MassUltra Roundup: Firebird and The Rut

Results have been slow to trickle in from a jam-packed Labor Day weekend of racing, but results are in from a few races beyond the Bay State that saw New England residents among the finishers – and both had quite a few. First up, the fourth edition of the Firebird Trail Races in Maine saw Mary Iaculli and Jay Frontierro set women’s and men’s course records with big performances. A day later, 11 runners from the region finished the grueling The Rut 50K, and former Vermont resident David Sinclair smashed MUT king Kilian Jornet’s course record by five minutes. Both of those races are included in this edition of the roundup.

Firebird Trail Races

A year ago, Mary Iaculli finished second overall and topped the women’s field in the 13-mile race at the Firebird Trail Races in Windham, Maine. On Saturday, Sept. 3, Iaculli returned to race the 50K at the fourth annual event and finished second to none. Iaculli, 28, of Portland, Maine, secured the overall victory in her ultramarathon debut, winning in a women’s and overall course record time of 4:43:08.

Men’s champion and second overall finisher Jay Frontierro, 47, of South Hamilton, Mass., followed close behind Iaculli, finishing in a men’s course record time of 4:45:00. Iaculli was the co-winner of the 2021 Riverlands 100-miler in his most recent ultra finish prior to the Firebird Trail Races. Frontierro battled hard for his runner-up finish and fended off 31-year-old Portland, Maine, resident Sam Chick for the men’s win by a matter of seconds. Chick was the third overall finisher and men’s runner up in 4:45:09. Raynor Large, 34, of Cumberland, Maine, rounded out the men’s podium in 4:47:00.

The top three men finished within a two-minute window, and the fourth-place male, 33-year-old Erik Hinrichsen of Newton, Mass., finished a few minutes later in 4:54:15 to round out a speedy overall top five.

Joining Iaculli on the women’s podium were Rebecca Doppler, 25, of Lake Nebagamon, Wisc., in 5:25:19 (sixth overall) and Amanda Beucler-Rapos, 27, of Weymouth, Mass., in 5:47:26 (ninth overall).

Other overall top-10 finisher included Logan Foster, 26, of Hampstead, N.H. (seventh; 5:34:11); Chet Hanscom, 41, of Benton, Maine (eighth; 5:35:33); and William Holden, 28, of Shirley, Mass. (10th; 5:47:49).

Forty runners finished the 50K within nine hours.

The Rut

It has been a few years since David Sinclair spent some time in New England. During his time living in Vermont, Sinclair traveled to Massachusetts and set the course record for the 40-mile race at the TARC Fells Winter Ultra before heading back west to California.

Since returning to the west, Sinclair has racked up numerous wins and podium finishes. On Sunday, Sept. 4, he delivered one of his most dominant efforts yet as he hammered The Rut 50K course and its 10,500 feet of climbing, outdistanced the field by nearly an hour and eclipsed Kilian Jornet’s 2014 course record by around five minutes, winning the race in Big Sky, Mont., in 5:04:18.

Sinclair was the lone sub-6-hour finisher and women’s champ and four overall finisher Jennifer Lichter of Whitefish, Mont., was one of the few to go sub-7, earning her victory in 6:14:59.

Around 600 runners took part in the race and 484 runners finished in less than 13 hours. Eleven New England residents were among the finishers, including three in the top 50. Corin Kwasnik of Boston, Mass., led the local contingent, finishing 36th overall in 7:26:48. Lucy Skinner of Hanover, N.H., finished 44th overall and eighth among the women’s field in 7:35:32, while Matthew Hillard of Boston, Mass., followed in 48th overall in 7:43:16.

Other New England finishers were Skylar Lobdell of Burlington, Vt. (157th; 8:50:02); Ed Cullen of Rumford, R.I. (239th; 9:47:34); Gabriel Putnam of Portsmouth, N.H. (368th; 11:05:50); Charles Morris of Deery, N.H. (408th; 11:34:58); Nick MacDonald of Melrose, Mass. (455th; 11:59:09);  Kevan Hauver of Coventry, R.I. (474th; 12:16:32); Ben Freeland of Waterville, Maine (482nd; 12:34:20); and Micah Wolfsohn of Bridgeport, Conn. (483rd; 12:34:21).

*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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