November opened with a bang for New England ultrarunners. In addition to the classic Stone Cat Trail Race in Ipswich, Mass., it seemed ultras were taking place throughout the region as well as all across the country. That included a record year at the White Lake Ultras in New Hampshire and the inaugural RUTFest in Vermont, which were popular draws. Additionally, numerous runners from New England took part in a variety of time-based races at the Hamsterwheel Ultras in New Hampshire. Results from that event are not yet posted, but we will include them in a future roundup when available.
White Lake Ultras
The Rockhopper trail races in New Hampshire are just a few years old, but the popularity of their events is growing rapidly. The latest example of the organization’s success came at the third running of the White Lake Ultras on Nov. 6-7 at White Lake State Park in Tamworth, N.H. The event had less than two-dozen finishers of all distances combined at its inaugural running in 2018. This year, 62 runners completed the time-based races of either 24 hours, 12 hours or 6 hours, and course records were set in nearly every category.
The races took place on a 2.4-mile, milely technical trail loop around White Lake, giving runners the opportunity to go light and reach aid and supplies every couple miles. Twenty-eight runners seized that opportunity in the 24-hour race as all but one surpassed the marathon distance. Two runners pushed hard and surpassed 100 miles, with 39-year-old Randy Weld of Nottingham, N.H., leading all runners with 105 miles, followed by 30-year-old Kevin MacDonald of Revere, Mass., with 102 miles. Anthony Gasbarro, 42, of Shelton, Conn., finished 96 miles while 32-year-old Keith Nadeau of Fairhaven, Mass., followed with 93 miles. Rebekah LaMarre, 23, of Ossipee, N.H., won the women’s race with 84 miles, followed by Kristen Michaud, 29, of South Portland, Maine, and Janel Goodman, 48, of Scarborough, Maine, with 78 miles apiece. Both Weld and LaMarre set course records for the 24-hour race.
In the 12-hour race, six runners took part and Jesse Holden, 39, of St. Johnsbury, Vt., set a new course record with 54 miles. Eli Converse, 27, of Cambridge, Mass., was the runner-up with 51 miles, followed by 27-year-old Sam Davis of West Roxbury, Mass., with 48 miles.
The six-hour race also saw new course records set as Erik Benham, 35, of Kennebunk, Maine, led the men with 42 miles and both Effie Drew, 28, of Gray, Maine, and Ryleigh Lorimer, 26, of Northwood, N.H., completed 36 miles.
The Richmond Trail Running Club played host to its inaugural event, the Richmond Ultra Trail Festival — or RUTFest — on Nov. 6-7 in Williston, Vt. Runners had 36 hours to complete two trail loops through the Catamount Outdoor Center as many times as they wanted.
Eighty-four runners took on the challenge, and 52 of them surpassed the marathon distance. Five runners pushed the pace throughout and achieved triple-digit mileage. Will Robinson, 26, of Middlebury, Vt., led all runners with 112 miles, followed by 32-year-old Prem Linskey of Huntington, Vt., and 28-year-old Benjamin Lane of Groveland, Mass., with 105 miles apiece. Fernando Salcido, 49, of Winchester, Mass., also surpassed the 100-mile milestone, completing 102 miles and placing fourth overall. Shelly Audette, 28, of Newport, Vt., led the women’s field and finished fifth overall with 100 miles completed. No other runner completed more than 78 miles.
Nigel Bates has quietly been establishing himself as an up-and-coming force to be reckoned with in the New England ultrarunning scene. Starting with his victory in the 50-miler at the Peak Bloodroot Ultra in May followed by a top-10 finish at the Ragged 50K in New Hampshire in August, the 27-year-old from Waterbury Center, Vt., strung together a few impressive performances.
Bates added another victory to his resume in the 55-mile race at the Batona Trail Races on Saturday, Nov. 6, in Ong’s Hat, N.J. Racing point-to-point through the Pinelands National Reserve on the Batona Trail, Bates pulled away from the competition and won the race by 40 minutes in a time of 7:39:27. Amy Paige, 51, of Ellington, Conn., topped the women’s field in 10:16:54.
Other New England residents who finished the 55-miler included 45-year-old Brian Baynes of Winchester, Mass., who finished 12th overall in 9:57:04; 46-year-old Kevin Davis of Enfield, N.H., who finished 1st in 10:45:57; and 37-year-old Jason Boothroyd of Higganum, Conn., who placed 41st out of 70 finishers in 11:56:30.
An additional 104 runners completed a 33-mile race on the same trail within a 10-hour time limit, led by 23-year-old Matthew Vira of Leadville, Colo., in 3:50:20. Carly Bean, 27, of Hoboken, N.J., was the women’s champion and sixth overall finisher in 4:59:28. Jordan Billingsley, 26, of East Haven, Conn., was the top New England finisher as he placed fourth overall in 4:42:50. Goodwyn Annie Buelt, 19, of New London, Conn., narrowly missed finishing on the women’s podium, placing fourth in the ladies’ field and 15th overall in 5:36:21, just two minutes behind the third-place finisher. Other New England residents who finished the 33-miler were Godwyn Piang Nee, 21, of New London, Conn. (5:38:52) Meghan Moscarelli, 23, of Milford, Conn. (6:21:35); Nikolaos Kalfas, 19, of New London, Conn. (6:32:26); Mary Powers, 60, of Tolland, Conn. (7:14:03); and Miriam Schwartz, 37, of Belmont, Mass. (8:51:11).
Rim to River 100
Three New England ultrarunners were among the finishers of the second annual Rim to River 100-miler on Nov. 6-7 in New River Gorge, W.V. Runners had 32 hours to complete the out-and-back course through New River Gorge National Park, and 142 did so successfully.
The top 31 finishers completed the race in less than 24 hours. Greg Merritt, 32, of Falmouth, Maine, was the lone New England resident to do so, placing 17th overall in 23:04:24. A pair of Huntington, W.V., residents swept the men’s and women’s victories, with 28-year-old Caleb Bowen and 26-year-old Hollyan Swann finishing in 15:37:05 and 19:00:27, respectively.
Other finishers included 21-year-old Luke Wiens of Colrain, Mass., in 27:34:21, and 50-year-old Mirko Andric of Boston, Mass., who crossed the finish line in 31:13:48. For Andric, it was his first ultra since the 2011 12-hour race at 24-Hour Ultra Around the Lake in Wakefield, Mass., when he ran 100K.
Antelope Island 50K
Melissa Gardel made sure her first ultramarathon was a memorable adventure. The 33-year-old resident of Somerville, Mass., traveled out West to Syracuse, Utah, to race a 50K on a scenic island on White Rock Bay when she took part in the 10th annual Antelope Island 50K on Friday, Nov. 5. Gardel and 161 other runners raced a giant loop course — some of which overlaps with the well-known Antelope Island Buffalo Run ultras. Gardel capped her adventure with a successful finish, crossing the line in 7:11:07.
Jacob Grant, 24, of Salt Lake City, Utah, led the men’s field in a course-record time of 3:29:08 while Danielle Snyder, 35, of Portland, Ore., topped the women’s field in 4:35:52.
*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.