MassUltra Roundup: Elephant Mountain, Angry Tortoise, Sean O’Brien, and Rocky Raccoon

A one-week postponement of the TARCtic Frozen Yeti meant that the Trail Animals Running Club’s cold-weather event took top billing for most New England ultrarunners who raced during the Feb. 5-6 weekend, but a handful sought warmer climate to race in places like Arizona, California, Florida and Texas. Two of the runners who traveled – Abby Hotaling of Oak Bluffs and Rachel Glazer of Needham – brought victories back home to Massachusetts. Their winning performances lead off this edition of the roundup.

Elephant Mountain

Ally Hotaling made quite the ultrarunning debut.

Hotaling, 25, of Oak Bluffs, Mass., made her first foray into ultra distance running at the 10th annual Elephant Mountain 50-mile and 50K trail ultras on Saturday, Feb. 5, in Cave Creek, Ariz. She opted for the 50K distance, and in doing so made her mark at the well-established event. Hotaling hammered the singletrack Maricopa Trail from Cave Creek Regional Park and Spur Cross Ranch and back, and cruised to a seventh-place overall finish and victory in the women’s field in a speedy 5:07:03. Hotaling’s time was the second-fastest by a woman in course history, trailing only Kristina Pham’s record of 5:02:36 from 2018. Ruairi Moynihan, 32, of Flagstaff, Ariz., took home the overall win in a men’s course-record time of 4:11:59.

Runners had 10 hours to complete the 50K race, and 74 ultimately finished.

Another 34 runners completed the 50-mile race, led by Ryan Behunin, 41, of Flagstaff, Ariz., in 8:18:00 and Genia McKnight, 46, of Bothell, Wash., in 11:05:04. None of the 50-mile finishers were New England residents.

Angry Tortoise 50K

Rachel Glazer’s ultramarathon debut was a victorious one.

Glazer, 49, of Needham, Mass., traveled south to Bryceville, Fla., to take part in the eighth annual Angry Tortoise 50K on Saturday, Feb., 5, at Cary State Forest. Runners tackled two loops of a mostly flat and fast course on forest roads, and Glazer handled it with ease. She finished ninth overall and first in the women’s field in 5:36:38.

Glazer wasn’t the only Massachusetts resident among the finishers. Shrewsbury resident Steve Bracero, 30, also completed the race in 6:31:27. Jonathan Edwards, 33, of Jacksonville, Fla., led the field of 24 finishers by a 30-minute cushion, winning in 4:02:43.

Sean O’Brien 100K/50M

Shawn Talbott is no stranger to racing in the West. Talbott, 54, of Plymouth, Mass., spent many years living in Utah and amassed most of his ultrarunning resume on courses in that region of the country before moving to the Bay State. He kicked off 2022 with a trip back West to Malibu, Calif. To take part in the eighth running of the Sean O’Brien 100K on Saturday, Feb. 5. 

Runners had 17 hours to complete the course, and Talbott got it done in 15:27:18, placing 52nd overall. Jesse Haynes, 49, of Coto De Caza, Calif., earned the overall victory in 9:30:02, four minutes ahead of runner-up Jeff Browning, 50, of Flagstaff, Ariz. Jaclyn Foroughi, 41, of Truckee, Calif., led the women’s field in 11:47:05.

In the event’s 50-mile race, 38-year-old David Huang of Cambridge, Mass., finished 32nd out of 56 runners in 11:42:01. It was Huang’s second time completing the race, and a big course PR for him. He previously completed the 2020 event in 13:16:25. Jake Vail, 34, of Santa Barbara, Calif., won the men’s race at this year’s 50-miler in 9:00:56 and 40-year-old Cynthia Chiu of Aliso Viejo, Calif., led the women’s field in 9:30:02.

Rocky Raccoon 100

Since breaking into the ultrarunning scene in 2019 at the Cape Cod Trail Race 50K, Ryan Carroll has had his eyes on running 100 miles. Eighteen months after his first ultra, Carroll successfully completed his first 100 at the 2020 Midstate Massive Ultra-Trail. On Feb. 5-6, the 44-year-old resident of Plymouth, Mass., earned his second 100-mile finish when he completed the Rocky Raccoon 100 in Huntsville, Texas.

Rocky Raccoon is one of the sport’s classics, especially for those seeking a first 100-miler or a personal-record time at the distance. Carroll made the most of his opportunity on the five-loop course through Huntsville State Park, navigating the rolling hills through the tall pine forest on his way to a PR by more than five hours.

Of the 197 finishers within the 32-hour time limit, Carroll placed 46th overall in 22:14:02. The top 75 finishers completed the race in less than 24 hours. One other New England resident – 49-year-old Michael Harris of Eliot, Maine – was also among the finishers. Harris placed 83rd overall in 25:24:14.

Robert Landauer, 37, of Wimberley, Texas, earned the overall win in the 100-miler in 14:40:04, well ahead of runner-up Ramon Rosales Jr., of Tomball, Texas, who finished second in 16:05:11. Nicole Laughton, 35, of Edmond, Okla., topped the women’s field and finished sixth overall in 17:47:42.

The event also included a 100K race, but no New England residents were among the finishers.

*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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