MassUltra Roundup: Big A, Riverlands, and Runamuck

Runners at the Big A 50K in Maine enjoyed comfortable temperatures and good trail conditions thanks to the benefit of the calendar – Big A was held on May 7. A week later, those who toed the line at Maine’s only 100-miler, the Riverlands 100, or any other races in the Northeast were far less lucky. Merciless conditions on May 14, from high heat to humidity, took their toll on runners at Riverlands, as well as those at Vermont’s Runamuck 50K. In this edition of the roundup we catch up with those New England events.

Big A 50K

The 11th edition of the Big A 50K took place Saturday, May 7, in York, Maine, and runners were treated to comfortable temperatures and good trail conditions on the multi-loop race up, down, and all around Mt. Agamenticus.

Fifty-six runners successfully completed the race and its 5,800 feet of climbing, with 27-year-old Mead Binhammer of Attleboro, Mass., taking home the overall win in 5:15:00, five minutes ahead of runner-up Dan Pfistner, 31, of Bethel, Maine, who crossed the line in 5:20:00. Finishing third overall and securing her second straight women’s victory was 19-year-old Lila Gaudrault of Cape Elizabeth, Maine. Gaudrault’s time of 5:22:00 was a 32-minute improvement over her 2021 performance and set a new women’s course record.

George Aponte Clarke, 53, of Portland, Maine, rounded out the men’s podium in 5:33:00. Kara Olivito, 39, of Lynn, Mass., was the second-place woman in 6:06:00 and Erin O’Toole, 37, of Biddeford, Maine, followed in 6:25:00.

Riverlands 100

The fifth edition of the Riverlands 100 showed absolutely no mercy on the runners who took on the 100-mile trail ultramarathon on May 14-15 in Turner, Maine.

The singletrack trails of Androscoggin Riverlands State Park presented enough of a challenge on their own, but humidity and temperatures that climbed into the 90s created conditions that were unexpected and unrelenting. The result was plenty of carnage and a high-DNF rate. Of the 66 runners who started the race, just 19 finished within the 32-hour time limit with many of the anticipated top contenders out of the race before the halfway point.

No runners finished in less than 24 hours and just nine finished in less than 30 hours. Notably, four of the top six finishers earned their first 100-mile finishes. Israel Agront, 27, of Attleboro, Mass., was one of those first-time 100-milers. Agront won the race in 24:35:00. Jeff Burmeister, 47, of Nobleboro, Maine, placed second overall in 26:29:30 for his second Riverlands finish. Third-place finisher David Jeffrey, 30, of Portland, Maine, and fourth-place finisher Justin Martino-Harms, 38, of Lincoln, R.I., also were first-time 100-milers, finishing in 27:30:04 and 28:10:40, respectively. Victor Pereira, 43, of Foxboro, Mass., finished fifth overall and completed his fourth 100-miler in 28:49:37. Another first-time 100-mile finisher, 35-year-old Aubri Drake of Southampton, Mass., placed sixth overall in 28:53:25.

Rachel Peck, 29, of South Portland, Maine, was the top finisher in the women’s field, placing 13th overall in 31:21:45. Charlotte Clews, 47, of Blue Hill, Maine, was the second-place woman and final finisher in 31:58:08, less than two minutes under the course cutoff.

Shortly before Clews finished, 39-year-old Jesse Beaudoin of Monson, Mass., finished in 31:32:47. It was Beaudoin’s second 100-mile finish.

Runamuck 50K

The heat didn’t spare runners at the eighth running of the Runamuck 50K on Saturday, May 14, in Brownsville, Vt. The course records went unthreatened on a scorching day as runners combated high heat while tackling more than 4,700 feet of climbing as they raced along the dirt roads of Brownsville and neighboring Hartland.

Runamuck veteran Dylan Broderick, 31, of Montepleier, Vt., competed for the sixth time. She’s placed on the women’s podium each time, and this marked her second victory as she led the women’s field and finished seventh overall in 4:52:39. Kehr Davis, 45, of Pittsfield, Mass., was the women’s runner-up in 5:19:53, followed by Ashley Hensel-Browning, 36, of Weathersfield, Vt., in 5:29:44.

In the men’s field, 31-year-old Oliver Mednick of Montpelier, Vt., won in 4:07:05, followed by 44-year-old Justin Neuman of New Haven, Conn. (4:25:56) and 25-year-old Chris Murphy of Providence, R.I. (4:39:46). Benjamin Chebot, 32, of Arlington, Mass., placed fourth overall in 4:43:53, followed by Tom Starodaj, 34, of New Britain, Conn. (4:48:07), 34-year-old Michael Fenzel of Norwich, Vt. (4:48:41), and Matthew Carbone, 38, of Melrose, Mass. (5:01:26). Jake Aquino, 41, of Tewksbury, Mass., also landed in the top 10, placing ninth overall in 5:11:18.

*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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