MassUltra Roundup: Bold Coast Bash, Mt. Tam, Tunnel Hill, RutFest, and Cowboy 200

Fall is finally asserting its grip on New England with overnight temperatures plummeting into the 20s. Even a bit of snow has dusted parts of the region, signaling that the 2022 ultrarunning season is nearing its conclusion. We’re not there yet, however. There are still a handful of ultras remaining here in Massachusetts and throughout the region before we close the book on 2022. There are even more ultras remaining across the country that continue to entice runners from the region. A couple of those regional and national races happened during the Nov. 12-13 weekend, including the Bold Coast Bash 50K in Maine. Additionally, we caught up on RutFest and the Cowboy 200 from a week earlier. Read on to learn more about them in this edition of the roundup.

Bold Coast Bash 50K

The inaugural 50K offering at the Bold Coast Bash saw a monster performance from Ben Nephew that set the standard for the rugged race. The second running on Sunday, Nov. 13, in Cutler, Maine, saw Nephew’s record threatened – but it ultimately withstood a stout challenge.

Colin O’Brien, 37, of Cape Elizabeth, Maine, pushed hard on the figure-eight style, multi-loop course that challenged runners with a little bit of everything during their three passes through it, from singletrack dirt to technical rock, to mud and slippery bridges over bogs. O’Brien ultimately finished first overall in 6:44:15, 10 minutes shy of Nephew’s record.

Elliot Johnston, 31, of Orono, Maine, was a close second in 6:46:26, followed by 34-year-old Dylan Brann of Bar Harbor, Maine, in 7:07:13.

While the men’s record stood, the women’s record fell. Adeline Casali, 21, of Harrison, Maine, finished eighth overall and topped the women’s field in 7:56:27. Casali smashed the initial record of 8:35:55 set by Courtney Marchetti in 2021. Sarah Nutt, 33, of Greenwood, Maine, was second in 8:33:06 and 48-year-old Nicole Fleming of Springfield, Mo., rounded out the women’s podium in 9:21:20.

Of the 43 runners who started the race, 26 ultimately finished within 10 1/2 hours.

In addition to the ultra, another 31 runners took part in a single pass through the course for a 10.5-mile fun run. Patrick Caron, 25, of Needham, Mass., led all runners in 1:28:10.

Mt. Tam Trail Run 50K

Three years after making his ultramarathon debut at the Vermont 50K, Jason Hyatt traveled cross-country to tackle his second. Hyatt, 48, of East Falmouth, Mass., journeyed to Stinson Beach, Calif., to take part in the 10th running of the Mt. Tam Trail Run 50K on Saturday, Nov. 12.

The race started at Stinson Beach and took runners on trails through the Marin Headlands with scenic views of Mt. Tamalpais throughout. Runners amassed 6,800 feet of gain over the course of five big climbs.

Hyatt had a strong performance and finished 34th overall in 6:31:52. There were 109 finishers within nine hours. Gabriel Kline, 25, of San Diego, Calif., led all runners in 3:58:30 and had a 20-minute gap on the second-place finisher. Amy Cameron, 43, of San Rafael, Calif., finished third overall and first in the women’s field in 4:58:52.

Tunnel Hill

A snowstorm struck the ninth running of the Tunnel Hill ultras on Nov. 12-13 in Vienna, Ill. The weather didn’t stop 138 runners from finishing the 100-miler within the 30-hour time limit. The flat and mostly flat course included multiple out-and-backs on the Tunnel Hill State Trail. Phil Young, 35, of Davenport, Iowa, and Jill Wojta, 41, of Onalaska, Wisc., were the men’s and women’s champions in 13:32:49 and 14:59:29, respectively. Two New England residents also earned spots among the 100-mile finishers. Michael Condella, 35, of Revere, Mass., finished in 27:30:09 and 50-year-old Dan Nogar of Portland, Maine, joined him at the finish line two hours later in 29:31:48.

In addition to the 100-miler, another 332 runners completed the Tunnel Hill 50-miler within 19 hours. Rajpaul Pannu, 31, of Denver, Colo., led all runners in 5:08:41 while 39-year-old Caitlin Jones of Hesperus, Colo., topped the women’s field in 7:03:38. Three New England residents joined them among the finishers. Todd Falkner, 41, of Malden, Mass., finished 77th overall in 9:43:26 to lead the local contingent. Additionally, 58-year-old Doug Beaulieu of West Newfield, Maine, finished in 10:09:23 and 51-year-old Lou Bevacqui of Moretown, Vt., finished in 17:03:53.


The Richmond Trail Running Club played host to the second running of the Richmond Ultra Trail Festival (RUTFest) on Nov. 5-6, in Williston, Vt. Runners once again had the opportunity to complete as many trips around two different 3- to 4-mile loop trails as they wanted within the 36-hour time limit.

The fatass-style event attracted 102 runners, and nine of them ultimately reached or surpassed the 100-mile mark. Nik Ponzio, 49, of Richmond, Vt., led all runners with 116 miles. Both Justin Kunz, 45, of Williston, Vt., and 31-year-old Kaitlynn Miller of Craftsbury Common, Vt., finished 102 miles. A trio of runners – 28-year-old Arlee Hiskey of Durham, N.C.; 20-year-old Samuel Best and 30-year-old Colton Francis, both of Burlington, Vt. – each logged 101 miles. Additionally, 63-year-old George Robinson of Warren, Vt., 44-year-old Ira Wheeler of Danville, Vt., and 55-year-old April Farnham of Plainfield, Vt., finished 100 miles apiece.

Cowboy 200

No matter the terrain and no matter the conditions, there’s nothing easy about running 200 miles. That didn’t stop Aaron Aaker.

Aaker, 51, of Milton, Mass., took part in the inaugural running of the Cowboy 200 from Nov. 5-8, on a rails-to-trails course that began in Norfolk, Neb., and finished at Bolo Beer Company in Valentine, Neb. Runners had 84 hours to complete the race, which took place on the flat, crushed-limestone Cowboy Trail across the Nebraska plains that crossed nearly 100 bridges along the way and was exposed to the elements at all times.

Aaker entered the race with some ultra-distance experience, having finished the 2011 Pineland Farms 50-miler, 2013 Vermont 100-miler, 2016 TARC Summer Classic 50K and this year’s BURCS Sweltering Summer 8-Hour, but the jump to 200 miles was still a mighty leap.

Aaker was up for the challenge.

Fifty-five runners started the inaugural race, and 34 ultimately finished within the time limit. Aaker finished sixth overall and fifth among the men in 58:12:56. Brian Kutz, 35, of Silver Bay, Minn., led all runners in 52:10:56 and 38-year-old Gibson Kelley of Arlington, Tenn., topped the women’s field and finished fifth overall in 57:33:40. No other New England residents joined Aaker in the field.

In addition to the 200-miler, a 100-mile race was also offered. Eighteen runners started that race and 12 finished within 31 hours. None of the participants were New England residents. Patrick Carlin, 34, of Black Hawk, S.D., led the way in 18:48:39.

*Editor’s Note: Results are found on a variety of sites, including, 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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