As March arrived in New England, a new round of cold weather swept the region. Several ultrarunners avoided the colder temperatures, opting for warmer weather destinations to race during the March 3-5 weekend. From Nevada and the Jackpot Ultra Festival, to Delano Park in Alabama, to Arizona’s Old Pueblo Endurance Runs and the women-only No Man’s 50K in Virginia, we have them all covered in this edition of the roundup.
Jackpot Ultra Festival
The Jackpot Ultra Festival garnered plenty of attention during the March 3-5 weekend as the event in Henderson, Nev., served as the 2023 USATF National Road 100-Mile Championship, but for the lone New England resident at the event it was simply an opportunity to enjoy the warm weather while racking up yet another 100-mile finish on an impressive resume that includes at least 32 finishes of 100 miles or more and distance-specific, time-based, and multi-day events.
Ed Peters, 71, of Norwalk, Conn., was the lone New England resident to take part in any of the festival’s various races. It offered 100-mile open, 100-mile championship, 50-mile, 48-hour, 24-hour, 12-hour and 6-hour options.
A veteran of multiple Jackpot Ultra Festivals, Peters competed in the 48-hour race this year. Peters placed 22nd out of 54 runners, completing 101.6267 miles. Jeff Garmire, 32, of Bozeman, Mont., led all runners in the event with 200.9438 miles, while runner-up Rachel Entrekin, 31, of Los Angeles, Calif., led the women’s field with 190.6187 miles. A year ago, Peters finished 102 miles in the event’s 72-hour race. He also finished 100 miles in the 48-hour race in 2019. Peters has been running ultras since at least 2009, when he was 58. His 2023 calendar includes the 72-hour race at Notchview in July and the 30-hour at Ghost Train in October.
The Delano Park Ultra has been on Benn Griffin’s radar for around 15 years. He finally experienced the event on Saturday, March 4, in Decatur, Ala., when he took part in the 17th annual event.
Runners raced on an exactly one-mile certified loop course with crushed gravel, no pavement and almost no elevation change through Delano Park. Seven runners raced the solo 50-mile distance which had a 12-hour time limit. Another 100 took part in the 12-hour race, including Griffin.
Sixty-one runners in the 12-hour race completed at least a 50K. Griffin, 36, of Pittsfield, Mass., was one of 28 who finished at least 50 miles – Griffin ran exactly 50 miles before stopping after 10:25 of racing. Brad Nelson, 43, of Florence, Ala., earned the overall win with 68 miles, one more than runner-up Martin Heimbeck, 40, of Huntsville, Ala. Stacy Gagne, 46, of Madison, ala., and Melissa Fritz, 42, of Huntsville, Ala., finished third and fourth overall and were the top two women with 64 miles apiece.
Old Pueblo Endurance Runs
Amber Christoffersen kicked off her 2023 ultrarunning season in style when she traveled to Arizona in January and finished 14th among the women’s field in the 52K race at the Coldwater Rumble Ultras. Christoffersen, 41, of Boston, Mass., returned to Arizona on Saturday, March 4, for her second ultra of the year where she took part in the 33rd running of the Old Pueblo Endurance Runs in Sonoita.
Christoffersen and her fellow runners in the 50-mile race completed two loops of the course on service roads and dirt trails in the Santa Rita Mountains, including on portions of the Arizona Trail. Ultimately, Christoffersen finished in 14:52:45. Fifty-one runners finished the race within 16 hours.
The race for the overall win was tight between the top men and women. Ultimately, 36-year-old Pablo Puga of Vail, Ariz., earned the victory in 9:09:38, followed closely by 43-year-old Garrett Smith of Tucson, Ariz., in 9:11:00 and women’ champion and third overall finisher Hannah Hill, 27, of Hereford, Ariz., in 9:11:49.
No Man’s 50K
The No Man’s 50K is exactly what it sounds like – a race that’s not for men. The women-specific ultra held its fifth edition on Saturday, March 4, in Triangle, Va. Twenty-eight runners finished the two-loop course, including a New England resident who finished in the top half of the field.
Melissa Peplinski, 39, of Concord, Vt., placed 11th overall in 7:09:25. Amy Buesseler, 39, of Bristow, Va., won the race in 5:10:50.
*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.