The April 15-16 weekend was so busy for New England ultrarunners that it merited two roundups. Yesterday’s roundup featured notable performances at the Traprock 50K in Connecticut and the Runamuck 50K in Vermont. Today’s roundup highlights New England ultrarunners’ performances at ultras beyond the region, from Virginia to Arizona, and New York to Alabama, with Westfield, Mass., resident Zach Medeiros’ podium finish at the James River Trail Runs leading off.
James River Trail Runs
A year ago, Zach Medeiros made his ultra debut with a strong showing in the 50-mile race at the MST Endurance Races in North Carolina. On Saturday, April 15, Medeiros handled his second ultra in fine fashion and secured his first podium finish at the inaugural James River Trail Runs on Saturday, April 15, in Gladstone, Va.
Medeiros, 23, of Westfield, Mass., competed in the 50K race and battled near the front throughout the day on the three-loop course that included a mix of flat, smooth, flowing singletrack dirt, some steep climbs and some doubletrack sections. He held his own for the event’s duration and placed third overall out of 73 finishers, completing the race in 5:00:31. The top two runners broke the five-hour mark with 41-year-old Brandon Herndon of Blacksburg, Va., earning the victory in 4:41:32.
An additional 30 runners completed the event’s 50-mile race, but none were New England residents.
Whiskey Basin Trail Runs
Erin O’Toole ran her first ultra in 2022, finishing third in the women’s field at the Big A 50K in Maine. She later added an 11th-place finish at the Quebec Mega-Trail 52K later that summer.
For her first race of 2023, O’Toole took on her longest ultra yet – the 91K race at the Whiskey Basin Trail Runs on Saturday, April 15, in Prescott, Ariz. The eighth annual event offered 91K and 60K ultras on the Prescott Circle Trail which loops the entire city of Prescott, starting and ending at Watson Lake Park.
O’Toole was the lone New England resident in the 91K field, and she had a strong day. The 38-year-old resident of Biddeford, Maine, finished 16th overall and fourth in the women’s field in 12:13:12. She was just 15 minutes off of the women’s podium.
Jesus Topete Jr., 38, of Chula Vista, Calif., and Jonathan Kuplack, 34, of Gallup, N.M., tied for the men’s victory in 8:31:07 while 26-year-old Sarah Zelt of Flagstaff, Ariz., led the women’s field in 10:51:46. There were 78 finishers within 17 hours.
Another 92 runners finished the 60K race within the 14-hour time limit; none were New England residents.
The scenic Long Island coast attracted a large crowd of runners to East Islip, N.Y., on Saturday, April 15, for the fifth annual Shore2Shore 50K. The point-to-point race took runners from Sunken Meadow on Long Island’s north shore down to Heckscher State Park, all on the Long Island Greenbelt Trail.
Ryan Clifford, 26, of New Hyde Park, N.Y., and Natalie Lavolpe, 39, of Bayport, N.Y., were the top men’s and women’s runners in 3:32:22 and 5:00:10, respectively. Eleven New England residents were among the 172 finishers.
Joseph Bradshaw was the top New England finisher. The 25-year-old from Fall River, Mass., finished seventh overall in 4:43:52. Ron Woolley, 53, of Duxbury, Mass., finished 12th in 4:58:42 and 54-year-old Thomas Praisner of Colchester, Conn., was 13th in 4:59:58. The top 13 finishers broke the five-hour mark.
Other New England residents among the finishers were Connor McHugh, 28, of Old Saybrook, Conn. (26th, 5:24:55); Sarah Praisner, 21, of Colchester, Conn. (41st, 5:36:06); Nathan Caddell, 33, of Medford, Mass. (53rd, 5:47:43); Kirt Henning, 50, of Poultney, Vt. (68th, 5:59:21); Ed McMahon, 27, of Norwalk, Conn. (115th, 7:11:20); Michelle Viveiros, 62, of Plymouth, Mass. (117th, 7:19:07); Matt O’Neill, 40, of North Andover, Mass. (143rd, 7:56:39); and Nancy Barlow, 50, of Ridgefield, Conn. (151st, 8:03:22).
Chief Ladiga 100
When Dan Nogar began running 100-mile races in 2022, he went all in on the distance and successfully completed both the Bader 100 and Tunnel Hill 100. Nogar completed his third 100-miler and first of 2023 when he ran the second annual Chief Ladiga 100-miler on April 15-16 in Jacksonville, Ala.
The event took place on the paved, 50-mile out-and-back Chief Ladiga Trail, amassing around 3,500 feet of elevation gain and loss along the way. Runners had 32 hours to complete the course, and 39 ultimately did so. Nogar was among them as the 51-year-old resident of Portland, Maine, finished in 28:39:19. Robert Cassidy, 27, of Panama City, Fla., was the overall winner in 16:04:17.
*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.