MassUltra Roundup: Ragged Stage Race, Volcanic 50, and Loopy Looper

Though the Trail Animals Running Club’s TARC Summer Classic attracted several local runners to the trails of Noon Hill Reservation in Medfield during the Aug. 5-7 weekend, it wasn’t the only draw for New England ultrarunners. Several gathered in New Hampshire for one or three days of tough racing at the Ragged Stage Race and 50K – and New Hampshire’s Leslie O’Dell highlighted the weekend with a course-record performance. Runners from the region also took part in other races such as the Volcanic 50 in Washington State and the Loopy Looper in New Jersey, but O’Dell’s effort leads off this edition of the roundup.

Ragged Stage Race and 50K

It was a record-setting weekend at the Sixth annual Ragged 75 Stage Race and 50K on Aug. 5-7 at Ragged Mountain Resort in Danbury, N.H.

Twenty-seven runners successfully completed all three days of the stage race, amassing 80 miles and more than 15,000 feet of vertical gain along the way – and the women’s course record was shattered by the time it was over.

In the women’s field, 46-year-old Leslie O’Dell of Albany, N.H., won the stage race in 17:00:27 and set a new course record with the effort. She shared the previous mark of 17:31:34 from 2017 when she and Amy Rusiecki tied for the victory. Kat Coffey, 26, of Petersburg, Tenn., finished second in 18:09:21 and 37-year-old Megan Jensen of Essex Junction, Vt., rounded out the women’s podium in 19:18:53. Mabeline Velez, 30, of Springfield, Mass., was fourth among the women in 22:40:30, followed by Emily Wivell, 33, of Barre, Vt., in 22:44:49.

David Savard-Gagnon, 40, of Baie-St-Paul, Quebec, led the way among the men’s field in 13:42:10 and posted the second-fastest men’s stage race time in event history. Jason Sarouhan, 45, of Northampton, Mass., was second in 16:16:33 followed by Jeffrey Delorey, 38, of Hampton Falls, N.H., in 16:28:16. Ryan Welts, 41, of Albany, N.H., finished fourth among the men and fifth overall in 17:03:01 and 56-year-old Matt Czaplinski of Northampton, Mass., was fifth among the men and sixth overall in 17:53:09.

Runners completed a 22-mile stage over Mt. Ragged and Mt. Kearsarge on Day One, followed by a 25-mile day with a trip to the summit of Mt. Sunapee on Day Two before closing out with a 33-mile point-to-point course with 6,300 feet of climbing on Day Three.

In addition to the Stage Race itself, runners had the option to just race the 50K on the final day. The combination of racers amassed a large field with 102 finishers. Single-day racer Peter Bonito, 37, of Westmoreland, N.H., cruised to the 50K victory on Day Three in 5:30:44, followed by Stage Race champion Savard-Gagnon in 5:49:55 and single-day racer Jake Movsessian, 23, of New Ipswich, N.H., in 5:58:24. Andrew Johnstone, 35, of Essex Junction, Vt., and Fyn Kynd, 21, of Searsmont, Maine, rounded out the top five in 6:02:33 and 6:19:56, respectively.

In the women’s 50K, 26-year-old single-day racer Colleen Chase of Princeton, Mass., earned the victory in 6:19:59, followed by single-day racer Haley Heinrich, 29, of Newbury, N.H., in 6:30:20 and single-day racer Signe Lynch, 24, of Portlane, Maine, in 7:02:02. O’Dell finished fourth in 7:06:34.

Volcanic 50

Rugged singletrack and scenic views lured a half-dozen New England ultrarunners to the Pacific Northwest to race the 10th edition of the Volcanic 50K on Saturday, Aug. 6, in Cougar, Wash. The course amassed more than 7,000 feet of vertical gain and circumnavigated Mt. St. Helens with a majority of the course on the Loowit Trail.

Two Massachusetts residents and four from Vermont were among the 203 finishers within the 14-hour time limit. Quang Le, 47, of Dorchester, Mass., was the top local finisher, placing 104th overall in 9:38:30. Sally Williams, 26, of Boston, Mass., followed about an hour later in 10:40:51. The Vermonters all finished seconds apart. Nina Bluich, 29, and Nate Bluich, 29, both of Middlebury, finished in 11:45:02 and 11:45:03, respectively, while 30-year-old Austin Davis and 29-year-old Katherine Lowe, both of Winooski, finished in 11:45:07 and 11:45:22.

Alex King, 26, of Trout Lake, Wash., was the overall winner in 5:13:43 and set a new men’s course record by eight minutes. Tara Fraga, 29, of Seattle, Wash., was the top female finisher and sixth overall in 6:10:08. Her time was the third-fastest by a woman in course history.

Loopy Looper

A year ago, Barbara Graf completed 33.75 miles in the 24-hour race at the inaugural running of the Loopy Looper Endurance Runs. Graf returned for the second edition of the event on Aug. 6-7 in Aug. 6-7 in Pennsauken Township, N.J., and upped her mileage output.

Graf was the lone New England resident in the 24-hour race. The 63-year-old resident of Leeds, Mass., completed 45 miles and finished 21st overall. Thirty-one runners took part in the race. Kellen Matthews-Thompson, 30, of Glenside, Pa., led all runners with 108.75 miles, followed by men’s runner-up WilliM Gunn, 50, of Durham, N.C., and women’s champion Vanessa Kline, 41, of Hainesport, N.J., with 101.25 miles apiece. 

An additional 76 runners competed in the Loopy Looper 12-hour race; none were New England residents.

*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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