MassUltra Roundup: C&O Canal, Jackpot, and Seven Trails

The continued success of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in the United States has led to more in-person ultramarathons taking place across the country. The April 24-25 weekend was just the latest example as more than two-dozen in-person ultras took place throughout the country. Results have been slow to come in from many of them, but at least three included runners from New England.

C&O Canal 100

Comfortable daytime conditions gave way to a cold, rainy night, leading to a large gap between the front of the pack and the rest of the field at the eighth running of the C&O Canal 100-miler on April 24-25 in Knoxville, Md.

The event is known for producing fast times, and this year’s event was no different as the top four men finished in less than 16 hours, led by 39-year-old Brian Zickefoose of Denver, N.C., who clocked in a 14:46:52. First-place woman and 15th overall finisher Cortney Boyce, 40, of Denver, Colo., finished in 20:48:26.

Plummeting temperatures and overnight rain took a toll on many of the other runners, though five New England residents powered through it and ultimately were among the 89 who finished within the 30-hour time limit. Yuhui Zheng, 47, of Wilton, Conn., was the top finisher from the region,securing a first 100-mile finish in 23:54:28. Thirty-seven runners completed the race in less than 24 hours.

David Redline, 55, of Middlebury, Conn., finished 40th overall in 24:47:39 and Amado Casuga, 47, of Hamden, Conn., earned his first 100-mile finish in 26:37:46. Dima Feinhaus, 58, of Waban, Mass., and Karen Ringheiser, 57, of Newton, Mass., ran the race together and finished a few seconds apart, Feinhaus in 28:10:55 and Ringheiser in 28:11:04.

Jackpot UltraRunning Festival

Vegas is coming back to life — both the gambling and the ultrarunning — as the COVID-19 vaccine rollout continues. That meant the eighth annual Jackpot Ultra Running Festival was able to take place a few minutes from the Las Vegas Strip on April 23-26 in Henderson, Nev.

The event included several ultramarathon distance choices, from distance-based options of 100 miles and 50 miles, to time-based options of 72 hours, 48 hours, 24 hours, 12 hours and 6 hours, all on a 2.5-mile loop course around a lake at Cornerstone Park. The USATF 100-mile championship was also part of the festivities.

A handful of New England residents take part in the festival most years, though just two made the trip in 2021. One of them, Sergio Alburez, 44, of Jamaica Plain, Mass., took part in the USATF 100-mile championship race and finished 22nd in 26:20:35. Zach Bitter, 35, of Phoenix, Ariz., took home the win in 12:52:14, topping his closest competitor by 80 minutes.

The other New England resident to take part was a Jackpot regular, 39-year-old Tek Ung of Cranston, R.I. She finished 14th overall in the 48-hour race, completing 40 laps of the course for 100 miles.

Seven Trails Ultra Festival

Fresh off of a pandemic-shortened race season, the  inaugural Seven Trails Ultra Festival presented ultrarunning newcomers and veterans alike the opportunity to set personal records or log big mileage days in preparation for future races when the event took place on April 23-24 in Damascus, Va. Runners were presented with a beginner-friendly, short out-and-back course and a 36-hour time limit to complete 100 miles, 100K or 50 miles.

Three New England residents were up for the challenge. Reto Meier, 58, of Norwalk, Conn., was one of 32 runners to complete 100 miles. It was his first time doing so at an in-person event; Meier finished a 100-mile virtual race in 2020 and will return to Virginia in September to race the Yeti 100. Joining Miller at the event were Greg Wolodkin, 54, of Sutton, Mass., and 45-year-old Tara Pagano of Wilton, Conn., who both completed the 100K. Wolodkin used the event as a tune-up for the Vol State 500K in July and Yeti 100 in September. For Pagano, the race marked her second time finishing 100K.

*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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