It’s mid-April and not only is the weather heating up, but so is the ultrarunning calendar. For New England ultrarunners, that meant April 15-16 was a jam-packed weekend – so busy, in fact, that it merits two roundups. Here in part one we highlight the races that took place here in the region, where Massachusetts residents Matt Pacheco and Kehr Davis earned victories at the grueling Traprock 50K in Connecticut and Bay Stater Mead Binhammer and Vermont’s Dylan Broderick earned victories at the Runamuck 50K in Vermont.
Though course records survived at this year’s Traprock 50K, the 13th annual event on Saturday, April 15, in Bloomfield, Conn., enjoyed one of its deepest fields in history with plenty of close competition and fast times on the rocky singletrack trails and challenging doubletrack that make up the three-loop course.
Eighty-two runners finished the race within 10 hours.
In the men’s field, 38-year-old Matt Pacheco of South Hadley, Mass., fended off a tough challenge from 32-year-old Jacques Saarbach of New Haven, Conn., and took home the win in 5:01:42. Saarbach followed five minutes later in 5:06:23. Lee Davis, 41, of Hamden, Conn., rounded out the men’s podium in 5:28:19.
A tight pack of runners collected the next three places, with 39-year-old Cary Fridrich of Harvard, Mass., finishing fourth in 5:35:30, 44-year-old Brian Rusiecki of South Deerfield, Mass., taking fifth in 5:36:28, and 33-year-old Andris Briga of Marlborough, Conn., following two seconds later in 5:36:30 to finish seventh.
Pacheco posted the sixth-fastest men’s time in course history and Saarbach notched the eighth-best time. Fifth-place finisher Rusiecki owns two of the five best times in course history
In the women’s field, 46-year-old Kehr Davis capped her Traprock debut with a victory in 6:00:20 and placed ninth overall. Jessica Crandall, 44, of Berlin, Conn., and 40-year-old Jamie Miller of North Haven, Conn., placed second and third in a close battle, finishing in 6:14:11 and 6:14:26, respectively.
Davis logged the fourth-best women’s time in course history, while Crandall and Miller had the eighth- and ninth-fastest times.
A road closure and partial course re-route didn’t stop the ninth annual Runamuck 50K from taking place on Saturday, April 15, in South Pomfret, Vt. The course still tested runners with plenty of rolling hills on dirt – and occasionally mud – roads with just a couple miles of pavement thrown in. Eighty-three runners started the race and 81 ultimately finished.
The men’s and women’s champions both won by comfortable margins as 28-year-old Mead Binhammer of Attleboro, Mass., topped the men’s field by a nine-minute margin in 3:54:39 while 32-year-old Dylan Broderick of Middlesex, Vt., outdistanced her closest competitors in the women’s field by more than 11 minutes, winning in 4:38:52. Binhammer was a Runamuck newcomer while Broderick earned her eighth Runamuck finish, eighth trip to the podium and third straight victory.
Joining Binhammer on the men’s podium were 27-year-old Andrew MacGibbon of Lebanon, N.H., in 4:03:37 and 46-year-old Michael Fenzel of Norwich, Conn., in 4:29:31. Matt Czaplinski, 56, of Northampton, Mass., was a close fourth in 4:34:04.
Broderick was joined on the women’s podium by 34-year-old Hannah Wittmann of Hanover, N.H., in 5:00:17 and 37-year-old Ashley Hensel-Browning of Weathersfield, Vt., in 5:09:41. Hensen-Browning finished third for the second year in a row but improved her time by 20 minutes.
*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.