Part One of the April 22-23 weekend roundup focused on ultras in the East. Here in Part Two, we catch up on New England residents’ performances in the West, from Oregon to California and Arizona, starting with Matthew Betten’s successful return to the West Coast to race the Orcas Island 50-miler.
Orcas Island 50
Matthew Betten is no stranger to West Coast singletrack. The 32-year-old resident of West Lebanon, N.H., used to live in California and amassed most of his ultrarunning resume on West Coast trails.
Betten returned to the region for his latest race when he took part in the sixth running of the Orcas Island 50-miler on Saturday, April 22, in Orcas Island, Wash. The race took place on the singletrack trails of Moran State Park, weaving through the forests and around the lakes of the park while also summiting 2,409-foot Mount Constitution.
Betten had a solid day of running and finished 15th overall in 10:51:16.
Betten wasn’t the only New England resident among the event’s 62 finishers within 14 ½ hours. Ultra veteran Peter Troast of South Freeport, Maine, also completed the race. Troast, 63, finished in 13:38:19. Troast will return to the West Coast in June to run the Broken Arrow Sky Race 46K in Lake Tahoe, Calif.
The men’s and women’s winners both notched the second-fastest times in course history in their respective categories with 48-year-old Lon Freeman of Eastsound, Wash., leading the men by a 34-minute margin in 8:44:50 and 35-year-old Marisa Pasnick of Seattle, Wash., topping the women’s field in 10:16:39.
Mendocino Coast 50K
There’s something about the Mendocino Coast 50K that keeps calling Joaquin Carral Gomez and Aurora Leon back. The duo from New Hampshire made their third trip to the event on Saturday, April 22, in Mendocino, Calif.
The seventh running of the event once again challenged runners with plenty of climbing – 5,000 feet of it – while taking in panoramic views of the ocean as they ran the giant loop course. The event attracted nearly 150 runners. Of that group, 146 finished with nearly all completing the course in less than 10 hours.
Gomez, 41, of Alstead, finished 82nd overall in 7:37:10. He previously finished the race in 2019 (7:13:59) and 2022 (6:36:55). Leon, 40, of Keene, followed in 83rd place in 7:39:44. She finished the 2019 race in 7:36:55 and 2022 in 7:56:07. For Leon, it served as a tune-up for the Tahoe 200 in July.
While Gomez and Leon were ultra veterans, 29-year-old Brendan Hoehn of North Kingstown, R.I., made the race his first ultramarathon and he finished in 9:13:01.
Grant Hotaling, 39, of Healdsburg, Calif., topped the men’s field in 4:09:53 while Laura Hansen, 32, of Mill Valley, Calif., was the first-place female in 4:55:46.
The West Coast classic Leona Divide Ultras returned to their original home base for the 31st annual event on Saturday, April 22, in Lake Hughes, Calif., making it the perfect time for Viktoriya Anastasiya to travel to the event for her first ultra.
The Leona Divide offers runners a variety of distance options, including 100K, 50-mile and 55K ultras. Anastasiya, 43, of Wilmington, Mass., was the lone New England resident in the field at any of the distances, opting for the 55K. Her trip was ultimately successful as she ran along the Pacific Crest Trail and was among the 128 finishers within 15 ½ hours, completing the course in 11:59:37. Austin Janisch, 25, of Pasadena, Calif., led all runners in 5:14:08 while 30-year-old Taelor Smith of Thousand Oaks, Calif., was fifth overall and the first-place female in 5:48:18.
Another 85 runners finished the 50-miler and 47 completed the 100K.
For its seventh edition, the Cedro Peak 50K rolled out an updated course for 2023 with a mix of singletrack trails and doubletrack dirt in the Cibola National Forest. Mikey Seymour of Boston, Mass., was there to take part in the fun on Saturday, April 22, in Tijeras, N.M. An ultrarunner since 2016, the 43-year-old Seymour finished in the middle of the pack among the 80 finishers within 10 hours. Seymour placed 49th overall in 7:05:29. Patrick Goschke, 35, of Albuquerque, N.M., took home the win in 4:06:09.
*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.