A quiet, pandemic-ravaged ultramarathon season continued to come back online with a handful of races in the final weekend of September, and some of them attracted New England residents to the starting lines. Two of them took place in Connecticut, while the biggest local performance happened in Virginia where Somerville resident Lance Doherty turned in another big effort, smashing his winning time from a year ago on the way to a second-place finish at the Yeti 100. His effort leads off this week’s roundup.
A year ago, Lance Doherty traveled to Abingdon, Va., for the Yeti 100-Mile Endurance Run and returned home to Somerville, Mass., with a victory. On Sept. 25-26, Doherty returned to defend his title. The 44-year-old ultimately wasn’t able to reclaim victory, but it wasn’t for lack of effort. Instead, Doherty ran 27 minutes faster and earned a second-place overall finish at the sixth annual event. It also took a course-record performance to beat him, which is what 33-year-old Patrick Reagan of Savannah, Ga., did, clocking a time of 13:33:54.
The third-place overall finisher, 35-year-old Nicole Monette of Oxford, Mich., was close behind Doherty as she set a new women’s course-record mark of 16:19:57. Her performance was more than two hours faster than the previous women’s record.
While Doherty had the top performance of the New England contingent in the field, he had company from the region among the 144 runners who finished the race. Joshua Grzegorzewski, 45, of Malden, Mass., finished 54th overall in his first 100-mile race, clocking a time of 23:30:54. Additionally, 61-year-old George Alexion of Waterboro, Maine, added to his long list of 100-mile finishes with a time of 26:54:14. John Sherback, 41, of North Easton, Mass., earned his fourth 100-mile belt buckle, finishing in 28:44:45. He previously finished Ghost Train in 2018 and 2019 and the Vermont 100 in 2019. The final New England resident to finish was 46-year-old Deb Anderson of Wilbraham, Mass., who earned her first 100-mile finish in 29:30:11.
Angevine Farm 50K
After an earlier postponement due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the inaugural running of the Angevine 50K took place on Sunday, Sept. 27, in Warren, Conn. The first-year race was part of the second annual Angevine Farm Half Marathon event, and runners were treated to a diverse assortment of terrain, from singletrack trails through the forest to dirt roads, from cross country-style grassy fields, to lots of ups and downs that amounted to around 5,000 feet of vertical gain.
Twenty-three runners finished the 50K within 10 hours, with Robyn Bratica, 36, of Milford, Mass., taking home the win in the women’s field in 6:45:45, and 29-year-old Brandon Talisesky of New York, N.Y., topping the men’s field in 4:54:17. Men’s runner-up Matthew Degnan, 34, of New York, N.Y., was the only other runner to finish in less than six hours, clocking a time of 5:27:31.
Matt Bader, 42, of Wallingford, Conn., was the top-performing New England resident. He finished fifth overall in 6:32:49. Aaron Thompson, 37, of Concord, N.H., also tallied a top-10 overall finish, placing ninth in 7:14:16, followed by 10th-place William Ozanne, 41, of Darien, Conn., in 7:22:24. Tim Furtado, 37, of Rehoboth, Mass., finished 12th overall in 7:24:41, and Tom McNulty, 54, of New Milford, Conn., followed in 13th place in 7:30:51.
Amanda Ashley, 29, of Uxbridge, Mass., was the women’s runner-up and 14th overall finisher in 7:40:23, while Danielle Meunier, 46, of Westhampton, Mass., rounded out the women’s podium, placing third (16th overall) in 8:26:01. Jacqueline Evans, 45, of East Longmeadow, Mass., followed three seconds later in 8:26:04.
Other New England residents who finished the race were Derek Bushey, 36, of Enfield, Conn. (8:26:09); Caitlin Hanrahan, 25, of Bethel, Conn. (8:45:08); Kathleen Kelly, 27, of Wolcott, Conn. (8:45:09); and Aura Alves-Mauricio, 48, of Westport, Mass. (8:56:15).
The Blue 2 Blue Challenge
The second running of the Blue 2 Blue Challenge took place Saturday, Sept. 26, in New Haven, Conn. Thirty-five runners completed the out-and-back 50K race on the technical Regicides and Quinnipiac Trails. New men’s and women’s course records were set as Justin Kousky, 40, of Westport, Conn., went 10 minutes under the previous mark while winning in 5:48:13, and Debbie Livingston, 45, of Bolton, Conn., knocked more than 23 minutes off of the previous ladies’ course standard with her time of 6:59:46 that was also good for fifth overall.
Rounding out the men’s podium were Daniel Bates, 36, of Newington, Conn., who placed second in 6:12:01, and Ben Nephew, 45, of Westborough, Mass., who took third in 6:18:48.
Laura Becker, 35, of Manchester, Conn., finished second in the women’s field in 7:51:04, followed 59 seconds later by third-place female Clorice Reinhardt, 25, of New Haven, Conn., in 7:52:03.
*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.