The 2021 ultramarathon season continues to start slowly as the COVID-19 pandemic limits the number of in-person races in the United States. One of those races took place Saturday, Jan. 30, however, and a Massachusetts resident took home the overall win. That race – the Arches Ultra 50K – is highlighted in this week’s roundup.
The COVID-19 pandemic had some operational impacts on the Arches Ultra 50-mile and 50K ultras, but it didn’t keep them from ultimately happening as in-person races on Saturday, Jan. 30, in Moab, Utah. The event implemented some additional safety protocols related to the pandemic – and even added a virtual option for those unable to travel – but the fourth annual event still took place as scheduled on the outskirts of Arches National Park.
Fifty-nine runners finished the 50-mile race, with 32-year-old Sarah Cummings of Park City, Utah, earning the overall win in 6:54:17. Cummings’ time was a new women’s course record, bettering the old record of 7:13:05 set by 2020 winner and former Somerville, Mass., resident Nora Weathers. No New England residents raced the 50-miler this year.
New England had one representative in the 50K race, and that runner — 26-year-old Connor Cobb of Falmouth, Mass. — was the fastest runner in the field. Cobb had a dynamite ultramarathon debut performance, finishing first overall out of 101 runners in 3:56:08. His closest competitor — Lizzy Gregory, 28, of San Francisco, Calif. — finished in 4:07:52 and set a new women’s course record for the 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.