Yes, the July 15-17 weekend was Vermont 100 weekend in New England, and yes it was Hardrock 100 weekend, too. But there was so much more going on in the world of ultra-trail running, too – including for several New England residents who didn’t partake in those two historic events (which will be covered in separate recaps). For Boston resident Laura Ricci, that meant a trip to Iceland to race a difficult 55K. For others, like Weymouth’s Amanda Beucler-Rapos, it meant running – and winning – her first ultramarathon at Seek the Peak in New Hampshire. Other runners also headed west to race, such as Connecticut’s Andrew Orefice who earned a spot on the podium at the Washington Yeti 100-miler. Those races and more are included in this edition of the roundup.
Laura Ricci packed her 2022 ultramarathon calendar with plenty of tough races, starting with the classic “Don’t Run Boston” 50K in April – where she was the overall winner, continuing with the Lighthouse 50-miler in Michigan in June, and building up to the rugged Kilkenny Ridge 50-miler in New Hampshire in September. Her latest stop along her buildup to Kilkenny Ridge required an international flight. Ricci, 38, of Boston, Mass., flew to Iceland where she raced one of the country’s toughest and most scenic ultras, the Laugavegur Ultramarathon 55K on Saturday, July 16. The course challenged runners with more than 5,000 feet of vertical gain, strong winds and crossing of rivers, snow fields and dry lava beds. Ricci In a field of 546 finishers, Ricci placed 71st overall and 12th among the women’s field in 6:04:41. The overall champion, Arnar Petursson, finished in 4:04:53.
Seek the Peak
White Mountain Endurance (formerly Rockhopper) played host to another of its newest trail events with the inaugural Seek the Peak Trail Races on Saturday, July 16, in Gorham, N.H.
The event used a 5K loop course of mildly technical singletrack trails and carriage roads with around 200 feet of gain per loop, and runners had 5K and 10K options as well as a relay and 6-hour ultra.
Twelve runners took on the 6-hour option. For Amanda Beucler-Rapos, 27, of Weymouth, Mass., it presented the perfect opportunity to run her first ultra. Not only did she complete ultra mileage, but she won the race with 34.1 total miles. Men’s winner and second overall finisher Austin Frank, 23, of Glastonbury, Conn., matched Beucler-Rapos’ mileage total. Sam Locke, 26, of Allenstown, N.H., finished third overall with 31 miles. Two more runners surpassed the marathon distance and also rounded out the women’s podium as both Molly Karp, 40, of Natick, Mass., and Sabrina Sabrina, 26, of Stoneham, Mass., completed 27.9 miles apiece.
Washington Yeti 100
Two New England residents were among the 50 finishers of the third edition of the Washington Yeti 100-mile race, and one of them earned a place on the podium. Runners competed on an out-and-back rails-to-trails course on the Palouse to Cascades State Park Trail, including two trips through the 2.3-mile-long Snoqualmie Tunnel. The flat-to-rolling course provided plenty of opportunity to run fast, and many runners took advantage.
Andrew Orefice, 44, of New Haven, Conn., capitalized on the terrain and raced near the front throughout the day. He ultimately finished second overall in 21:18:44. Andrew Leichtnam, 38, of Hot Springs, Mont., won in 20:49:40. Julie Huyett, 25, of Monument Valley, Utah, finished third overall and led the women’s field in 22:01:10.
Jeffrey Ray, 38, of New London, N.H., was also among the 50 runners who finished within the 30-hour time limit. Ray completed the course in 29:37:38
Tahoe Rim Trail Endurance Runs
Lisa Kapp has had a busy year of racing – all of it involving traveling. First, she opened her ultra season by traveling to Georgia in February where she logged 47.88 miles in the 12-hour race at Farmdaze 24. She followed that up with a trip west to Utah where she completed the Bryce Canyon 50-miler in May.
Kapp headed west again to take part in the 50-mile race at the Tahoe Rim Trail Endurance Runs on July 16-17 in Carson City, Nev. The race took place on singletrack trails and dirt roads at or above 8,000 feet, and it included around 11,200 feet of vertical gain. Of the 196 runners who started the race, 168 finished within 24 hours, Kapp included. She placed 55th overall and 16th among the women’s field in 13:39:00.
Kapp wasn’t the lone New England resident among the 50-mile finishers. James Shimp, 38, of Weatogue, Conn., finished 50th overall in 13:27:41 for his first ultramarathon finish.
William Tennent, 30, of Brooklyn, N.Y., led all runners in 9:15:05 and Mary Fetter, 20, of Palo Alto, Calif., was the women’s champion in 11:10:57.
No New England residents were among the 71 finishers of the 100-mile main event or the 131 finishers of the 55K race.
*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.