The Oct. 19-20 weekend was huge in New England as hundreds of ultrarunners took a ride on the Trail Animals Running Club’s 30-hour Ghost Train Rail Trail Races just across the border in New Hampshire. A few found other venues to run, however, and all turned in strong performances. From Kehr Davis winning the same race twice in one year in New York, to Garrett Simon’s runner-up finish at the Wawayanda Wonderful 50-miler in New Jersey, to Ryan Fecteau’s top-10 outing at the Moab 240, runners from the region represented it well.
A Massachusetts resident turned in a top-10 performance at the third annual Moab 240 Endurance Run, a 240-mile footrace Oct. 11-15 that started and finished in Moab, Utah. Ryan Fecteau, 26, of Danvers, finished the race in a tie for 10th place alongside 51-year-old Wes Ritner of Colorado Springs, Colo. Both men finished in 80:48:23.
Runners had 112 hours to finish the race and it’s more than 29,000 feet of vertical gain. Eighty-six runners completed the race; another 23 did not finish.
Michael McKnight, 29, of Commerce City, Colo., won the race in a men’s course record time of 59:30:12. Only women’s course record holder Courtney Dauwalter has gone faster. Her mark of 57:55:13 from 2017 still stands as the all-time best performance on the course.
Moab is Fecteau’s second 200-mile race. He completed the Bigfoot 200 in Washington in 2018. He also completed the Hurt 100 and won the Habanero 100 this year leading up to Moab.
Castle to River 50K
Kehr Davis is the Castle to River 50K champion for the second time this year.
The inaugural event took place in late March, and Davis brought home the win that day in 5:01:26, establishing the women’s course record for the new event. On Saturday, Oct. 19, Davis returned to the second running of the event in Garrison, N.Y., and she set a new course standard while earning another victory.
Racing on a course that took runners through Hudson Highlands State Park and Benedict Arnold’s escape path in the Hudson Valley, the 42-year-old resident of Pittsfield, Mass., finished fourth overall and first in the women’s field in 4:39:50. Her closest competitor was 30-year-old Kelly MacDonald of Sackets Harbor, N.Y., who was second in the women’s field and eighth overall in 5:12:29.
Byron Critchfield, 32, of Highland Falls, N.Y., won the men’s race in 4:14:14, followed by 30-year-old Jay Lemos of Clifton, N.J., in 4:17:49.
Two more Massachusetts residents were among the 55 finishers within the 8 1/2-hour time limit. Dennis Penna, 40, of Pittsfield finished 15th overall in 5:38:10, and 44-year-old Rachael Weiskind of Jamaica Plain earned her first ultramarathon finish in 7:03:41.
Say this much for Garrett Simon: the 22-year-old is consistent when it comes to finishing ultramarathons.
Simon, of Cambridge, Mass., ran his first ultramarathon at the Chesterfield Gorge 50K in June and finished second. His second ultra came in August at the Lost Cat 50K in Vermont where he again finished second. Simon ran his third ultramarathon and first 50-miler on Saturday, Oct. 19, at the Wawayanda Wonderful Ultras at Wawayanda State Park in Hewitt, N.J. Simon cruised through the clover-leaf course’s multiple mini loops and again finished second, this time in 8:26:34. New Jersey resident Christopher Smallwood, 28, won the race in 8:08:25.
The race was also the first ultra for 33-year-old Massachusetts resident Francois Serret who finished in 16:43:11.
In addition to the 50-miler, five runners completed a 100-mile race and another 22 finished the 50K. None were New England residents.
*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.