The May ultramarathon racing calendar closed with a bang for four Massachusetts women as they made their collective presence felt at the Cow Bone Trail Run in Maryland. Additionally, the New England classic multi-day event – Infinitus – challenged runners with a new venue and equally difficult trails. Both events closed out May on a high note and are featured in this edition of the roundup.
Cow Bone Trail Run
A year ago, a trio of Massachusetts women made a road trip to Maryland to compete in the 12-hour race at the Cow Bone 6-, 12- and 24-hour ultramarathons. On Saturday, May 28, the trio returned with a fourth friend to once again take on the 12-hour event in Sharpsburg, Md.
Runners in all time-based offerings raced on a non-technical 1.5-mile loop course at Shepherd’s Spring Outdoor Ministries, completing as many loops as they wanted during the time limit.
Kim Gibson, 44, and Cindy Tjersland, 55, both of Dartmouth, Mass., and Wendy Cordeiro, 51, of New Bedford, Mass., were back for a second crack at the course. Joining them was 41-year-old New Bedford resident Kimberly Kaye. The Bay State women made their presence felt as all four finished in the top 10 overall out of 29 finishers of the 12-hour race.
Gibson finished third overall, won the women’s race and tied the women’s course record with 52.5 miles. It was a sizable improvement on her 2021 performance where she finished eighth overall and fourth among the women with 46.5 miles. Tjersland improved on her 45-mile, fifth-place finish from 2021 by placing fourth among the women’s field this year with 46.5 miles. Tjersland’s effort also placed her sixth overall in the field. Kaye placed fifth among the women and ninth overall with 42 miles. Cordeiro finished sixth in the women’s field and 10th overall with 40.5 miles. Mac McComas, 34, of Baltimore, Md., led all runners with 60 miles.
No New England residents were among the 33 runners in the six-hour race. Thirty runners took part in the 24-hour race, including 53-year-old Mike Caristi of Mont Vernon, N.H., who completed 27 miles. Thomas Crayton, 58, of Frederick, Md., led all runners in the 24-hour race with 120 miles, 19 ½ more than his closest competitor.
After six years with its base camp at the Blueberry Hill Inn in Goshen, Vt., the Infinitus Ultras relocated to nearby Silver Towers in Ripton for the seventh edition on May 19-29. Despite the venue change, the event once again challenged runners with distances ranging from 8 miles to 888K (551 miles), including multiple multi-day events.
Nine runners started the 888K, though none finished this year. In the second-longest offering, six runners started the Deca-Marathon (10 marathons in 10 days), and three successfully finished.Daniel Legresley, 57, of Montreal, Quebec, led the way in 81 hours, 14 minutes, followed by 62-year-old George Alexion of Waterboro, Maine, who finished in 85:41. John Spelko, 75, of Monson, Mass., also finished, clocking a time of 90:09.
Six runners attempted the 250-mile race, and 37-year-old Amber Mosel of Corinth, Vt., was the lone finisher in 119:15. Another six runners started the Penta-Marathon, and five finished. Rob Richard, 45, of Little Falls, N.Y., placed first overall in 28:47, followed by 43-year-old Shaun Daylor of Lakeville, Mass., in 28:47. A trio of women rounded out the finishers, with Jordan Wirfs-Brock, 38, of Golden, Colo., clocking a time of 32:13, followed by Christina Hall, 41, of Plymouth, Mass., and Crystal Ross, 41, of Carver, Mass., who finished together in 33:17.
In the 100-mile race, less than half the field finished with 37 runners starting and 17 completing the race. Jim Ploof, 53, of East Middlebury, Vt., led all runners in 25:50, followed by 28-year-old Graham Simon of Jamaica Plain, Mass., in 27:00. Sarah Slater, 44, and Scott Slater, 44, both of Guilford, Conn., followed alongside 41-year-old Evan Gadbois of Woodbridge, Conn., all in 29:40. Stephanie Abrell, 42, of Barnard, Vt., was the second-place woman and sixth overall finisher in 30:45. Benjamin Manning, 30, of Palmer, Mass. (31:00) and Andrew Blair, 24, of Subdury, Mass. (33:23:12), also earned spots in the overall top 10.
The shortest ultra distance offering – the 88K – also had the highest rate of finishers as 26 of the 33 starters completed the course. Andy Vermilyea, 40, of Castleton, Vt., fended off a challenge from 30-year-old Owen Rachampbell of Huntington, Vt., with the pair finishing in 9:38 and 9:51, respectively. Nathan Lalonde, 25, of Richmond, Vt., was third overall in 10:53, followed by 37-year-old John Paul Krol of Waitsfield, Vt., in 11:01. Other New England residents who finished in the top 10 included David Curry, 48, of Westford, Vt. (13:17); Tory Gisleson, 38, of Oxford, Mass. (13:36); Eric Marsh, 48, of Rutland, Vt. (14:33); and Desmond McMahon, 58, of Centerville, Mass. (14:59). Kim Connors, 44, of New Hartford, Conn., led the women’s field and finished 11th overall in 15:02:56.
*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.