Mid-September presented the busiest weekend of ultramarathon racing this year, with dozens of runners from Massachusetts and greater New England branching out beyond the Bay State to race throughout the country. This first of two roundups aims to recap results from the Sept. 10-12 weekend, with the top highlight coming from Cambridge resident Simon Guerard who successfully completed the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning with his finish at the Wasatch Front 100.
Wasatch Front 100
Simon Guerard is the overall champion of the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning for 2021. Guerard, 35, of Cambridge, Mass., successfully finished all four races in the series this year, culminating with a 27th-place overall finish at the Wasatch Front 100-miler on Sept. 10-11 in Kaysville, Utah. Guerard finished Wasatch in 28:30:31.
Guerard started his Grand Slam effort by finishing the Old Dominion 100 in Virginia in June, followed three weeks later by the Burning River 100 in Ohio. Burning River took the place of the Vermont 100, which was canceled for the second year in a row due to the COVID-19 pandemic. After that, he finished the Leadville Trail 100 in Colorado, and then completed the slam at Wasatch.
Guerard was one of 18 runners to attempt the Grand Slam this year, and one of just 10 to finish it. His cumulative time of 99 hours, 30 minutes, and 15 seconds was faster than any other runner by around 35 minutes.
Grand Slam awards are presented following the finish of the Wasatch 100, though they aren’t the only awards presented at the race. Finisher’s belt buckles for Wasatch itself are also awarded – and 165 runners finished the race. Cody Priest, 33, of Anchorage, Alaska, led the men’s field in 21:24:05 and Rebecca Rick, 35, of Salt Lake City, Utah, was the top woman in 26:09:54. Guerard was one of three New England residents to finish the race. Austin Black, 30, of Intervale, N.H., finished 30th overall in 28:52:23, while 41-year-old Luke Robbins of Jeffersonville, Vt., placed 81st in 32:40:52.
Wilson Ray is primed for the upcoming Midstate Massive Ultra-Trail 100-miler. Ray, 25, of Boston, Mass., delivered a dynamite performance in his final tune-up race by winning the Temptation 50K on Saturday, Sept. 11, in Forest City, Ill.
Ray cruised to victory in 4:51:41, outdistancing his closest competitor by nearly 30 minutes. Fifteen runners finished the race, which was part of the Temptation 200s Endurance Festival that also offered 100K, 150K and 200K distances. No other New England residents took part at any distance.
It started as a 12K in 2018, but in 2019 the Macedonia Trail Race grew to include not just a 25K but also a 50K trail ultramarathon. The ultra was a success in its first year, and it remained so in 2020 when the small, intimate race was able to happen again in-person despite the COVID-19 pandemic. The race returned yet again in 2021 – this time on Sunday, Sept. 12 – and 11 runners successfully conquered the 50k course in the Litchfield Hills of Macedonia Brook State Park in Kent, Conn.
The three-loop course included three trips to the top of Cobble Mountain and more than 7,000 feet of vertical gain while racing on plenty of technical singletrack trails that are part of Connecticut’s Blue-Blazed Hiking Trails system.
Terence Li, 38, of Larchmont, N.Y., topped the men’s field in 6:44:28, followed by Marc Kelly, 44, of New Britain, Conn., in 7:07:28 and Tom Starodaj, 34, of New Britain, Conn., two seconds later in 7:07:30. Teal Reeves, 40, of Ballston Spa, N.Y., led the women’s field in 7:46:02. Chris Coughlin, 33, of Paxton, Mass., was the lone Bay State finisher, completing the course in 8:58:36 for a final tune-up long run before the Midstate Massive Ultra-Trail 50-miler.
Ari Ofsevit has enjoyed his share of ultrarunning success in Minnesota. Ofsevit, 37, of Charlestown, Mass., has twice raced the Minnesota Voyageur 50-miler, finishing 48th in 2017 before surging to a 16th-place finish in 2018. Those races helped him grow as an ultrarunner, ultimately improving and earning a top-five finish at the 2020 Midstate Massive Ultra-Trail 100-miler.
Ofsevit returned to Minnesota on Sept. 10-11 to take on his second 100-miler, the Superior 100, in Lusten, Minn. It’s the 10th-oldest 100-miler in the United States. Racing on a 103.3-mile point-to-point course with more than 21,000 feet of elevation gain, Ofsevit was up to the challenge and raced among the top 10 percent of the field throughout the day. He ultimately placed 12th overall and 11th among the men in 27:57:47. Fellow Massachusetts resident Harry Mattison, 48, of Allson, finished 99th in 35:51:55.
Thomas Carr, 29, of Maplewood, Minn., topped the men’s field in 21:09:31, followed by 45-year-old Harvey Lewis of Cincinnati, Ohio, in 22:22:44. Katie Kubont, 37, of Marquette, Minn., led the women’s field in 27:14:10, followed by 39-year-old Mindy Coolman of Omaha, Neb., in 29:31:34. Runners had 38 hours to finish the race, and 124 did so.
Shawangunk Ridge Trail Run
The rugged and remote Shawangunk Ridge Trail Run returned for its sixth running on Saturday, Sept. 11, with 70-mile and 30-mile point-to-point races along the rocky Shawangunk Mountains. The 70-mile race traveled from High Point State Park in New Jersey to Rosendale, N.Y., while the 30-miler began at Sam’s Point Preserve in Cragsmoor, N.Y., before heading onward to Rosendale.
Twenty-one runners attempted the 70-miler, and a Massachusetts resident led the pack of 15 who ultimately finished. Russ Dresher, 39, of Berlin, Mass., had a big day on the challenging course and he took home the overall win by nearly three hours with a time of 16:22:52. Dresher’s performance established a new course record by six minutes. His closest competitor was first-place female Katlin Rhodes, 31, of Middle Grove, N.Y., who set a new women’s course record with her time of 19:12:03. Other finishers from New England included Alex Markle, 40, of Burlington, Mass., who placed 10th overall in 26:12:50, and Carin Zinter, 48, of Sunderland, Mass., who finished in 28:27:40.
Just like in the 70-mile race, a Massachusetts resident set a course record in the 30-mile race. Kate Mingle, 29, of Cambridge, Mass., finished third overall and first in the women’s field in 6:03:46, breaking the women’s course record by about 48 minutes. Women’s runner-up Audrey Gibson, 28, of Brooklyn, N.Y., also went under the old record, finishing in 6:25:27. Ian Shultis, 29, of Poughkeepsie, N.Y., topped the men’s field and ran the second-fastest time in course history, finishing in 4:33:26.
Several other New England residents joined Mingle in finishing the 30-miler. They included Mabeline Velez, 29, of Springfield, Mass. (17th, 7:19:17); Sara Fitzgerald, 41, of Keene, N.H. (24th, 7:52:40); Anthony D’Eramo, 32, of Newport, R.I. (27th, 8:11:43); Gretchen Carlson, 55, and Andrew Carlson, 55, both of Branford, Conn. (38th and 39th, 8:45:42 and 8:45:43); Jonathan Weinberger, 47, of Greenwich, Conn. (60th, 10:36:15); Su Mittra, 44, of Medford, Mass. (63rd, 10:42:20); and Kevin Daley, 57, of East Hampton, Conn. (68th, 11:10:15).
Sixty-nine runners successfully finished the second annual Megunticook 50K on Saturday, Sept. 11, in Camden, Maine. After racing on a rugged and scenic course that wound through Camden Hills State Park, ascended 1,385-foot Mount Megunticook, and amassed more than 7,600 feet of vertical gain on singletrack and doubletrack trails, a near-photo finish unfolded between Kyle Krueger, 28, of Lola, Utah, and Eric Mauricette, 30, of Baileyville, Maine. Krueger had just enough in the tank to hold off Mauricette, winning in 5:30:22 to Mauricette’s 5:30:39. Shaun Smith, 38, of Hesperus, Colo, rounded out the men’s podium in 5:56:00, followed closely by 30-year-old Kevin MacDonald of Revere, Mass., in 5:59:07. Ethan Niederer, 39, of Portland, Maine, rounded out the top five in 6:12:40.
Leading the way in the women’s field was Carrie McCusker, 52, of Cape Elizabeth, Maine, who won in 6:56:31. She was joined on the podium by Amy Dowley, 35, of Belmont, Maine, and Mary McGivney, 34, of Newry, Maine, who finished in 7:06:56 and 7:12:12, respectively.
The top 15 runners finished in less than seven hours and the top 38 all finished in less than eight hours.
*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.