MassUltra Roundup: Finger Lakes 50s, Ansonia, and Merrill’s Mile

July opened with a bang thanks to Iain Ridgway. After two runner-up finishes at the Finger Lakes 50s, 2022 was his year to ascend to the top of the podium. Additionally, other runners from New England gathered in Connecticut and Georgia to race, and we have those covered, too, but Ridgway’s dominant victory kicks off this edition of the roundup.

Finger Lakes 50s

The Finger Lakes 50s have a storied tradition on the Northeast ultramarathon scene. The historic race has been a staple in the region for decades, and it celebrated its 32nd edition with 50K and 50-mile ultras on Saturday, July 2, in Hector, N.Y.

Iain Ridgway has his own bit of personal history with the classic race; the 42-year-old resident of Holden, Mass., raced the 50K twice before – in 2018 and 2019 – and finished second both times. Ridgway sought to write a new chapter with his third attempt on the rolling course through Finger Lakes National Forest that’s mostly singletrack dirt with some pastures and dirt and paved roads mixed in.

Ridgway and his fellow 50K competitors had to complete two loops of the course, amassing 32.9 miles for a “heavy” 50K finish. Ridgway learned from his prior experiences on the course and hammered the trails harder. There would be no second-place finish for him this time; Ridgway left the field in his dust and cruised to a first-place finish in 4:28:34. His closest competitor was 34-year-old Michael Ortley of Helena, Mont., who was a distant second in 5:03:33.

Emma Raub, 43, of New York, N.Y., was the women’s champion and fourth overall finisher in 5:30:24. Abigail Wright, 29, of Johnston, R.I., was the fifth female finisher and 13th overall in 6:24:24. For Wright, it was her first ultramarathon.

Ridgway and Wright led a pack of a half-dozen New England residents who were among the 76 finishers of the race. Joining him among the finishers were Kimberly Battipaglia, 50, of New Haven, Conn., and Vincent Framularo, 41, of Trumbull, Conn., who finished 36th and 37th overall in 7:49:38 and 7:49:39, respectively, 61-year-old Eli Horowitz of Falls Village, Conn., who followed two spots later in 7:53:51, and 52-year-old Elizabeth Joseph of Spofford, N.H., who finished in 9:57:38.

The longest race of the day – the 50-miler – saw 41 runners successfully complete three loops of the course. Two of them made history as Brendan Connell, 31, of Black Hawk, Colo., and Reagan McCoy, 24, of Lock Haven, Pa., both dipped under the previous course record to finish 1-2 in 6:33:50 and 6:37:32, respectively. They were the only runners to finish in less than eight hours. Maura Tyrrell, 36, of Buffalo, N.Y., topped the women’s field and placed sixth overall in 8:39:57.

Three New England residents were among the 50-mile finishers. Nicholas Brase, 30, of Boston, Mass., led the way, placing 24th overall in 10:57:41 for his first 50-miler. Kara Pietrzykowski, 25, of Springfield, Mass., earned her first ultramarathon finish in 11:30:56, while 34-year-old Johnathan Cardenas of Norwalk, Conn., secured his first 50-mile finish in 11:47:17.

Ansonia 6-Hour

The Ansonia 6-Hour took place on Saturday, July 2, in Ansonia, Conn., and the third edition of the time-based race featured a venue change. The event’s new home at the Ansonia Nature Center offered runners an approximately 2.5-mile singletrack loop to complete as many times as possible within the time limit. Forty-one runners took on the challenge and seven surpassed the 30-mile mark. Johanna Ylanen, 40, of Tolland, Conn., led all runners with 38.0 miles in her build-up to the Tesla Hertz 100K in October and Pinhoti 100-miler in November. Ryan D., 29, of Providence, R.I., and Stefan Skolozdra, 31, of Oxford, Conn., topped the men’s field with 34.2 miles apiece.

Tess Harvey, 32, of Wilbraham, Mass., was the top finisher from the Bay State, placing fourth overall and second among the women with 34.2 miles. Eric Ciocca, 44, of Northampton, Mass., matched the mileage and finished third among the men.

Other runners surpassing the 30-mile mark were Christopher King, 46, of Cheshire, Conn., and Chris Coughlin, 33, of Paxton, Mass., with 30.4 miles apiece.

Merrill’s Mile

Barbara Graf has raced several multi-day or time-based races during the past two years. Her latest was the 11th annual Merrill’s Mile time-based ultra on July 2-3 at Camp Frank D. Merrill in Dahlonega, Ga. Graf, 63, of Leeds, Mass., was one of 36 runners to compete in the 12-hour race. She finished ninth overall and fifth in the women’s field with 43.5689 miles. April Romeo, 40, of Ooltewah, Tenn., led the women with 51.4903 miles and 25-year-old Drew McKenzie of Atlanta, Ga., led all runners with 57.4317 miles.

The event also included 48-, 24- and 6-hour races; No New England residents took part in those races.

Graf is building up to the Loopy Looper 24-Hour race in August in Pennsauken Township, N.J., and the Hainesport Endurance Run 24-Hour race in September in Hainesport, N.J.

*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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s