From ultramarathon debut performances to returning to the sport after time away, the Feb. 19-20 weekend saw Massachusetts ultrarunners turn in some memorable performances at races around the country. From West Virginia to Florida and Kansas, we have them covered in this edition of the roundup.
Cabin Fever 50K
Moses Greenspan delivered a memorable performance at his first trail ultramarathon.
Greenspan, 24, of Becket, Mass., found a challenging and scenic course for his first ultra when he chose to run the inaugural Cabin Fever 50K on Saturday, Feb. 19, at New River Gorge National Park in West Virginia.
The race used a point-to-point course that started in downtown Fayetteville, W.V., and traversed the national park south to ACE Adventure Resort, covering singletrack dirt, riverside trails and technical high ridgeline trails that rewarded runners with panoramic views. Runners had 10 hours to finish, and 197 did so. The top 14 finishers completed the race in less than 5 hours, and Greenspan was among them. Greenspan placed 12th overall in a speedy 4:50:55. Alex Minor, 24, of Huntington, W.V., earned the victory by a 20-minute margin in 3:43:12.
Whispering Pines 12-Hour
Fresh off of a busy ultramarathon racing season in 2021 where she completed several time-based events and a few distance-specific ultras, Barbara Graf has another jam-packed 2022 calendar ahead of her.
Graf, 62, of Leeds, Mass., will race the Pistol 50-miler in Tennessee in March, the Beyond Limits Ultra 48-Hour race in California in April, as well as the 24-Hour race at the Hainesport Endurance Run in New Jersey in September. She kicked off her season on Sunday, Feb. 20, at the ninth running of the Whispering Pines 12-Hour Ultra in Inverness, Fla. More than 150 runners took part in the race, and 61 logged at least 30 miles. Graf tied for third among the women’s field with 45 miles completed.
Nels Matson, 39, and Justin Davis, 33, both of Bradenton, Fla., led all runners with 65 miles. Three runners completed 60 miles. First-place female Kathleen Shoda, 46, of Satellite Beach, Fla., was one of two runners who finished with 55 miles.
Psycho Wyco Run Toto Run 50K
After nearly a five-year hiatus from running trail ultras, Badia Eskandar returned to racing beyond the marathon when she took part in the Psycho Wyco Run Toto Run 50K on Sunday, Feb. 20, at Wyandotte County Lake Park in Kansas City, Kan.
Racing on snowy and muddy singletrack and rutted-out bridle trails, runners amassed 3,900 feet of climbing by the time they completed the 10.4-mile loop course three times. Fifty runners completed the 50K within the nine-hour time limit. Cody Jones, 37, of Kansas City, Kan., led the men’s field in 4:26:07 while 40-year-old Mindy Coolman of Omaha, Neb., led the women and finished third overall in 5:25:40. Eskandar, 44, of Swampscott, Mass., finished 29th overall and sixth among the women in 7:25:24.
Eskandar’s last ultra was the 2017 Pineland Farms 50K in Maine where she finished 17th in 5:41:08. She previously raced the 50-mile distance at Pineland Farms in 2010, 2012 and 2016 and also has a pair of 50K finishes at the Vermont 50 to her credit. Psycho Wyco was her first ultra outside of New England.
*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.