More than 550 runners welcomed in the new year by logging mileage for days on end at the 36th annual Across the Years fixed-time ultras at Camelback Ranch in Phoenix, Ariz., and that group included eight runners from New England.
Runners converged on Camelback Ranch for the multi-day event, beginning on Dec. 28 and concluding Jan. 7, to tackle a wide variety of endurance options, including a new 10-day race as well as its traditional six-day race, 72-hour, 48-hour and 24-hour options among others. All of the races took part on a 1.04-mile flat and smooth loop course that is 90-percent dirt path and 10-percent asphalt.
New England was represented in the 72-hour, 48-hour and 24-hour events, and half of the runners from the region hailed from the Lange family. Clifford Lange, 62, of Mattapoisett, Mass., made his fifth appearance in six years at Across the Years, and he logged his second-best effort in the 72-hour race by completing 90.1 miles while finishing 41st out of 51 runners in the field. His best outing at Across the Years came four years ago when he completed 120.73 miles in the three-day race. The remainder of the Lange contingent took part in the 24-hour event. Both Paulina Lange, 29, of Somerville, and 22-year-old Sophia Lange of Mattapoisett logged their first ultramarathons by finishing 27.24 miles apiece. Additionally, 54-year-old Cynthia Lange of Mattapoisett logged one loop of the course.
While the Lange family brought the largest contingent of people, the other New England individuals had notable performances of their own. Claire Gladstone was the only New Englander in the 48-hour race, and the 52-year-old from Ridgefield, Conn., tied for 22nd out of 107 runners as she logged 102.68 miles. It was Gladstone’s second time running 100 miles or more; the first came a year ago at Across the Years when she completed 100.781 miles. She tacked on two additional loops this year.
The other three from the region were among the 221 runners in the 24-hour race. The top local performer was 32-year-old Michael Condella of Revere, Mass. Condella tied for 18th overall with 100.58 miles. The effort capped a huge year of racing for Condella that included a runner-up finish at Winter Beast of Burden 100; a fifth-place finish at the Jack Bristol Lake Waramaug 100K; a fourth-place finish at the Summer Beast of Burden 100; an eighth-place finish at the at Pine Creek Challenge 100; and a ninth-place finish at the Tesla Hertz 100.
Additionally, 59-year-old Maureen Mullins of Worcester, Mass., made her ultramarathon debut in the 24-hour race and completed 31.43 miles, while 83-year-old Eugene Defronzo of Cheshire, Conn., made his eighth straight trip to Across the Years a successful one by completing 26.19 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.