Trail ultramarathons continue to return from their COVID-19 pandemic-induced hibernation, and Massachusetts residents took part in two of those races during the March 21-22 weekend. Highlighting the weekend was Natick’s Molly Karp who earned a spot on the podium in the 50-mile race at the MST 100 Endurance Races in North Carolina, while Somerville’s Nicholas Reid tackled some tough trails with the Vegas skyline as a backdrop. Both events are included in this week’s roundup.
MST 100 Endurance Races
The inaugural MST 100 Endurance Races were held on the Mountains to Sea Trail on March 21-22 in Durham, N.C., offering 100-mile, 50-mile and 50K ultramarathons. Massachusetts residents represented in two of the event’s distances.
The event’s signature race – the 100-miler – used a double-out-and-back course consisting almost entirely of singletrack trails and amassing 8,000 feet of gain, all of it on the Mountains to Sea Trail. No New England residents took part in the 100-mile race, which had 35 starters and 21 finishers.
Toeing the line in the 50-mile, single out-and-back race was 39-year-old Molly Karp of Natick, Mass. Karp has raced several ultras per year since 2017, and notched numerous podium finishes along the way including wins at the 2018 Ghost Train 60-miler, the 2019 G.A.C. Fat Ass 50 and the Goat Hill 50K, and the 2020 Cape Cod Frozen Fatass 50K.
Karp kicked off her 2021 season with another podium finish, placing third in the women’s field and ninth overall in the 50-miler in 11:27:21. Amy Ross-Johnson, 36, of Clayton, N.C., took home the overall win in 9:48:55, followed by race runner-up and top male Andrew Rastrick, 43, of New York, N.Y., in 9:59:42. For Karp, the race set the table for what she hopes will be a busy year of racing. She is slated to race the Traprock 50K in April, the Riverlands 100-miler in May, and the Kilkenny Ridge 50-miler in September.
The other Massachusetts resident who raced at the MST 100 Endurance Races was Nantucket’s Hugh Davis. Davis, 48, earned his first ultramarathon finish in the 50K, placing 27th overall in 6:04:42. Fifty-three runners completed the race, led by 38-year-old Ryan Mills of Raleigh, N.C., who hammered out a victory by 18 minutes in 4:00:20.
Blood, Sweat & Beers 50K
The COVID-19 pandemic put Nicholas Reid’s ultramarathon dreams on hold in 2020, but the 31-year-old resident of Somerville, Mass., returned to the racing scene at the inaugural Blood, Sweat & Beers 50K on Saturday, March 20, in Boulder City, Nev.
Racing with the Las Vegas Strip as a backdrop, Reid and 37 other runners took on the singletrack course on the rocky and sandy desert trails winding through Bootleg Canyon. Reid finished 23rd overall in 7:09:40. Joseph Bouchey, 31, of Reno, Nev., edged 36-year-old Las Vegas resident Leonardo Santilla for the win by less than two minutes with a winning mark of 4:53:59.
*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.