February has been relatively quiet on the Massachusetts ultrarunning scene, save for the month’s opening weekend when more than 100 runners took on the trails of Hale Reservation for up to 30 hours at the TARCtic Frozen Yeti. In the weeks since, a handful of runners have traveled beyond the Bay State to race – most to neighboring Connecticut – and a few beyond New England. The weekend of Feb. 22-23 was particularly quiet, with just a handful of runners stepping to the starting line. A few did so in New Jersey for 50K or 50 miles at the Febapple Frozen Fifty, while Beverly resident Peter MacEwen headed cross-country to California for the Mt. Umunhum 52K. Both races are featured in this week’s roundup.
Febapple Frozen Fifty
Joe Grochmal made an impressive ultramarathon debut during the 10th annual Febapple Frozen Fifty on Saturday, Feb. 22, in Maplewood, N.J. Grochmal, 22, from Housatonic, Mass., was one of 22 runners to successfully complete five trips around the 10-mile loop course for a 50-mile finish. He navigated singletrack and doubletrack trails, a little bit of pavement and lots of rolling hills on his way to a seventh-place finish in 9:34:30. Christoffer Johnston, 34, of Warren, N.J., took home the win in 7:46:28, nearly matching his winning time of 7:45:45 from 2017.
The top female performer was Andrea Buono. Buono, 52, of Unionville, Conn., was the first-place woman and 12th overall finisher in 10:14:22.
Ethan Raebel, 25, also notched a 50-mile finish, placing 15th overall in 10:32:04. It was Raebel’s second ultramarathon finish. The new Massachusetts resident previously won the Go Short, Go Long, Go Very Long 50K in Tulsa, Okla., while living there in early 2019.
In addition to the 50-miler, another 48 runners completed the course three times in a 50K race, including a trio of New England residents. Rhode Island resident Lindsay Rosenthal, 25, led the way for the runners from the region, placing 15th overall and third in the women’s field in 5:30:15. Additionally, Noelle Colbert, 43, of West Springfield, Mass., notched her second ultramarathon finish, placing 31st overall in 6:35:37, while 30-year-old Pandora Rouillard of Worcester, Mass., crossed the finish line in 9:46:25. Ryan Jones, 40, of Morrisville, Pa., was the overall winner for the third time, clocking a time of 3:56:56. He previously won the race in 2013 and 2014, placed second in 2019 and fourth in 2014. Jacq Fitzgerald, 22, of West Point, N.Y., led the women’s field and finished sixth overall in 4:51:43.
Mt. Umunhum 52K
Peter MacEwen is all set to take on the Lake Sonoma 50-miler in California this April, but first he traveled to the Golden State for a tune-up race when he took part in the third annual Mt. Umunhum 52K on Saturday, Feb. 22, in San Jose, Calif.
MacEwen, 55, of Beverly, Mass., had a good day while racing on the singletrack trails, tackling several steep climbs and amassing more than 6,400 feet of vertical gain along the way. Runners had 10 hours to complete the race, and 71 did so within the time limit. MacEwen easily beat that deadline, placing 22nd overall in 6:10:42. Adam Wolf, 42, of Petaluma, Calif., was the overall winner in 4:44:20.
*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.