Massachusetts ultrarunners rung in the holiday season with a few solid performances, the most festive coming from Boston resident Joe McConaughy who raised more than $2,000 for the Crohn’s and Colitis foundation by running 100 miles on a track. Additionally, another Boston resident gave herself the gift of becoming an ultrarunner as Jacqueline Kressee finished the Woodside Ramble 50K in California, and Bolton resident Sandee Richards celebrated the season by crossing the finish line of the 50K race at the Tallahassee Ultra Distance Classic in Florida. Those three events make for some cheerful holiday reading in this week’s roundup.
Joe McConaughy’s Track 100-Miler for Charity
Joe McConaughy has earned plenty of recognition in recent years for his fastest known time exploits on the Pacific Crest Trail, the Appalachian Trail and Ireland’s 70-mile Wicklow Round. The 28-year-old Boston resident turned in another major effort on Saturday, Dec. 21, when he ran 100 miles on the track of Anderson High School in Cincinnati, Ohio, to raise money for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation.
McConaughy had to complete 402.3 loops of the 400-meter track, and his goal was to raise at least $1,000 while also attempting to complete the distance in less than 12 hours. He didn’t quite reach his ambitious time goal, though he still ran a stellar 12:53:28, but he smashed his fundraising target by amassing $2,398 for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation so far. You can help him add to the total here.
Woodside Ramble 50K
There was nothing easy about Jacqueline Kresse’s first ultramarathon. Kresse, 22, of Boston, Mass., headed cross-country to Redwood City, Calif., to take part in the ninth annual Woodside Ramble 50K on Saturday, Dec. 21, at Huddart Park. The challenging course featured forested trails, steep climbs, plenty of singletrack dirt, and 5,800 feet of vertical gain while winding through multiple parks in the area. Kresse was one of 93 runners to complete the race, doing so in 7:41:33.
Croom Beatty, 29, of San Francisco, Calif., finished first overall in 4:14:33 while the first-place woman and fifth overall finisher, 23-year-old Lindsay Allison of Boulder, Colo., finished in 4:34:10. Allison’s time was the third-fastest by a female in course history.
Tallahassee Ultra Distance Classic
Perseverance paid off for Sandee Richards.
After finishing her first 50K at the Jack Bristol Lake Waramaug ultra in 2014 and completing the race a second time in 2015, Richards experienced a multi-year ultramarathon drought. She attempted the same race in 2016, 2017, 2018 and again this year, but each time did not finish. Undeterred, Richards kept at it and the 56-year-old resident of Bolton, Mass., closed out the year with another ultramarathon finish.
Richards traveled to Wakulla Springs, Fla., to take part in the 40th annual Tallahassee Ultra Distance Classic road race on Saturday, Dec. 14, at Wakulla Springs State Park, located just outside of Tallahassee. She was one of 63 runners who finished the race, and she had a strong performance. Richards finished in the top third of the overall field, placing 20th overall and 12th among the women in 5:43:17. Runners had nine hours to complete the race.
Bryan Gensits, 25, of Fogelsville, Pa., topped the men’s field in 4:02:13. Emily Collins, 40, of Akron, Ohio, won the women’s race and finished third overall – just 27 seconds behind second – in 4:08:47. The women’s runner-up and fourth overall finisher was 45-year-old Marci Gray of Tallahassee in 4:23:11, followed closely by 55-year-old Tallahassee resident Laura Reina in 4:28:31.
In addition to the 50K race, another 12 runners finished a 50-miler. None of the 50-mile runners were from New England.
*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.