MassUltra Roundup: Tunnel Hill and Georgia Sky to Summit

As the 2019 ultramarathon season nears its close, the slate of races is shrinking in Massachusetts and beyond. With the TARCkey Trot 6-hour ultra on tap for Nov. 16, the Nov. 9-10 weekend was light on races. Three runners from New England hit the road for ultras beyond the region, though, with two earning belt buckles at the Tunnel Hill 100 in Illinois and another earning a finish at the Georgia Sky to Summit 50K. Both are featured in this week’s roundup.

Tunnel Hill 100

The Tunnel Hill 100 has been the site of numerous fast performances during its first five years, including Camille Herron’s 100-mile women’s world record (12:42:40) in 2017 and Zach Bitter’s 12:08:36 – the fourth-fastest by a man in history – in 2018. The sixth annual event on Nov. 9-10 in Vienna, Ill., featured more fast times on the Tunnel Hill State Trail – including from two New England residents.

Both Benjamin Simanski and Kathryn Stoker threw down sub-24-hour performances. Simanski, 36, of Greenfield, Mass., finished 52nd overall out of 252 finishers within the 30-hour time limit, clocking a time of 21:39:48. Stoker, 52, of Norwalk, Conn., placed 84th overall in 22:55:14.

Mike Bialick, 38, of Minnetonka, Minn., topped the men’s field in 12:59:43 while Loretta Tobolske-Horn, 48, of Brighton, Mich., won the women’s race in 17:21:56.

Georgia Sky to Summit

Greg Wolodkin has had a busy year of trail- and ultramarathon racing, and most of it has taken place outside of New England. In fact, the 52-year-old resident of Sutton, Mass., has done most of his racing in Georgia. He ran a trail 10-miler there early in the year, and then raced the Yeti Snakebite 50K in early September. After a trip to Virginia a few weeks later to run the Yeti 100-miler, Wolodkin took a bit of time to recover.

Then he returned to Georgia.

Sutton took part in the seventh annual Georgia Sky to Summit 50K on Saturday, Nov. 9, in Sky Valley, Ga., and he finished in the top third of the field. There were 252 finishers within 11 hours, and Wolodkin finished 76th overall in 7:17:29.

Robby Jourdan, 31, of Chattanooga, Tenn., won a close men’s race in 4:52:18, holding off 31-year-old Sean Kunis of Atlanta, Ga., by less than four minutes. Kunis was the runner-up in 4:52:18. Amanda Blair, 37, of Crabtree, N.C., finished first in the women’s field and 14th overall in 6:02:00.

*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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