Conn., and 24-year-old Pauline Harron of Brookfield, Conn., with 37.53 miles apiece; 30-year-old Jeremy Hoskins of New Haven, Conn., and 43-year-old Michelle Demarco of New Fairfield, Conn., with 33.36 miles apiece; and Ricke Matte, 40, and Jamie Steckler, both of Ridgefield, Conn., with 29.19 miles apiece.

*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.

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