A handful of in-person ultramarathons have resumes – primarily in the West – as the COVID-19 pandemic continues its spread, and one race during the first weekend of August included a handful of New England residents. That event – the Tushars Mountain Runs in Beaver, Utah – featured high-altitude miles and saw a Massachusetts resident earn a top-10 finish in the event’s longest race. We have it covered in this edition of the roundup.
Tushars Mountain Runs
COVID-19 safety protocols were in place at the Tushars Mountain Run 100K and 70K ultramarathons on Saturday, Aug. 1, at Eagle Point Ski Resort in Beaver, Utah, enabling a rare in-person ultra to take place during the pandemic.
The protocol included temperature checks of all runners before the start, wave starts, and requiring masks to be worn at any time runners were in close proximity with others, including at the starting line and at aid stations. Wave starts took place in five-minute intervals at the starting line for the high-altitude race, which started above 10,000 feet and took runners to above 12,000 feet during the course of their races.
In the 100K race, defending champion Jason Schlarb saw his course-record mark eclipsed as 33-year-old Jimmy Elam of Big Cottonwood, Utah, took home the win in 11:38:27. Schlarb, 42, of Durango, Colo., was a distant second in 12:02:56. Joining Elam and Schlarb in the top-10 was 37-year-old Jeremy Scanlan of Worcester, Mass. Scanlan, who is preparing to take on the Run Rabbit Run 100-miler in September, raced to an eighth-place finish in 14:59:43.
Scanlan wasn’t the only New England resident to finish the 100K. Simon Guerard, 34, of Cambridge, Mass., placed 42nd overall in 18:50:03. Like Scanlan, Guerard is also preparing for Run Rabbit Run.
Meredith Edwards, 35, of Durango, Colo, finished ninth overall and topped the women’s field in a new ladies’ course-record time of 15:11:17. Ninety-nine runners finished the 100K within 25 hours.
In the event’s other ultra distance – the 70K – two New England residents amassed 12,600 feet of vertical gain apiece and secured hard-earned finishes. Alex Braverman, 24, of Sudbury, Mass., had a strong showing in just her second ultramarathon, finishing 16th overall and seventh-place woman in 12:38:37. Caitlin Jones, 37, of Hesperus, Colo, topped the women’s field and finished eighth overall in 11:21:53, edging 26-year-old Jenny Gormley of Flagstaff, Ariz., for the win by less than two minutes.
Andrew Butterworth, 31, of Salt Lake City, Utah, took home the overall win by a 12-minute margin in 9:01:43 and set a new men’s course record. Rob Flowers, 61, of Norwalk, Conn., finished 41st overall in 16:10:05.
Fifty-six runners finished the 70K within 19 hours.