MassUltra Roundup: Tussey Mountainback, Javelina, Kansas Rails-to-Trails, Nor’witch, and the IAU 24-Hour World Championships

After a few busy weeks of ultramarathon racing in New England, the Oct. 26-27 weekend had a lighter load of races. Still, a few runners from the region traveled to take on courses in new places. That included Tyler Andrews of Cambridge whose trip to Pennsylvania included a victory at the USATF 50-Mile Road National Championship at Tussey Mountainback. Several runners ventured to Arizona for the Javelina Jundred, including Brookline resident Davis Cutter who finished in the top 10 percent of the field at the massive race in the desert. Those performances and more are included in this week’s roundup.

Tussey Mountainback 50

The 20th annual Tussey Mountainback 50-mile ultra served as the USATF 50-Mile Road National Championship race on Sunday, Oct. 27, in Boalsburg, Pa., and a national champion hailed from Massachusetts.

Tyler Andrews, a 29-year-old Cambridge resident, dominated the men’s race and won by a 24-minute margin, claiming victory in 5:43:25. His closest competitor, 30-year-old Cole Crosby of Princeton, N.J., was a distant second in 6:07:02, followed by third-place overall finisher and women’s national champion Devon Yanko, 37, of San Anselmo, Calif., in 6:24:18.

Three more New England residents were also among the 73 total finishers. Charles Simpson, 27, of Revere, Mass., finished 24th in 9:07:41; 27-year-old Emily Korzeniewski of New Haven, Conn., was 42nd overall in 10:14:52; and 41-year-old Steven Chard of Wrentham, Mass., finished 67th in 11:43:46.

Javelina Jundred

The 17th annual Javelina Jundred 100-mile race took place on Oct. 26-27 in Fountain Hills, Ariz., and the desert race featured plenty of hot performances. Runners took on a five-loop singletrack course that rolled through the Sonoran Desert, returning to race headquarters approximately every 20 miles.

In the men’s race, 32-year-old Patrick Reagan of Savannah, Ga., won the race for the third year in a row and notched the second-fastest time in course history in 13:11:48. Only his winning effort of 13:01:14 from 2017 was faster.

In the women’s race, 2014 champion Kaci Lickteig returned and secured her second victory on the course, winning in a sizzling 15:32:35 while finishing fourth overall. The 33-year-old Omaha, Neb., resident’s performance was the second-fastest in course history by a woman, trailing only Devon Yanko’s 14:52:06 from 2015. Lickteig’s 2014 performance ranks third all-time on the course.

The fast performances also included a New England resident. Davis Cutter, 26, of Brookline, Mass., completed his second 100-miler, placing 35th overall in 20:14:46. Of the more than 650 runners who started the race, 425 finished within the 30-hour time limit and 155 finished in less than 24 hours.

Other New England residents who finished the 100-mile race were Greory Lowe, 55, of Ipswich, Mass., in 25:18:12; Whitney Hanschka, 55, of Vineyard Haven, Mass., in 25:37:01; Melissa Arnold, 37, of Framingham, Mass., in 26:39:41; John Fegyveresi, 42, of Quechee, Vt., in 26:39:43; Todd Cleland, 50, of Oak Bluffs, Mass., in 27:39:38; and Miriam Fenton, 36, of Arlington, Mass., in 28:01:32.

Another 221 runners finished the 100K race, which involved three loops of the course. Molly Housman, 46, of Meriden, N.H., finished third overall and was the second-place female finisher in 10:03:06. Other finishers of that distance from the region included 63-year-old Chris Haley of Medfield, Mass., who was 32nd overall in 13:11:21; William Ozanne, 40, of Darien, Conn., who was 33rd in 13:14:52; Ted Listokin, 53, of Stamford, Conn., who was 46th in 14:14:18; Jackie St. Louis, 31, of Somerville, Mass., who finished 119th in 16:50:07; and Rob Fiero, 50, of Nashua, N.H., who finished 166th in 19:03:32.

Kansas Rails-to-Trails Extravaganza

The fifth annual Kansas Rails-to-Trails Extravaganza featured 100-mile, 100K, 50-mile and 50K ultras on Oct. 26-27, taking runners on a flat and fast out-and-back course along a crushed-gravel rail trail through rural communities and prairie fields.

No New England residents took part in the two longest distances, but the region was represented well in the 50-mile and 50K races.

Jonathan Hodgson, 46, of Cambridge, Mass., earned a top-10 finish in the 50-miler, placing seventh overall in 9:45:55. Charles Smith, 44, of Omaha, Neb., brought home the win in 7:19:41.

Four more runners from Massachusetts finished the 50K. Jennifer El-Sherif, 49, of Salem, and Amy Rosen, 55, of Swampscott, finished a few minutes apart, El-Sherif 40th overall in 6:24:00 and Rosen 42nd in 6:32:14. Lila Gardella, 52, of Wenham, and Alison Egan, 42, of Cambridge, ran the race together and finished 65th and 66th, respectively, in 8:20:28 and 8:20:29.

Nor’witch Halloween Ultra

New men’s and women’s course records were set at the second annual Nor-witch Halloween Ultra 50K on Sunday, Oct. 27, in Norwich, Vt. Colin Hemez, 24, of New Haven, Conn., knocked 11 minutes off the men’s course record with his winning effort in 4:08:26 while 27-year-old Chance Simonton of Corinth, Vt., also broke the old record with his runner-up performance in 4:13:36.

In the women’s race, the top four finishers broke the previous course record with 29-year-old Dylan Broderick doing so by 56 minutes while winning in 4:25:30 and placing fourth overall. Elizabeth Disney, 31, of St. Albans, Vt., finished second in 4:36:11, followed by Ginger Smith, 49, of Westport, Conn., in 4:50:39.

One Massachusetts resident earned a podium finish. Jack Bailey, 40, of Medway, finished third in the men’s race and overall in 4:24:25. Joining him in the men’s top five was fifth-place finisher Brian Packard, 29, of North Chelmsford, Mass., in 5:12:42.

Twenty-two runners finished the 50K, which was held on a loop course with 3,500 feet of gain on rolling hills on dirt and gravel roads.

IAU 24-Hour World Championships

After a heavy year of largely successful racing, 37-year-old Padraig Mullins didn’t have the day he was hoping for at the IAU 24-Hour World Championships on Oct. 26-27 in Albi, France. A resident of Cambridge, Mass., and native of Ireland, Mullins was one of the runners representing Ireland at the event and he finished his weekend with 131.311 KM (81.583 miles), placing 172nd. Although he didn’t log the distance he’d hoped for, he had the honor of representing his country and shared the track with some of the planet’s top endurance athletes including Irish teammate and endurance legend Eoin Keith, who finished 49th overall with 223.123 KM (138.64 miles).

Mullins had a big year leading up to the World Championships. His year included wins at the Cape Cod Trail Race 50K, Dawn 2 Dusk 2 Dawn 50K, Jack Bristol Lake Waramaug 100K, Cape Cod MOVES “Y-Not” 50K, and the Beebe Farm 6-Hour Ultra, as well as a runner-up finish at the Caumsett 50K and a sub-24-hour finish at the Burning River 100-miler.

In the men’s race at the World Championships, Aleksander Sorokin of Lithuania brought home the win with 278.973 KM (173.34 miles), holding off Tamas Bodis of Hungary (276.222 KM/171.63 miles) and American Oliver Leblond (275.485 KM/171.17 miles.

In the women’s race, American Camille Herron of Oklahoma broke her own 24-hour world record by five miles, hammering out a winning tally of 270.116 KM (167.84 miles), topping runner-up Nele Alder-Baerens of Germany (254.288 KM/158.0 miles) by nearly 10 miles.

*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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