MassUltra Roundup: Fort Ord, Beast of Burden, Sean O’Brien, AZT Oracle Rumble, Angela Ivory, and Arches Ultra

Ultramarathon racing in New England has been relatively quiet thus far in 2023, but it has already been a busy year for runners from the region who are willing to travel. January closed out with a busy weekend for ultrarunners from the region as they traveled to nearby New York, far-away California and Utah, and a handful of other destinations throughout the country to race. We may have missed a few, but we have several of them covered in this edition of the roundup.

Fort Ord Trail Run

Jared Dybas is still a relative newcomer to ultrarunning, but the 23-year-old from Groton, Conn., is growing quickly. His fourth ultra took him west for the 11th annual Fort Ord Trail Run 50K on Saturday, Jan. 28, in Salinas, Calif.

Racing on the trails of the former U.S. Army post, Dybas went out among the front-runners and stayed there all day, ultimately finishing third overall in 4:23:06. Matthew Seidel, 26, of Oakland, Calif., won the race in 3:39:12, the second-fastest time in course history. William Conner, 32, of Santa Clara, Calif., was the runner-up in 3:49:06, the third-fastest time in course history. Eighty-six runners finished the race within 11 hours.

Beast of Burden Winter

Michael Condella has become a recognized regular at the Beast of Burden Winter Ultra. The 35-year-old from Revere, Mass., earned his seventh Winter 100-mile finish at the 15th edition of the event on Jan. 28-29 in Lockport, N.Y.

Racing four out-and-backs on the Erie Canal towpath, Condella finished 11th in 28:42:53. Peter Flood, 27, of Liverpool, N.Y., won the race in 17:42:23. Of the 26 runners who started the race, 14 finished within the 30-hour time limit.

Another 19 runners finished the 50-mile race, led by 27-year-old Daniel Goldstein of Pittsburgh, Pa., in 7:14:18. No New England residents were among the finishers.

Sean O’Brien Ultras

It was a homecoming of sorts for Benjamin Fiandaca at the 17th running of the Sean O’Brien Ultras on Saturday, Jan. 28, in Calabasas, Calif. Fiandaca, 45, of Peterborough, N.H., is a former California resident who raced numerous ultramarathons during his time on the West Coast. He returned to race the 50K distance at the Sean O’Brien Ultras, which also included 100K and 50-mile races.

Fiandaca completed his race right in the middle of the pack, placing 51st out of 99 finishers in 8:18:23. A second New England resident also was among the finishers. Aiden Vantol, 24, of Whitinsville, Mass., earned his first ultra finish in 8:46:10. Benjamin Atkins, 49, of Westlake Village, Calif., led all runners in the 50K in 4:44:50 while 27-year-old Hayley Bricker of Woodland Hills, Calif., finished first in the women’s field in 6:24:12.

No New Englanders were among the 90 finishers of the 100K race which was won by Ben Eysenback, 27, of Pittsburgh, Pa. (9:02:03) and Lauren Mitchell, 38, of Woodbury, Minn. (11:58:18). Additionally, none of the 68 finishers in the 50-mile race were from New England. Nick Allen, 32, of Los Alamos, Calif. (8:25:30) and Jennifer Benna, 43, of Reno, Nev., (9:54:30), topped the men’s and women’s fields at that distance.

AZT Oracle Rumble

Two New England men had strong showings at the sixth annual AZT Oracle Rumble 50-miler and 50K on Saturday, Jan. 28, in Oracle, Ariz. Both Sean McKenzie, 29, of Newport, R.I., and Alex Markle, 42, of Burlington, Mass., had good days racing on the singletrack trails through Oracle State Park on sections of the Arizona Trail. McKenzie finished 10th overall in 11:05:12 and Markle placed 17th in 11:53:51 – a 21-minute improvement on the course from the year before.

Vasielios Paschalidis, 43, of Tucson, Ariz., led all runners in 8:31:58. Forty runners completed the race within 16 hours.

Another 65 runners finished the 50K race within 10 hours, though none were New England residents. Matt Watson, 29, of Phoenix, Ariz., led all runners in 4:49:26.

Angela Ivory Memorial Runs

Carolyn Shreck has her eyes on another 100-miler this year – she’s returning to the Cruel Jewel in Georgia in May.

In preparation for that race, Shreck gave her legs an early-season test by racing the 50K race at the ninth edition of the Angela Ivory Memorial Runs on Saturday, Jan. 28, in Felton, Del. The event offered both 24-hour and 50K races, and Shreck was the lone New England resident to take part in either distance.

Racing on a 3.10-mile loop course on the dirt, minimally technical, easy rolling trails of Killen’s Pond State Park, Shreck, 50, of Hampton, N.H., cruised to the finish in 7:19:33. Twenty-seven runners finished the race within 11 hours. Kyle Hughes, 30, of Wilmington, Del., led all runners in 4:41:51 while 41-year-old Melissa Gill of Maple Shade, N.J., topped the women’s field and finished third overall in 5:26:22.

Arches Ultra

Panoramic views of Arches National Park and challenging slickrock trails attracted numerous ultrarunners to the sixth edition of the Arches Ultra 50-miler and 50K on Saturday, Jan. 28, in Moab, Utah. Included among that group were a handful of New England residents.

Two New Englanders made the 50-miler their debut ultramarathon, and both finished the job. Eric Hodgson, 41, of Enfield, N.H., completed the race in 9:56:28, good for 23rd place overall, in the first step in his buildup to the Midstate Massive Ultra-Trail 100-miler in October. Additionally, 47-year-old Mariana Budjeryn of South Berwick, Maine, earned her first ultra finish in 11:22:21.

Sixty-five runners finished the race within 13 hours, led by 26-year-old Timerblin Henderson of Fruitland, N.M., in 7:23:19. Jenny Wilson, 43, of Portland, Ore., finished fourth overall and first among the women’s field in 8:51:19.

In addition to the 50-miler, another 187 runners finished the 50K race within 13 hours. That group included three New England residents, including two first-time ultrarunners. Ultra veteran Whitney Hanschka, 58, of Vineyard Haven, Mass., finished 29th overall in 5:26:26. Additionally, 36-year-old Kelly Everhart of East Thetford, Vt., and 39-year-old Silvana Morgan of Nashua, N.H., earned their first ultra finishes, Everhart in 6:41:34 and Morgan in 10:12:32. Anthony Costales, 34, of Salt Lake City, Utah, led all runners in 3:41:09 while fellow Salt Lake City resident Madison Armonda, 22, led the women’s field in 4:34:34.

*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.


Leave a Reply

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

You are commenting using your 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