With two trail ultramarathons in Massachusetts on Saturday, April 22 – the TARC Spring Classic in Weston and the inaugural Spring Fever 8-Hour in Hingham – hundreds of New Englanders were racing locally. That fact alone made it seem probable that the region’s runners would have minimal presence at starting lines at other races throughout the country. It turned out the exact opposite was true as runners from the region took on trails of at least seven other ultras scattered among both coasts. In fact, so many folks were racing that this week merits another two-roundup week. Here in Part One we focus on the out-of-state ultras in the East, from nearby Connecticut and the Forgotten Forest 9-Hour, to the Hyner View 50K in Pennsylvania and the Dunes 50K in Florida. In Part Two, we’ll round up the results from out West.
In case runners forgot about the trails of the Roosevelt Forest, they had nine hours to reacquaint themselves at the eighth annual Forgotten Forest 9-Hour Ultra on Saturday, April 22, in Stratford, Conn. Forty-nine runners took on the approximately 2.1-mile loop course with its singletrack dirt, doubletrack trails, and around 130 feet of climbing as many times as they wanted before the clock expired. Ultimately, 43 runners surpassed the marathon distance. Of that group, 34, earned a 50K or more, 12 broke the 40-mile mark and four completed more than 50 miles.
Christopher Bertini, 36, of Camp Hill, Pa., was the overall winner and men’s champion with 53.7 miles, the third-best men’s performance in event history. Melissa De Fabrizio, 35, of Stratford, Conn., was the second overall finisher and the first-place female with 51.6 miles, the second-best showing by a woman in course history and just one loop behind Jenny Hoffman’s course-record from 2018. The second-place male and female also surpassed the 50-mile mark with both 27-year-old Cameron Laramee of Brooklyn, N.Y., and 24-year-old Jody Dicicco of Concord, N.H., completing 51.6 miles apiece.
Other runners with major mileage included Daniel Luton, 25, of New York, N.Y., and Jeremy Shafer, 46, of New Hartford, Conn., who finished 47.3 miles apiece; Concetta Puelo, 40, of Stratford, Conn., and Taelor Bohnsack, 33, of Hebron, Conn., who each completed 45.1 miles; Alexander Hauer, 30, of Greenwich, Conn., and Skyler Silsdorf, 31, of Stamford, Conn., who finished 43.0 miles apiece; and 26-year-old Chase Arsenault of Groton, Conn., who ran 40.8 miles.
Hyner View Trail Challenge 50K
One of the toughest 50Ks in the east returned for its 17th year, and five New England residents were among the finishers.
The Hyner View Trail Challenge welcomed around 1,100 runners to Hyner, Pa., for its annual event on Saturday, April 22. A majority of those runners took on the 25K race, but a few hundred doubled the distance and added even more climbing – around 6,500 feet in total with five major climbs. By the end of the race, some of the fastest men’s and women’s times ever were turned in by winners Benjamin Linne, 25, of Joppa, Md., and 26-year-old Michelle Kent of Golden, Colo. Linne led the men in 4:30:45, notching the third-best time in course history while fending off runner-up Reagan McCoy, 25, of Lock Haven, Pa., by 27 seconds. Kent posted the second-fastest women’s time ever with her winning mark of 5:14:30. There were 342 finishers within 10 hours.
Leading the New England crew was 44-year-old Andrew Wiewel of North Brookfield, Mass., who placed 81st overall in 6:23:03. It was Wiewel’s fourth time finishing the race. Other New England finishers were Alex April, 32, of Manchester, N.H. (7:27:11); EJ Shiflet, 48, of Charlton, Mass. (7:50:43); John Deffley, 42, of Oneco, Conn. (8:50:00); and Jeffrey Ahern, 41, of Greenville, R.I. (8:53:08).
Niko Higgins was one of just a handful of non-Florida residents to take part in the second annual Dunes 50K on Saturday, April 22, in Hobe Sound, Fla., and he was the lone New England resident in the race.
Running his second ultra, Higgins, 31, of Dorchester, Mass., ran a personal-best time for the distance and finished 15th overall in 6:29:37. John Parker, 38, of Jupiter, Fla., led all runners in 4:15:16. Fifty-four runners finished the race, most of them within nine hours.
*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.