MassUltra Roundup: White Lake Ultras, WausaUltra Backyard, and C&O Canal

It was a record-setting weekend for ultrarunners in New Hampshire as five of the six course records fell at the fourth edition of the White Lake Ultras. In addition to that increasingly popular event, a few runners from the region traveled elsewhere to race. That included a few 100-mile finishers on the C&O Canal, as well as Winchester resident Tom Flummerfelt’s first foray into Backyard Ultra racing in Wisconsin. Those events are featured in this edition of the roundup.

White Lake Ultras

A record-setting weekend unfolded at the ultrarunning party by the lake, also known as the White Lake Ultras, on Saturday, April 30, at White Lake State Park in Tamworth, N.H. The fourth edition of the event saw a large turnout of runners to take on the mildly technical three-mile singletrack course around White Lake for 24-, 12- and 6-hour time-based races. Nearly every course record fell during the course of the weekend.

Twenty-nine runners took part in the 24-hour race, and 18 of them surpassed the 50-mile mark. That included record-smashing efforts by the top two overall performers, men’s and women’s champions Brian Hall and Kristen Michaud. 

Hall, 44, of De Forest, Wisc., led all runners with 120 miles and eclipsed the previous men’s course record by 15 miles. He was followed by Michaud, the overall runner-up and first-place female. Michaud, 29, of Portland, Maine, completed 93 miles and surpassed the previous women’s course record by nine miles. Kevin MacDonald, 30, of Revere, Mass., matched Michaud’s mileage total and finished third overall. A trio of New Hampshire residents – Tod Nappi, 37, of Jackson; Steven Blase, 43, of Barrington; and Matthew LeBlanc, 36, of Somersworth – each logged 90 miles, followed by Robert Aftosmes-Tobio, 36, of Sharon, Mass., with 87 miles. Janel Goodman, 49, of Scarborough, Maine, was the women’s runner-up with 69 miles, followed by Olivia Letendre, 24, of Pelham, N.H., with 57 miles.

In the 6-hour race, new men’s and women’s records also were established. Thirty-two runners took part in that time offering, with 20 surpassing the marathon distance. Keith Nadeau, 32, of Fairhaven, Mass., easily outdistanced the field with a winning tally of 48 miles and broke the course record by six miles. Jeff Brooks, 52, of Colebrook, N.H., followed with 39 miles, as did women’s champion Julia Pringle, 32, of Winooski, Vt., who surpassed the previous women’s course record by three miles. Allison Sullivan, 36, of Bartlett, N.H., was the women’s runner-up with 36 miles. Jason Geroux, 37, and Meaghan Geroux, 31, both of Orrington, Maine, were the men’s and women’s runners-up with 33 miles apiece. A notable performance in the six-hour race came from 13-year-old Cassidy McBee of Salem, Mass., who finished 30 miles for her first ultramarathon.

The only event that didn’t see both men’s and women’s records fall was the 12-hour race. The men’s mark was eclipsed by Jason Hart, 43, of Rye, N.H., who set a new mark with 63 miles. Runner-up Michael Fenzel, 46, of Norwich, Vt., also surpassed the old mark of 54 miles with his 60-mile performance. Benjamin Manning, 30, of Palmer, Mass., was third among the men with 45 miles. The women’s record of 53.2 miles by Elizabeth Shell in 2019 survived, though, as Kimberly Fischer, 34, of Portland, Maine, topped this year’s field with 48 miles, followed by Amanda Archard, 39, of Falmouth, Maine, with 42 miles, and Tammy Volock, 48, of Portland, Maine, with 33 miles.

WausaUltra Backyard Ultra

Tom Flummerfelt has taken on plenty of grueling ultramarathons through the years, including the Bigfoot and Tahoe 200-milers and the 330K Tor des Geants in Italy, among others. What Flummerfelt had yet to do was race a Backyard Ultra.

That changed on Saturday, April 29, when the 47-year-old resident of Winchester, Mass., traveled to Wausau, Wisc., to take part in the WausaUltra Backyard Ultra. Winchester and 35 other runners took on a 4.167-mile loop course through Sylvan Park with 516 feet of gain. In typical Backyard Ultra fashion they had one hour to finish the loop and return to the starting line to go again.

Only four runners lasted more than 20 hours, and Flummerfelt was among them. He stopped after 24 hours and 100 miles, leaving the final three runners to continue. Wyatt Massey, 28, of Chattanooga, Tenn., emerged victorious with 125 miles and 30 loops completed.

C&O Canal 100

Five New England ultrarunners were among the 92 finishers of the ninth edition of the C&O Canal 100-miler on Saturday, April 30, in Knoxville, Md. Runners took on two 30-mile loops and one 40-mile loop on the C&O Canal towpath, covering the route between Antietam and Brunswick, Md., while racing on flat dirt and crushed gravel with non-technical footing for the duration. The course offered the opportunity for fast times, and the men’s and women’s winners took advantage. Brian Zickefoose, 40, of Denver, N.C., logged the fourth-fastest men’s time ever with his win in 15:23:38. Meanwhile, the second- and third-fastest women’s times in course history were turned in by champion Jasmine Chiaramonte, 46, of Meadowbrook, Pa., and Lauren Cramer, 37, of Hagerstown, Md., who finished in 17:38:18 and 17:57:27, respectively.

Among the New England contingent, a first-time 100-miler was the fastest performer, with Ray Weaver, 52, of Dedham, Mass., finishing 42nd overall in 25:34:09. Amado Casuga, 48, of Hamden, Conn., followed in 47th place overall. Casuga’s time of 25:45:55 was a 41-minute improvement over his 2021 race. Rounding out the local contingent were 100-mile veterans Jeffrey Taylor, 61, of Greenland, N.H., George Alexion, 62, of Waterboro, Maine, and Suzanne Marchesano, 57, of Greenland, N.H. Taylor finished in 27:30:38, Alexion in 27:44:54, and Marchesano in 28:32:42.

*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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