MassUltra Roundup: Manitou’s Revenge, Forbidden Forest, Catamount, Black Hills, Strawberry Fields, and 6 Days in the Dome

The June 25-27 weekend was dominated by attention on the Western States Endurance Run (see separate recap for New England results), but ultrarunning’s original 100-mile trail run wasn’t the only event of the weekend — far from it. New England ultrarunners turned in strong showings at races in the Northeast, including Manitou’s Revenge in New York, the Forbidden Forest 30-Hour Ultra in Connecticut, and the Catamount 50K in Vermont, as well as farther away at races including the Black Hills 100 in South Dakota. All of that made for a jam-packed roundup.

Manitou’s Revenge

After a busy 2020 spent setting numerous Fastest Known Times on trails throughout Massachusetts, Wendell resident Daniel Grip has taken the trail-racing season by storm in 2021. Grip, 41, opened the season with a second-place finish at the Spring on the Trails 6-Hour Endurance Run in March, followed by victories at the Traprock 50K in April and the Six Hours at the Reservoir and Cayuga Trails 50-mile races in May.

On Saturday, June 26, Grip added yet another victory to his resume with a dynamite performance at the grueling Manitou’s Revenge 54-miler in Windham, N.Y. Grip navigated the rugged course through the Catskill Mountains and amassed around 15,000 feet of climbing on his way to the win in 10:58:16. It was the fifth-fastest time in course history.

Hot on Grip’s heels was another FKT standout, 41-year-old Justin Kousky of Westport, Conn., who finished second in 11:05:18. Andy Vermilyea, 39, of Castleton, Vt., was a distant third in 12:04:24. Vermilyea set the course record in 2018 when he finished in 10:47:21.

The finish among the top two women was even closer. Event newcomer Veronica Leeds, 32, of Cross River, N.Y., fended off three-time champion Kehr Davis down the stretch to claim victory in 14:11:06. Davis, 44, of Pittsfield, Mass., followed two minutes later to earn the runner-up position in 14:13:25, adding a second-place finish to her Manitou’s resume to go alongside victories in 2016, 2017 and 2018. The race was just the latest in a busy year for Davis. She made her 100-mile debut in early May at the Riverlands 100 in Maine where she finished first, followed by a seventh-place finish at the Cayuga Trails 50-miler three weeks later. She will race her second 100-miler in October at the Midstate Massive Ultra-Trail.

Lisa Rising, 30, of Cambridge, Mass., rounded out the women’s podium with a third-place finish in 15:08:09 in her Manitou’s Revenge debut. Rising is building up to the Fat Dog 120 in British Columbia in August, followed by the Tenaway Country 100-miler in Washington State in September.

Other Massachusetts residents who finished the race included Russ Dresher, 39, of Berlin who placed 19th overall in 14:44:47; Jason Gray, 41, of Northbridge who finished 20th overall in 14:45:19; Jesse Veinotte, 40, of Hubbardston who was 28th overall in 15:20:38; Kristen Smith, 35, and William Jackson, 39, both of Danvers, who tied for 53rd in 18:24:45; and David Hollenbaugh, 52, of Boston who finished 63rd overall in 19:45:30. Of the 95 runners who started the race, 75 finished within the 24-hour time limit.

Forbidden Forest

Brutal heat and humidity made for unforgiving conditions at the fourth annual Forbidden Forest 30-hour ultra on June 26-27 at the Roosevelt Forest in Stratford, Conn. In fact, if not for the weather, the event is typically known for seeing runners produce personal-bests for distance or time thanks to a runner-friendly 2.23-mile loop course on rolling hills and mildly technical terrain.

Not all runners were ravaged by the weather, as evidenced by 39-year-old Daniel Wiszniewski of Middle Village, N.Y. Wiszniewski handled the heat just fine, leading all runners and setting a new men’s course record with 124.88 miles completed within the time limit.

Wiszniewski  was followed by Ed Ettinghausen, 58, of Murrieta, Calif., and Thaddeus Nelson, 38, of Ronkonkoma, N.Y., who ran 113.73 miles apiece. Gary Shaw, 36, of Half Way, Mo., finished fourth overall with 109.27 miles, and Joseph Nuara, 34, of Stratford, Conn., was fifth with 104.81 miles.

The top 11 overall finishers surpassed the 100-mile mark, including top women finishers Elise Vaughn, 46, of Wolcott, Conn., who tied the course record with 102.58 miles, and runner-up Clorice Reinhardt, 26, of New Haven, Conn., who completed 100.35 miles.

Dane LeBlanc, 63, of Littleton, Mass., was the top Massachusetts performer. LeBlanc completed 91.43 miles and placed 15th overall out of 74 runners. Bay State residents Thomas Reilly, 28, of Boston (89.20 miles) and Brian Barrett, 22, of Boxford (84.74 miles) were the next two finishers. Karen Giroux, 55, of Salem was the top-performing Massachusetts woman with 75.82 miles, followed by Melissa Arnold, 39, of Framingham with 53.52 miles.

Fifty-three runners surpassed the 50-mile mark within the 30-hour time limit, and 71 surpassed the marathon distance.

Catamount 50K

After a year off due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Catamount 50K returned on June 26-27 in Stowe, Vt. Nearly 200 runners toed the starting line to take on two loops of hard-packed dirt trails through the forests around the Trapp Family Lodge, and the race finished with some spirited competition in the final miles.

Six minutes separated the first three overall finishers, but just 16 seconds separated the top two. Eric LiPuma, 28, of Richmond, Vt., held off 35-year-old Justin Scheid of Succasunna, N.J., in the final meters to claim victory in 3:43:02. Scheid followed closely in 3:43:18. Both men broke the previous course record. Brett Mastrangelo, 29, of Chester, Vt., rounded out the men’s podium in 3:49:54. He was followed by a trio of Massachusetts men: Jeffrey Seelaus, 27, of Boston (3:52:04); Alec Wright, 26, of Boston (4:09:27); and Brent Kocis, 31, of Medford (4:29:57).

In the women’s field, Madaileine Kingsbury, 39, of Waterbury, Vt., took top honors in 4:57:18, followed 65 seconds later by runner-up Blaire Byg, 29, of Providence, R.I., in 4:58:23. Joanna Fortier, 31, and Aliza Lapierre, 39, both of of Richmond, Vt., rounded out the women’s podium in a tie for third in 4:59:19. Laura Ricci, 37, of Boston, Mass., was the fifth-place woman in 5:08:35.

Of the 198 runners who started the race, 168 finished within 9 ½ hours.

Black Hills 100

With ultramarathon racing on hold in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, David Burnett spent the year putting his legs to work on his local trails and in the nearby mountains. Now with racing back open, Burnett has made the most of it. The 28-year-old resident of Cambridge, Mass., kicked off his season in May at the Pineland Farms 50-miler in Maine where he finished third among the men’s field. That race served as a tune-up for a much bigger goal: the Black Hills 100.

Burnett traveled to Sturgis, S.D., and took part in the 10th running of the Black Hills 100-miler on June 25-26. The out-and-back course journeyed from the Sturgis City Park out to Silver City and back, amassing nearly 17,000 feet of climbing on the mostly singletrack trails and logging roads. Burnett was up for the challenge, and he successfully completed the race in 28:11:56, placing 21st overall.

Burnett was the only New England resident among the 80 finishers of the 100-mile race within the 34-hour time limit. Cory Logsdon, 33, of Omaha, Neb., earned the victory in 21:18:25, followed by 45-year-old John Andersen of Crozet, Va., and 36-year-old Chris Roberts of Kirkwood, Mo., who tied for second in 21:50:38.

The event’s 50-mile race took place on the back half of the 100-mile course from Silver City back to Sturgis, and two Connecticut men were among the finishers. Matthew Burnett, 29, of West Hartford, finished 27th overall in 11:53:27, for his second ultramarathon finish. Burnett’s ultra debut came a month earlier at the Pineland Farms 50K in Maine. Additionally, 29-year-old Michael Rodia of Wallingford secured his first ultra finish at the Black Hills 50-miler in 14:34:47. Ninety-two runners finished the 50-miler within the 15-hour time limit, led by 35-year-old Chris Rubesch of Duluth, Minn., in 8:37:38.

Strawberry Fields Forever

The COVID-19 pandemic has worked well for Frank Judge’s ultrarunning pursuits. Judge, 51, of Norwell, Mass., ran his first ultra in 2014 at the 24-Hours Around the Lake ultra’s 12-hour event. Since then, he has gained experience and completed several more ultras.

Judge made the jump to the 100-mile distance during the pandemic, and he earned his third 100-mile finish of the past 12 months when he took part in the 100-miler at the Strawberry Fields Forever Ultras on June 26-27 in North Bonneville, Wash.

Judge and his fellow runners took on a 10K loop course in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. They needed to complete 16 loops for a 100-mile finish. Judge was one of seven runners to successfully do so. He finished sixth in 29:19:56. Riva Muehlbauer, 40 of Underwood, Wash., won the race in 19:37:24. The event also included 100K and 50K ultras, though neither of those distances included any New England residents among the finishers.

Six Days in the Dome

Nick Scachetti has made multiple attempts at running 100 miles, but he finally achieved that personal milestone on a big stage at the annual Six Days in the Dome track races from June 18-26 at the Pettit National Ice Center in Milwaukee, Wisc. The event offers runners six-day, 48-hour, and two 24-hour race options in the indoor, climate-controlled track.

Scachetti, 38, of Medford, Mass., entered the Friday 24-hour race and finished fifth out of 13 runners, completing 100.02 miles. Tor Gudmundsen, 57, of Helena, Mont., won the race with 124.54 miles completed. Another New England resident, 37-year-old Teague Eweagey of Burlington, Vt., completed 51.8 miles.

The 24-hour Saturday race also featured a Massachusetts resident. Norton’s Padraig Mullins, 39, finished seventh out of 26 runners with 106.63 miles. Alex Ramsey, 35, of Sagamore Hills, Ohio, won the race with 129.5 miles.

No New England residents took part in either the six-day race or the 48-hour event.

*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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