What a way to close out May! A slew of regional ultras saw strong showings by runners from Massachusetts and greater New England. None of those performances were bigger than that of Shaun Daylor of Lakeville, Mass., and Jason Mosel of Corinth, Vt., who successfully completed 551 miles apiece to finish the 888K race at Infinitus in Vermont. Their efforts highlight a busy week that also included the return of Pineland Farms in Maine, the Run Ragged Last Person Standing race in Connecticut, and a big showing by three Massachusetts women at the Cow Bone Ultras in Maryland. Additionally, we’ve included results from two May 22 races, the 57-mile Cross-Connecticut Run for Mental Health Awareness and the Winchester, Mass., resident Tom Flummerfelt’s runner-up finish at the Keystone Backyard Ultra Last Person Standing race in Pennsylvania. That amounts to plenty of reading in this week’s roundup.
For the second time in Infinitus history, two runners successfully completed the 888K race at Infinitus. Ten runners took on the signature race on the mountain trails around the Blueberry Hill Inn from May 20-30 in Goshen, Vt. Most signed up knowing they would most likely fail to complete 551 miles whether because they timed out or their bodies gave out. Shaun Daylor and Jason Mosel withstood the mud, the elevation gain, the fatigue and exhaustion, and ultimately finished the race.
Daylor, 42, of Lakeville, Mass., led the way for most of the weekend, though Mosel, 35, of Corinth, Vt., was never far behind. Ultimately, Daylor earned the victory in 229 hours, 16 minutes. Mosel followed more than three hours later, finishing in 232 hours, 47 minutes.
While the 888K is the main event at Infinitus, it also offers runners a variety of other ultramarathon challenges, including a Deca-Marathon with 10 marathons in 10 days, a 250-miler, a Penta-Marathon, a 100-miler and an 88K.
Four runners attempted the Deca-Marathon, with two finishing. Jordan Wirfs-Brock, 37, of Golden, Colo., finished first in 59:25, followed by Andrew Andras, 44, of Miami Beach, Fla., in 61:21. Ten runners attempted the 250-miler, with Nicole Fleming, 47, of Springfield, Mo. (112:23) and Kevin Ravasio, 33, of Lansdale, Pa., (116:45) as the lone finishers. Seven runners started the Penta-Marathon, and five finished. Tim Barbee, 41, of Columbia, Ill., won that event in 25:30, followed by Ben Zeiger, 38, of Golden, Colo., in 32:26; Vicky Petryshyn, 38, of Los Angeles, Calif. (33:50); Mike Seaman, 47, of South Glens Falls, N.Y. (46:36); and Bryan O’Keefe, 38, of Billerica, Mass. (55:47).
The most popular ultra distances at Infinitus were the 100-miler and the 88K. There were 60 starters and 42 finishers of the 100-miler, and 42 starters and 34 finishers of the 88K. Keith Nadeau, 31, of Fairhaven, Mass., followed up his third-place finish at the Midstate Massive Ultra-Trail 100-miler last October by taking home the win in the Infinitus 100-miler in 22:05:06. Nadeau was followed by 29-year-old Benjamin Feinson of Richmond, Vt., in 23:20:03. Maia Buckingham, 28, of Burlington, Vt., was the final runner to finish in less than 24 hours as she topped the women’s field and finished third overall in her 100-mile debut in 23:37:00. Finishing fourth overall and second among the women was Taylor Verville, 30, of Fall River, Mass., in 28:25:21. Rounding out the men’s and women’s podiums were Scott Slater, 43, and Sarah Slater, 43, both of Guilford, Conn., who finished together in 29:55:00. Four more Massachusetts residents were among the 100-mile finishers, including Cliff Li, 51, of Cambridge who placed seventh overall in 31:56:00; Richi Rodriguez, 28, of Lowell who placed 11th overall in 33:54:00; Jodie Davis, 29, of Boston who finished in 37:25:00; and Noelle Colbert, 44, of West Springfield who finished in 41:49:00.
In the 88K race, 40-year-old Aliza Lapierre of Richmond, Vt., dominated the distance and took home the overall win in 9:33:16, followed by men’s winner Michael Lansing, 39, of Hiensburg, Vt., in 10:04. Joshua Houser, 33, of Ashby, Mass., finished fifth overall and third in the men’s field in 12:01:29. Other Massachusetts residents who finished included Sam Farnsworth, 60, of Stow in 13:13:05, and Desmond McMahon, 57, of Centerville in 15:18:30.
Trail Festival at Pineland Farms
When the Giddyup Trail Festival at Pineland Farms relocated to Gunstock Resort in New Hampshire following the 2019 event, there was uncertainty about what the future would hold for ultramarathon racing at the farm in New Gloucester, Maine, and the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 added to that uncertainty.
On Saturday, May 29, racing at Pineland Farms made a literal splash with the return of the Trail Festival at Pineland Farms. Steady rain soaked the multi-loop 24-hour, 50-mile and 50K courses and the forests and fields they passed through, creating challenging conditions for runners on a course that typically allows for fast times.
Eight runners took on the 24-hour event – the first time such an opportunity has existed at Pineland Farms – and all eight surpassed the 100K distance. Jason Bigonia, 44, of Walpole, Maine, topped all runners with 122.4 miles completed in 23:39:04, followed by Barry Dana, 62, of Solon, Maine, and Terrance Hartford, 47, of South Portland, Maine, with 88.4 miles apiece while finishing together in 22:25:17. Both John Buzansky, 59, of Jamison, Pa., and David Chapman, 60, of Starks, Maine, finished with 68 miles apiece, Buzansky in 20:00:06 and Chapman in 23:14:03.
In the women’s 24-hour field, all three competitors – Annie Chang, 40, of Brunswick, Maine; Tanya Holbrook, 39, of Portland, Maine; and Sonya Lapierre, 45, of Woodsville, N.H. – finished with 68 miles apiece. Chang finished her race in 21:27:36, followed by Holbrook in 22:20:43 and Lapierre in 22:51:40.
Twenty-five runners successfully completed the the 50-miler, on a day where the women’s field showcased exceptional depth. Seven of the top 11 finishers were women, including overall champion Amy Damon. Damon, 34, of Lynn, Mass., amassed a comfortable cushion on the rest of the field and earned the victory in 8:17:41. Amy Rusiecki, 41, of South Deerfield, Mass., finished second in the women’s field and fourth overall in 8:58:08, followed by Jasmine Daigle, 35, of Peru, Maine, who finished fifth overall and rounded out the women’s podium in 8:59:01.
Other top women were Jennifer Boshco, 36, of Billerica, Mass., who placed seventh overall in 9:27:05; Emily Royer, 37, of Cooperstown, N.Y., who was ninth overall in 9:39:39; Kristin Loiko, 40, of South Hadley, Mass., who was 10th overall in 9:46:37; and CiAnne Plummer, 26, of Windham, Maine, who finished 11th overall in 10:01:16.
Damon’s closest competitor was first-place male Ricky McLain, 35, of Cabot, Vt., who finished in 8:31:42. He was followed by third overall finisher Chase Arsenault, 24, of Shelton, Conn., in 8:45:32. Rounding out the men’s podium was David Burnett, 28, of Peabody, Mass., who finished sixth overall in 9:12:34. Matthew Rand, 39, of Poland, Maine, was the fourth-place male and eighth overall finisher in 9:38:27.
Other Massachusetts residents who were among the 50-mile finishers included Steven Pelletier, 46, of Granby in 10:18:52; Melissa Arnold, 39, of Framingham in 11:45:40; Conor Holway, 25, of Cambridge in 14:15:33; and Tim Coleman, 49, of Wellesley Hills in 16:25:46.
Another 46 runners successfully navigated the soggy course for a 50K finish. Judson Cake, 43, of Bar Harbor, Maine, hammered his way to the victory in 3:53:16, followed by 30-year-old Nick Poles of Newtonville, Mass., in 4:00:52. William Cobb, 35, of Portsmouth, N.H., rounded out the men’s podium in 4:18:49. In the women’s field, 18-year-old Lila Gaudrault of Cape Elizabeth, Maine, built upon her victory at the Big A 50K in her ultra debut by bringing home another win in 4:31:58. She was followed by Jennifer Rush, 43, of Gorham, Maine, in 4:52:25, and Donna Utakis, 53, of Amherst, Mass., in 5:32:14.
Run Ragged Last Person Standing
The Connecticut Trail Mixers played host to the second running of the Run Ragged Last Person Standing race on Saturday, May 29, on the technical and hilly trails at Ragged Mountain in Berlin, Conn. Given the difficulty of the terrain, the event varied from traditional Last Person Standing races in terms of distance, forgoing the typical 4.167-mile loops for an approximately 3.11-mile loop. Runners had one hour to complete the loop, with a new loop starting on the hour, every hour, until one runner remained.
Forty runners took part in this year’s race, and 40-year-old Justin Kousky of Westport, Conn., took home the win with 105.4 miles completed. Kousky received a strong challenge from 48-year-old Lance Reed of Preston, Conn., but Reed ultimately came up one loop short with 102.3 miles. Julie Fraysier, 36, of Windsor, Conn., was the top female finisher and third overall finisher with 86.8 miles completed. The top nine runners completed at least 100K in distance, while the top 13 completed more than 50 miles apiece. All but two participants surpassed the marathon distance.
Cow Bone Trail Run
The 12-hour race at the second running of the Cow Bone Trail Run endurance races had a strong Massachusetts presence. Three Bay State women took part in that time-based race at the event on May 29-30 in Sharpsburg, Md., and all three finished among the top five women and top nine overall runners.
Taking on a 1.5-mile loop course on property owned by Shepherd’s Spring Outdoor Ministries, the trio of Wendy Cordeiro, Kim Gibson and Cindy Tjersland all raced near the front of the pack. The top overall runner in the race was 44-year-old Kevin Jordan of Arlington, Va., who finished 55.5 miles, followed closely by top female Jenny Dorsey-Spitz, 31, of Alexandria, Va., who logged one fewer loop for 52.5 miles. Cordeiro, 50, of New Bedford, finished one lap behind Dorsey-Spitz and tied for second in the women’s field with 51.0 miles completed. A lap behind her was Gibson, 43, of Dartmouth, who finished eighth overall and fourth in the women’s field with 46.5 miles, followed by Tjersland, 54, of Dartmouth, who placed ninth overall and fifth among the women with 45.0 miles. Thirty-five runners took part in the 12-hour race with 26 surpassing the marathon distance.
In addition to the 12-hour race, another 42 runners competed in a 24-hour race and 56 took part in a 6-hour race. No New England residents took part in those events.
The Cross-Connecticut Run for Mental Health Awareness
Twelve runners gathered in West Suffield, Conn., at 6 a.m. Saturday, May 22, to attempt to run across the state from north to south in the second running of the Cross-Connecticut Run for Mental Health Awareness. The event served as a fundraiser for Mental Health Connecticut and the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail (FCT), and runners had 14 hours to complete the 57-mile run of the flat FCT to its southern terminus at New Haven harbor.
Of the dozen who started, eight ultimately finished within the time limit.Lufeng Zou, 33, of Wallingford, Conn., pulled away from the field and took home the win in his second ultramarathon, completing the run in 11:06:03. Steven Suon, 22, of Bristol, Conn., was the only other runner to finish in less than half a day, earning his first ultramarathon finish in 11:58:59. Other finishers were Kristijan Begic, 35, of Waterbury, Conn. (12:41:24); Zach Sagendorf, 27, of Naugatuck, Conn. (12:49:14); Jeffrey St. Onge, 33, of Newport, R.I. (12:58:04); Ron Locandro, 55, of Simsbury, Conn. (13:12:24); Michael Lo Presti, 49, of Norfolk, Conn. (13:12:25); and Sean Mallon, 47, of Hamden, Conn. (13:21:20).
Keystone Backyard Ultra
Tom Flummerfelt has been running ultramarathons for two decades, so although the COVID-19 pandemic kept him away from the starting line for more than a year it did nothing to hinder his ability to dig deep and log major mileage.
A veteran of many 100-mile and 200-mile races, Flummerfelt made his return to in-person racing at the inaugural Keystone Backyard Ultra on Saturday, May 22, at Mauch Chunk Lake Park in Jim Thorpe, Pa. In typical Last-Person-Standing race format, runners had one hour to complete a 4.167-mile loop course with a new loop starting on the hour, every hour, until one runner remained. The race became a battle of attrition between two experienced and accomplished ultrarunners as Flummerfelt and 41-year-old Scott Snell of Egg Harbor Township, N.J., became the only runners in the field to surpass the 100-mile mark. Ultimately, Snell managed to finish one more lap than Flummerfelt and took home the win with 128.96 miles completed. Flummerfelt finished second with 124.80 miles.
Two other New England residents joined Flummerfelt at the race. One of them was 20-year-old Cassidy Carroll of Gales Ferry, Conn., who logged 49.92 miles for her first ultramarathon and finished third among the women’s field. The other was ultramarathon veteran Robert Kehoe, 30, of Fairfield, Conn., who completed 33.28 miles.
Seventy-nine runners took part in the event and logged at least one loop of the course. Fifty-six completed ultramarathon mileage.
*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.