The Eastern States 100 and Anchor Down Ultra were just two of the hundreds of ultramarathons nationwide that were forced to cancel in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, only to make strong returns in 2021. Both events welcomed back runners – including several New England residents – during the Aug. 13-14 weekend, and both saw runners from the region bring home impressive victories. Those races, as well as the 6-Hours on Lover’s Lane Ultra in Vermont, are featured in this week’s roundup.
Eastern States 100
The Eastern States 100 returned from a one-year, COVID-19-induced hiatus on Aug. 13-14 in Waterville, Pa., and that return saw some strong performances from New England ultrarunners – including a new women’s course record.
Eighty-three runners successfully finished the 103.1-mile course and its 20,000 feet of climbing within the 36-hour time limit, with a pair of New Englanders taking home the victories. Ben Quatromoni, 33, of Newport, R.I., led all runners in 22:31:28. It was just the latest in a string of strong performances for Quatromoni since his ultra debut at the Midstate Massive Ultra-Trail 50-miler in 2020, which he won. Since then, he has logged victories at the Algonquin 50K in Maryland in February, followed by a win at the 666 Trail Race in Rhode Island in June. He will race again in October at the Runamuck 50K in Vermont.
Joining Quatromoni at the top of the podium was race runner-up and women’s champion Nicole Yokum, 38. The Vermont resident completed her sweep of grueling Pennsylvania ultras, building upon wins at the Hyner 50K and Worlds End 100K by setting a new women’s course record at Eastern States in 24:34:14. Yokum knocked 14 minutes off of the previous record set by Kathleen Cusick in 2014.
Fresh off of his victory at the CUT 112-mile race across Connecticut, 52-year-old Howie Breinan of Manchester, Conn., finished 11th overall in 27:49:16. Soon after, 32-year-old Keith Nadeau of Fairhaven, Mass., followed in 13th place in 28:35:57. For Nadeau, it was his third 100-mile finish, building upon his third-place finish at the 2020 Midstate Massive Ultra-Trail and the Infinitus 100-miler in Vermont in May. Nadeau will return to Midstate Massive in October.
Shaun Daylor, 42, of Lakeville, Mass., was the final New England resident to break the 30-hour mark. The recent winner of the 888K race at Infinitus finished 17th overall in 29:16:38.
Other New England residents who finished included three-time Eastern States finisher Charlotte Dequeker, 48, of Greenwich, Conn., in 31:56:19; John David Toscano, 53, of Salem, N.H., in 33:06:00; Dani Rai, 39, of Dorchester, Mass., in 35:16:53; and Peeter Muursepp, 51, of Richfield, Conn., in 35:24:01.
Anchor Down Ultra
After a year off due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Anchor Down Ultra returned for another offering of 24-hour, 12-hour, and 6-hour races on a fast, mostly flat loop course on Aug. 13-14 at Colt State Park in Bristol, R.I. For Christopher Cappellini, that meant making up for lost time.
Cappellini, 55, of Norton, Mass., was victorious in the 24-hour race in four previous appearances. He added a fifth title this year by logging 112.70 miles within the time limit, about five miles ahead of his closest competitor.
Cappellini led a group of five runners who completed 100 miles or more. Race runner-up Paul Chekal, 50, of Lynnfield, Mass., built upon his third-place finish at the 2019 race and logged his fourth 100+-mile performance at the event, finishing with 107.80 miles. The trio of Mark Blakeley, 57, of Norton, Mass., 44-year-old Michael Obara of North Kingstown, R.I., and 43-year-old Murat Koksel of Chatham, N.J., all completed 100.45 miles apiece, rounding out the overall top five.
Kathy Jacques, 56, of Taunton, Mass., led the women’s field with 90.65 miles, a personal record for distance completed. Bob Ayers, 61, of Colchester, Vt., joined Jacques in completing that mileage total.
Ten more runners surpassed the 70-mile mark, including 38-year-old Benjamin Simanski of Greenfield, Mass. (80.85 miles); Hanna Littlefield, 30, of Taunton, Mass. (75.95 miles); John Brown, 63, of Northbridge, Mass. (71.05 miles); Tina Ryan, 48, of West Roxbury, Mass. (71.05 miles); and Brendan Chambers, 43, of Taunton, Mass. (71.05 miles).
Of the 87 runners who took part in the 24-hour race, 76 ran at least a 50K, 50 surpassed 50 miles, and 32 surpassed 60 miles.
In the 12-hour race, 26 of the 33 participants ran a 50K or farther and 16 surpassed the 40-mile mark. Joseph Baldasare, 34, of Point Pleasant, N.J., outdistanced the field by nearly 10 miles, posting a winning total of 66.15 miles. Jon Lawson, 49, of Portsmouth, R.I., followed with 56.35 miles, while third overall finisher and top female Kali Fatti, 36, of Syracuse, N.Y., completed 53.90 miles. Chris Merrill, 48, of Woodbridge, Conn., also completed 53.90 miles, followed by fifth overall finisher Nicholas Coggeshall, 40, of Hope Valley, R.I., with 51.45 miles. Three Massachusetts residents were among those who surpassed 40 miles, with Northbridge’s Henning Smith, 46, logging 49 miles; Lakeville’s Jeffrey Wohlen, 41, finishing 44.10 miles; and Dartmouth’s Cindy Tjersland, 54, finishing 44.10 miles. Tjersland secured a spot on the women’s podium for her effort, placing third in the field and 10th overall.
In the 6-hour race, five of the 58 participants completed a 50K or more in total mileage. Carter Kikkelsen, 19, led all runners with 36.75 miles, followed by Ericka Coutts, 43, of West Roxbury, Mass., who led the women’s field and finished second overall with 34.30 miles.
6 Hours on Lover’s Lane
Runners gathered at the Chester Municipal Pool on Saturday, Aug. 14, in Chester, Vt., to take part in 6 Hours on Lover’s Lane, a six-hour trail-running fundraiser for the Chester Recreation Department and Turning Point Recovery Center.
Runners had 6 hours to complete the 2-mile loop course as many times as possible. The loop consisted of an even mix of singletrack and doubletrack trails as well as jeep roads through the woods, amassing more than 300 feet of vertical gain per loop.
Of the 48 runners who took part, 11 ran beyond the marathon distance with 37-year-old Keith Bourassa of Keene, N.H., topping the men’s field with 38 miles and 54-year-old April Farnham of Plainfield, Vt., leading the women’s field with 32 miles. Matthew Caldwell, 33, of Northfield, Vt., joined Farnham by completing 32 miles, too, while another six runners amassed 30 miles within the time limit. A trio of Massachusetts residents also took part, with 37-year-old Chrissy Semler of Bridgewater logging 26 miles, 55-year-old Matthew Paulsen of Easthampton finishing 24 miles, and 43-year-old Matthew Hoadley of Scituate completing 18 miles.
*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.