The Fourth of July weekend was a light one for ultramarathon runners in New England. There were no local ultras, and just a handful of runners from the region traveled for races further away. In fact, they didn’t even have to travel too far — just to nearby New York for the Finger Lakes 50s and to Pennsylvania for the Hell Hath No Hurry Ultras. Both races make for some light reading in this week’s roundup.
Finger Lakes 50s
With the COVID-19 pandemic on the downswing in the Northeast, the Finger Lakes 50s made their return on Saturday, July 3, in Hector, N.Y. A year after being forced to cancel, runners were once again welcomed back for in-person racing at the Finger Lakes National Forest where they had the option of racing 50-mile or 50K ultramarathon distances.
The event took place on a 16.5-mile trail loop course through the forest and some nearby cattle pastures, amassing around 1,300 feet of climbing per loop. Runners had the option of stopping after two loops for a “heavy” 50K of 33 miles or continuing on for a third loop and a 50-mile finish.
The two-loop 50K race saw a close battle for the overall win unfold between two speedy women who pulled away from the rest of the field. Sarah Briggs and Ellie Pell raced close throughout the day, but it was Briggs, 31, of Montrose, Pa., who ultimately secured the victory in 4:34:59. Pell, 29, of Ithaca, N.Y., finished as the runner-up in 4:45:22, followed by third-place overall finisher and men’s winner Tim Phelps, 30, of Ithaca, N.Y., in 4:51:46. They were the lone runners to finish in less than five hours.
Four New England residents were among the 89 finishers of the 50K race. Kimberly Battipaglia, 49, of New Haven, Conn., and Vincent Framularo, 40, of Trumbull, Conn., finished seconds apart, Battipaglia in 7:20:25 and Framularo in 7:20:27. Jim Diggins, 53, of Norwell, Mass., followed in 7:35:43, an eight-minute improvement on his performance at the 2019 race. Finally, 44-year-old Stephen Edwards of Ledyard, Conn., finished in 8:59:14.
Twenty-one runners finished three loops for 50 miles, including 26-year-old Micah Lynch who was the lone New England resident in the field. Lynch, of Shoreham, Vt., placed ninth overall in 10:19:47. Etan Levavi, 29, of Cold Spring, N.Y., won the race in 7:40:20, holding off 26-year-old Riley Brady of New Hope, Pa., by just 29 seconds.
Hell Hath No Hurry
After closing out a year at Harvard University, Hawaii native and current Massachusetts resident Angelique Kokal kicked off her summer by successfully completing her first ultramarathon. Kokal, 19, traveled to Pittsburgh, Pa., to take part in the Hell Hath No Hurry 50K on Saturday, July 3. Her challenge was to complete five laps around a 10K loop course that consisted of singletrack dirt, hills, and some mud, on the trails within Settler’s Cabin Park. Kokal achieved her goal, placing 12th overall and fourth among the women’s field in 6:51:57. Thirty-one runners finished the race, with Pennsylvania residents Travis Ritenour, 29, and Stacey Falk, 39, topping the men’s and women’s podiums in 5:51:23 and 6:06:07, respectively.
In addition to the 50K race, another nine runners completed eight loops of the course for 50 miles. None of those runners were New England residents.
*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.