May is winding down quickly and May 20-21 was a mostly quiet weekend of ultramarathon racing in New England. The Run Ragged Last One Standing was the lone race in the region, and runners traveled to a few other ultras along the East Coast. Most notably, nine New Englanders earned finishes at the Massanutten 100-miler in Virginia, including Fairhaven’s Kevin Mullen who completed the challenging race for the seventh time. Additionally, Marblehead’s Kate Cook successfully finished the 50-miler at the Dirty German Endurance Fest in her final tune-up before running Western States next month. Those efforts lead off this edition of the roundup.
Nine New England residents battled to hard-earned finishes at the 27the edition of the Massanutten Mountain Trails 100-miler on May 20-21 in Fort Valley, Va. They overcame 103.7 miles and around 19,000 feet of climbing in the Shenandoah Valley along the way and beat the 36-hour time limit.
Of the 209 runners who started the race, 141 ultimately finished with Hunter Shuler, 34, of Broadway, Va., and Rachel Corrigan, 28, of Blacksburg, Va., topping the men’s and women’s champions in 18:04:57 and 23:50:58, respectively. Russ Dresher, 41, of Berlin, Mass., led the New England contingent with his 12th-place finish in 23:56:03. It was a 10-minute improvement on his 2022 performance when he finished 11th overall. The top 13 runners this year finished sub-24.
Michael Obara, 46, of North Kingstown, R.I., finished 24th in 26:15:44; Rob Rives, 33, of Duxbury, Vt., placed 42nd in 28:45:24; and 65-year-old Kevin Mullen of Fairhaven, Mass., finished 78th overall in 32:04:32. It was Mullen’s seventh time finishing Massanutten. Jason DeJoannis, 49, of Waltham, Mass., followed a few minutes later in 79th place in 32:11:43. Additional finishers were Jason Gray, 43, and Anthony Tieuli, 50, both of Northbridge, Mass., in 33:02:33 and 33:02:37, respectively; Jan Kodovsky, 40, of Newport, R.I., in 34:04:18 for his first 100-mile finish; and Melissa DeFabrizio, 35, of Stratford, Conn., in 34:28:23.
Dirty German Endurance Fest
The Western States Endurance Run is one month away, and 47-year-old Kate Cook of Marblehead, Mass., wanted one last big tuneup run before taking part in ultrarunning’s original 100-mile race in California. Cook found that test at the 13th annual Dirty German Endurance Fest on Saturday, May 20, in Philadelphia, Pa. Cook and her fellow 50-mile competitors completed three 25K loops on the multi-terrain, mildly technical trails of Pennypack Park. Cook finished in 11:40:36.
Cook was one of 102 runners who finished the 50-mile race within 14 hours. Grace Ennis, 23, of North Bethesda, Md., was the overall winner in 8:04:06, edging men’s champion John Li, 26, of Upper Darby, Pa., by two seconds.
The top 29 finishers all completed the race in less than 10 hours. Two New England residents were among that group. Jonathan Kaptcianos, 36, of Greenwich, Conn., placed 11th overall in 8:53:29 and Diane Keenan, 42, of Wallingford, Conn., was 29th overall and fifth in the women’s field in 9:58:58. Additionally, 30-year-old Cody McNeil of Hinesburg, Vt. was among the finishers. McNeil placed 32nd overall in his ultra debut in 10:08:40.
Additionally, another 157 runners completed the two-loop 50K race within 11 1/2 hours. Five New England residents were among that group, led by 26-year-old Elizabeth Johnson of Cambridge, Mass., in 6:59:06. The other four New Englanders were from Connecticut: 46-year-old Mike Feinberg of North Haven finished in 8:08:39; 52-year-old Jacki Smith of Bristol finished in 8:53:19; 59-year-old Sandy Bartell of Wallingford finished in 9:01:37; and 54-year-old Nina Smith of Stratford finished in 9:43:48. Trevory Fye, 29, of Lewistown, Pa., and Emily Dooley, 30, of Philadelphia, Pa., led the men’s and women’s fields in 4:00:52 and 4:28:22, respectively.
Run Ragged Last One Standing
Matthew Pedersen outlasted the field and was the winner of the fourth edition of the Run Ragged Last One Standing event on May 20-21 in Berlin, Conn. Pedersen, 34, of Ansonia, Conn., topped a field of 27 competitors who tackled a 3.11-mile loop course on the hour, every hour, until only Pedersen remained standing. Pedersen fended off Tim Eakins, 44, of Guilford, Conn., who was the runner-up with 80.6 miles. Pedersen went one more loop and finished with a winning tally of 83.7 miles. Dillon Bell, 24, of Brookfield, Conn., was third overall with 74.4 miles. Pedersen, Eakins and Bell were the lone runners to surpass 70 miles. Kelsey Eng, 31, of Glastonbury, Conn., was the top-performing woman with 52.7 miles, tied for sixth overall.
Cruel Jewel Ultras
The 10th edition of the Cruel Jewel 100-mile and 50-mile ultras took place May 19-21 in Blue Ridge, Ga. A course change this year caused the start/finish area to move from Vogel State Park to the original home base at Camp Morganton before taking runners on their journey through North Georgia Mountains in the Chattahoochee National Forest.
The main event was the 100-miler, which checked in at 105.9 miles and 33,000 feet of climbing. Of the 171 starters, 121 finished within the 48-hour time limit. Kyle Moss, 32, of Broomfield, Colo., and Shannon Wheeler-Deboef, 46, of Hixson, Tenn. were the men’s and women’s winners in 23:03:44 and 27:55:26, respectively. No New England residents were among the finishers.
In the 50-mile race, runners took on 17,000 feet of climbing over the course of 56 miles. Of the 116 who started the race, 98 ultimately finished, including 28-year-old Samantha Grosslight of Groton, Conn., who completed the race in 20:01:10, good for 54th place overall. Michael Owen, 34, of Pomeroy, Ohio, and Shannon Howell, 44, of Simpsonville, S.C., topped the men’s and women’s fields in 11:14:00 and 12:59:17, respectively.
*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.