MassUltra Roundup: Rogue Gorge 50K and MuleSkinner

Fresh off of a busy weekend of ultramarathon racing in the Bay State that saw runners cross the state from north to south at the Midstate Massive Ultra-Trail, the Oct. 17-18 weekend was relatively quiet for ultrarunners in Massachusetts. Two runners headed out-of-state to race, one across the country in Oregon and another in nearby Pennsylvania, and we have them covered in this week’s roundup.

Rogue Gorge 50K

A year ago, Renee Laurencelle made her first trip to Oregon for an ultramarathon and endured a grueling race at the Tillamook Burn 50K, an out-and-back course through Tillamook State Forest with 7,000 feet of climbing.

On Saturday, Oct. 17, Laurencelle returned to Oregon for another ultra, this time the inaugural Rogue Gorge 50K in Union Creek. She took on another out-and-back course, but this time it was mostly flat or rolling, easy-running singletrack along the rim of the Upper Rogue Wild and Scenic River. Laurencelle, 27, of Tyngsboro, Mass., was the lone New England resident in the field, and she hammered the course in 5:24:06, placing 20th overall and 10th in the women’s field.

Jared Bassett, 30, of Bend, Ore., was one of three runners to finish in less than four hours, winning in 3:37:45. Marianne Falk, 38, of Portland, Ore., finished fourth overall and first in the women’s field in 4:14:17. The top five women finished in less than five hours.

The race was Laurencelle’s fourth ultra and a 50K personal best time by two minutes, beating her previous best of 5:26:12 at the 2017 Pineland Farms 50K.

Ninety-five runners finished the race within eight hours.

MuleSkinner Endurance Races

A pair of New England men earned their first ultramarathon finishes at the second annual MuleSkinner Endurance Races on Saturday, Oct. 17, in Erwinna, Pa.

Racing for 50 miles on a flat and fast out-and-back course on the towpath along the Delaware River, 32-year-old Samuel Dybdahl of Windsor Locks, Conn., and 25-year-old Garrett Schwartz of North Easton, Mass., both cruised to strong finishes. Dybdahl placed 11th overall in 9:26:20, while Schwartz finished 13th in 9:37:35.

Paolo Natali, 39, of Italy won the 50-mile race by an hour in 6:03:20. Kelly Gillen, 38, of Brooklyn, N.Y., was the fastest woman in 8:16:45. Twenty-six runners finished the race within 12 hours.

Additionally, 31, runners finished the 50K race within nine hours, led by 34-year-old Mollie Sweet of Virginia Beach, Va., in 3:51:31. No New England residents raced at that distance.

*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.

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