MassUltra Roundup: Enchanted Forest and Lake Waramaug

The return of the Trail Animals Running Club’s TARC Spring Classic meant more than 200 trail- and ultra-runners flocked to Weston, Mass., during the April 23-24 weekend to race, but several runners ventured to other places to race, too. That included two popular Connecticut races – the Enchanted Forest Ultra and the Jack Bristol Lake Waramaug Ultras. Those regional races highlight this edition of the roundup.

Enchanted Forest

Course records didn’t fall, but Melissa De Fabrizio sure came close at the sixth annual Enchanted Forest 6-Hour Ultra on Saturday, April 23, in Stratford, Conn. A year after De Fabrizio set the women’s course record by completing 16 loops of the 2.3-mile course through the Roosevelt Forest and amassing 36.8 miles, the 34-year-old Stratford resident tied her course record and repeated as the women’s champion at this year’s race. A year ago she finished fourth overall, and this year she moved up to second overall. Tyler Pineau, 21, of Shelton, Mass., matched De Fabrizio for total mileage but finished a little bit faster to take home the overall victory.

Michael Portanova, 42, of Burlington, Conn., and Eric Ciocca, 44, of Northampton, Mass., joined Pineau on the men’s podium with 36.8 and 34.5 miles, respectively. Mark McCue, 44, of Bloomington, Ind., and Gregory Pendergast, 29, of Boston, Mass., also finished 34.5 miles.

Kate Shumeyko, 45, of Pompton Plains, N.J., was the women’s runner-up with 34.5 miles, followed by 37-year-old Jennifer Boshco of Billerica, Mass., with 32.2 miles.

Of the 63 runners who took part in the event, 31 surpassed marathon mileage; the top 14 broke the 30-mile mark. Included among the 30+ group were Donovan Lee, 50, of Avon, Conn. (34.5 miles); Henning Smith, 46, of Northbridge, Mass. (32.2 miles); Daniel Silverman, 24, of Lynn, Mass. (32.2 miles); James Elia, 22, of North Branford, Conn. (32.2 miles); Meghan Moscarelli, 24, of Milford, Conn. (32.2 miles); and Katie Flament, 36, of Bridgeport, Conn. (32.2 miles).

Jack Bristol Lake Waramaug Ultras

Few ultras in New England are as legendary as the Jack Bristol Lake Waramaug Ultras. The event dates back to 1974, and it remains the oldest 100K in the United States. Following a two-year hiatus when organizers were unable to obtain a permit due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event returned for its 47th running and 49th year on Sunday, April 24, at Lake Waramaug State Park in New Preston, Conn.

Runners took on 100K, 50-mile and 50K distances on a 7.6-mile course consisting of rolling, paved roads around the lake. No course records fell – a rarity at the event that once saw world records established, raising a mighty high bar during the late 70s and early 80s that has largely withstood the test of time.

Twelve runners took part in the 100K race and 10 finished within 13 hours. Aaron Heath, 47, of Chappaqua, N.Y., led the men’s field in 8:46:55 while Rebecca Burke, 46, of Portland, Conn., led the women in 11:33:14.

Another 23 runners finished the 50-mile race within 12 1/2 hours, with Nicholas Mamrak, 25, of Suffern, N.Y., and Melissa Perkins-Banas, 51, of Brooklyn, N.Y., leading the men and women and pacing first and second overall in 5:41:34 and 8:00:27, respectively. Ryan Powers, 40, of Fairhaven, Mass., finished second among the men in 8:57:17, followed by Dan Zimerman, 56, of Montclair, N.J., in 9:21:52. Alison Hudson, 35, of Bar Harbor, Maine, was the women’s runner-up in 9:00:21, followed by Kari Sudfeld, 34, of Malta, N.Y., in 9:26:50.

Additionally, 42 runners finished the 50K race. Notably, the top five men all finished sub-5, led by Mark Finnerty, 41, of Queens, N.Y., in 4:21:01 after he fended off a fierce challenge from 35-year-old Mark Weber of Cambridge, Mass., who was the runner-up a minute later in 4:22:01. Eric Dyner, 46, of Scarsdale, N.Y., rounded out the closely-packed podium in 4:23:59. Both Aaron Thompson, 39, of Concord, N.H. (4:34:47) and Nicholas Fleming, 29, of Milford, Conn. (4:59:37) also broke the five-hour mark.

Just like the men’s race, the women’s 50K saw a tight battle to the end. Kim Hooper-Stanley, 60, of Bethel, Conn., took home the victory in 5:05:21, followed a few minutes later by Tracy Zagata, 49, of Southington, Conn., in 5:11:26. Bianca Pourmussa, 21, of Los Angeles, Calif., rounded out the women’s podium in 5:32:16.

*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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