MassUltra Roundup: Squatchapple, Old West, Griffith Park, Antelope Canyon, and Siuslaw Dunes

From desert trails to sandy coastal dunes, to wooded trails just outside of big cities, several New England ultrarunners found scenic places to race during the March 10-12 weekend. A few of them returned home with podium finishes added to their ultra resumes. That included a 50-mile victory by Massachusetts’ Matthew Geary and a runner-up finish by Connecticut’s Caitlin Roston at the Squatchapple Trail Races in nearby New Jersey, as well as a third-place finish by Rhode Island’s Samantha Jorgensen at the Old West Trails 50K in California in her ultra debut. Those speedy performances lead off this edition of the roundup.


The Squatchapple 50-miler and 33-miler saw a Massachusetts man emerge victorious at the third annual event on Saturday, March 11, in West Orange, N.J. 

The event took place at South Mountain Reservation on a course consisting of three mini-loops measuring 4, 5.5 and 7 miles in distance, that runners repeated multiple times depending on their distance. The terrain included a mix of singletrack, carriage roads and a tiny bit of pavement. Runners in the 50-miler amassed nearly 6,000 feet of climbing while passing through the three mini-loops three times. None did so faster than 32-year-old Matthew Geary of Haydenville, Mass. He hammered the course, pulled away from the field and cruised to the victory in 7:56:55. Raj Hathiramani, 37, of New York, N.Y., was a distant second in 8:25:01. For Geary, the victory is the first step in his build-up to his 100-mile debut in October at the Midstate Massive Ultra-Trail.

Another New England resident was in the hunt for the women’s victory and ultimately finished on the podium in second place. Caitlin Roston, 37, of Ashford, Conn., raced near the front of the women’s field throughout the day and finished second in 10:40:04. She was also 15th overall. Madison Philips, 25, of Hoboken, N.J., finished 10th overall and won the women’s race in 10:24:16.

Other New England residents who were among the 40 finishers within 13 hours were Derek Bushey, 38, of Enfield, Conn. (10:41:53); Douglass Johnson, 48, of South Hadley, Mass. (11:24:51); and Phil Martin, 63, of Colchester, Vt. (12:17:24).

The 33-miler challenged runners with nearly 4,000 feet of climbing as runners worked their way through the three mini-loops twice. Sixty runners finished within 11 hours, led by Constantine Mavroudis, 37, of Philadelphia, Pa., who topped the men’s field in 5:31:49 and Katie Dubinski, 22, of Annapolis, Md., who led the women in 6:05:22. Robyn Bratica led the New England finishers as the 38-year-old from Milford, Mass., placed 20th overall and fourth in the women’s field in 7:16:02. Other New Englanders who finished were Aly Litwin, 24, of Mansfield Center, Conn. (7:45:03); Cherie Bilbie, 48, of Ellington, Conn. (8:02:51); and Matt Chittim, 42, of Coventry, R.I. (8:55:43).

Old West Trails 50K

Samantha Jorgensen delivered a dandy of an ultramarathon debut performance. The 29-year-old resident of Providence, R.I., traveled cross-country to take part in the seventh annual Old West Trails 50K on Saturday, March 11, in Julian, Calif. Racing on the trails of Anza Borrego Desert State Park, Jorgensen threw down a speedy performance and battled to an overall top-10 finish as well as a podium spot in the women’s field.

Sixty-six runners finished the race within nine hours, led by 40-year-old Tanner Hallihan of Corona, Calif., who secured the overall win in 4:23:15. Jessica Schnier, 25, of Spring Valley, Calif., placed second overall and topped the women’s field with a new women’s course record performance of 4:27:54. Sofie Blicher, 36, of San Diego, Calif., was fifth overall and the women’s runner-up in 4:45:00, followed by Jorgensen in sixth overall and third among the women in 4:50:47.

Griffith Park

At just 19 years old, Cael Dimascio is a relative newcomer to long-distance racing. When he toed the starting line of the Griffith Park Trail Marathon’s 50K race on Saturday, March 11, Dimascio in Los Angeles, Calif., he was a newcomer to ultrarunning. Still, the teenager from Simsbury, Conn., raced like a veteran at the 11th annual event and ultimately battled to a top-10 finish in the field of 89 finishers.

Dimascio placed eighth overall in his ultra debut in a speedy 5:14:09. Michael Eastbury, 33, of Porter Ranch, Calif., earned the overall win in 3:52:24, well ahead of runner-up Sheldon Wantabe, 21, of Newport Beach, Calif., who followed in 4:26:53. Only three runners finished in less than five hours. Diona Fulton, 32, of Santa Barbara, Calif., topped the women’s field and finished sixth overall in 5:07:09.

Antelope Canyon Ultras

Several New England ultrarunners took in some of the most spectacular scenery in the southwest when they took part in the Antelope Canyon Ultras on March 11-12 in Page, Ariz. The event offered 100-mile, 50-mile and 55K ultras, all featuring plenty of singletrack and doubletrack desert trails, lots of slickrock, slot canyons, and plenty of panoramic views.

Recent heavy rains made the back half of the 100-mile course a difficult slog, and just 26 runners finished that distance. None were New England residents.

A half-dozen New Englanders were among the 280 finishers of the 50-miler within 17 ½ hours. Eileen Rice of Cromwell, Conn., led the way for the local contingent, finishing 83rd overall in 12:27:06. Other New England finishers were Chris Haggerty of Jericho, Vt. (13:29:41); Brittany Ames of West Bridgewater, Mass. (13:38:45); Amy Whyte-White of Marstons Mills, Mass. (13:44:38); Christopher Bessin of Newport, R.I. (14:47:58); and Belinda Perez of South Windsor, Conn. (14:48:51). Amos Desjardins of Alexandra, Va., and Amber Throop of Henderson, Nev., were the men’s and women’s winners in 9:10:03 and 10:27:57, respectively.

Another 349 runners completed the 55K race at Antelope Canyon within 13 hours, led by women’s champion Megan Drake of Orem, Utah, who earned the overall win in 4:58:20. Scott Jaime of Highlands Ranch, Colo., followed in second overall and first among the men in 5:06:24. Four New England residents were among the 55K finishers. Michelle McSally of Southbury, Conn., finished in 10:14:48, followed by Amber Barry of Newington, Conn., in 10:18:22. Additionally, Debbie Reppucci and Tracy Vanisky, both of Wilmington, Mass., ran together and finished in 11:27:47 and 11:27:49, respectively.

Siuslaw Dunes

Though Connor McHugh has lived in New England since mid-2021, the resident of Old Saybrook, Conn., has done all of his ultramarathon racing in Oregon. The former Eugene, Ore., resident made his ultra debut at a last person standing-style event shortly before moving, and he has made several trips back to his previous Pacific Northwest home to race since then. The 27-year-old did so again for the second running of the Siuslaw Dunes 50K on Saturday, March 11, in Florence, Ore.

Racing a point-to-point course at Honeyman State Park in the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, McHugh and his fellow runners passed through plenty of coastal terrain including rainforests, stream crossings, ocean beaches, and plenty of sand dunes while making their way to the finish. Ultimately, 48 runners finished within nine hours.

McHugh placed 21st overall in 6:19:41. Another New England resident also was among the finishers as 46-year-old Paul Henderson of Newmarket, N.H., finished 28th in 6:43:19.

Michael Moore, 30, of Portland, Ore., and Rachel Hawkins, 30, of Glide, Ore., were the men’s and women’s winners in 4:33:03 and 5:16:20, respectively.

*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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