In-person ultras remain on hold in Massachusetts as the COVID-19 vaccine rollout slowly gains steam in the Bay State, but in-person racing continues to take place in several other states along the East Coast. Two of them were held last weekend and had Massachusetts residents among the finishers. Sutton’s Greg Wolodkin kicked off what he hopes will be a big year of racing with a trip to Georgia for the Yeti 7/11-Hour race, while Worcester’s Brenda Morris took part in a women-only race in Virginia. Both events are covered in this week’s roundup.
Yeti 7/11-Hour Endurance Run
Greg Wolodkin has big plans for 2021, as long as the COVID-19 pandemic settles down and lets him turn his dreams into reality.
Wolodkin is signed up for Seven Trails Ultra Festival in April in Virginia, followed by the A Day in the Life 50K in May in Georgia, the Vol State 500K run across Tennessee in July, and the Yeti 100-miler in September in Virginia. His journey to those events began in earnest on Sunday, March 14, in Lithia Springs, Ga., where he took part in the 11-hour race at the fifth annual Yeti 7/11-Hour Endurance Run.
The race challenged runners to complete a 4-mile loop course as many times as possible within the time limit while running mostly on singletrack dirt and doubletrack trails. Wolodkin, 54, of Sutton, Mass., was one of 11 runners to finish the day with 40 miles on their legs, tying for 16th place overall. Brian Pickett, 41, of Kingsport, Tenn., led all runners with 56 miles, followed by a trio of women – Stephanie Cere, 34, of Cumming, Ga.; Jennifer Hawkins, 39, of Concord, Ga.; and Holly Adams, 43, of Marietta, Ga. – and the second-place male, 40-year-old David Flynn of Atlanta, Ga., who all completed 52 miles. Sixty-five runners took part in the 11-hour race, and 55 of them surpassed the marathon distance. Wolodkin was the lone New England resident in the field.
Another 59 runners competed in the 7-hour race, and 22 ran beyond the marathon distance. Dave Kesterson, 36, of Knoxville Tenn., and Trey Clark, 32, of Prattville, Ala., led the men’s field with 40 miles apiece, and Sally Bray, 41, of Peachtree Corners, Ga., topped the women’s field with 36 miles. No New England residents took part in the 7-hour event.
No Man’s 50K
The No Man’s 50K is exactly what it’s name implies – a 50K race with no men in the field. Men were in attendance as volunteers and crews for the runners, but the racing was limited to the ladies.
The third running of the women-only event took place on Saturday, March 13, in Triangle, Va., and runners took on a course consisting of two 25K loops on a mixture of singletrack trails and jeep roads. Forty-four runners completed the race, led by 37-year-old Amy Baker of Front Royal, Va., who set a new course record with her winning mark of 5:06:17. Runner-up Stephanie Hill, 30, of Alexandria Va., also dipped below the previous course record with her time of 5:21:56. One New England resident took part in the race. Brenda Morris, 54, of Worcester, Mass., finished 34th in 7:53:20. The race was Morris’s second in-person ultra of the year. Five weeks earlier she traveled to Spotsylvania, Va., and completed 28.7 miles at the ICY-8 8-Hour Ultra.
*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.