Category Archives: Features

Worth the Wait: McCarthy, Ringheiser to Represent Massachusetts at Western States

As the sun rose over Massachusetts on a blustery, 30-degree morning, Maddy McCarthy laced up her running shoes and headed out for a run. Meanwhile, Karen Ringheiser headed to the Middlesex Fells Reservation to lend support at the Fells Winter Ultra.

It was Saturday, Dec. 3; lottery day for Western States Endurance Run hopefuls. McCarthy and Ringheiser were among the 51 runners from Massachusetts and 4,248 applicants worldwide vying for 250 spots up for grabs in ultrarunning’s original 100-mile race.

Both McCarthy and Ringheiser knew the lottery day drill as well as anybody. For most, that drill involves starting the day feeling hopeful, eventually learning that their names weren’t drawn, and then beginning the search for a race to re-qualify for the following year’s lottery. Continue reading Worth the Wait: McCarthy, Ringheiser to Represent Massachusetts at Western States

Waiting for Western: A Spot in Western States Is No Guarantee for 51 Massachusetts Hopefuls

Maddy McCarthy made a quick stop at the Highway 49 aid station and then cruised down a long stretch of smooth, winding singletrack before dashing across historic No Hands Bridge.

The iconic Western States course was beneath her feet, and it felt perfect. This was what she’d dreamed of.

Sort of. Continue reading Waiting for Western: A Spot in Western States Is No Guarantee for 51 Massachusetts Hopefuls

Scary-Fast: Caron Haunts Ghost Train Record Book with Sub-15-Hour 100-Miler

BROOKLINE, N.H. – The faint glow of a flashlight beam shook in the distance with each smooth, deliberate swing of Patrick Caron’s left arm.

Flanked by his pacer, Michael Franzino, who had just run the past 15 miles with Caron, the pair cruised into Camp Tevya, the official start/finish point for each out-and-back of the Ghost Train Rail Trail Races on Oct. 22-23. Caron was 90 miles into his 100-mile race, and far ahead of course-record pace. Continue reading Scary-Fast: Caron Haunts Ghost Train Record Book with Sub-15-Hour 100-Miler

For Jackson, Mogollon Monster a ‘Special Challenge’

Key words and phrases stuck in William Jackson’s mind as he read the description, so much so that he read and reread it for days on end.

Rugged.

Challenging.

Advanced degree endurance race.

Changing ecosystems.

Climbs and descents at 30-45% grades.

This is one of the most technical 100 milers in North America.

Yes, Jackson was intrigued by the Mogollon Monster 100. The 34-year-old resident of Salem, Mass., is no stranger to long-distance races – his 100-mile credits include Pine to Palm, Tahoe Rim Trail, the Bear, TARC and Ghost Train – but the description he kept reading sounded like a beast unlike anything he’d encountered before.

He’d found his next challenge. Continue reading For Jackson, Mogollon Monster a ‘Special Challenge’

Teamwork, Resiliency Propel Team With A Vision Ultra Squad to Ragnar Finish Line

Excitement. Euphoria. Absolute exhaustion.

Emotions ran the gamut for the members of Team With A Vision and Team Coastal Athletic Association (CAA) Saturday, Sept. 17, as they stood at the Ragnar Reach the Beach finish line at Hampton Beach, N.H.

“It was euphoria,” recalled Team With A Vision runner Brian Switzer. “I was just high on endorphins, lack of sleep and lack of food, and was so excited about being able to finish as a team.”

For the previous 30 hours the teams ran side-by-side, sharing every step and every moment together as they completed the 203-mile journey that began a day earlier at the Bretton Woods Ski Area.

Now, thanks to a collaboration between the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (MABVI), the CAA, and New Hampshire-based non-profit organization 2020 Vision Quest, the teams had made history. Continue reading Teamwork, Resiliency Propel Team With A Vision Ultra Squad to Ragnar Finish Line

Massachusetts Trio Part of First All-Visually Impaired Ragnar Reach the Beach Ultra Team

Ultrarunners are accustomed to overcoming a variety of obstacles during the course of endurance endeavors, be it technical terrain, inclement weather, physical limitations, self-doubt, or a myriad of other challenges.

Massachusetts residents Hannah DeFelice of Boston, Kyle Robidoux of Roxbury, and Brian Switzer of Easton, and their teammates, Randy Pierce of Nashua, N.H., Allison Lynch of New York City, and Jason Romero of Denver, Colo., were no different when they began the Reebok Ragnar Reach the Beach Relay this morning, Sept. 16, at the Bretton Woods Ski Area in New Hampshire. Continue reading Massachusetts Trio Part of First All-Visually Impaired Ragnar Reach the Beach Ultra Team

Buckle Up: Harvard Friends Strike Gold at Leadville

More than two decades ago, six college kids from the Boston area headed West to strike it big and, thanks to savvy planning and a string of daring escapades, returned home with a lucrative haul.

Their destination: Vegas. Their game: blackjack. Their prize: cold, hard cash. Their university: M.I.T.

Last winter, four college kids from a university a mile away hatched a new plan to head West in pursuit of a hefty reward. Their game was far different – no cards to count; the number 25 more important than 21. The prize they sought amounted to little more than a partial wardrobe upgrade and a lifetime of personal pride. Continue reading Buckle Up: Harvard Friends Strike Gold at Leadville

Passing the Bar and Raising the Bar: Pietari’s Hectic Month Includes Harvard Law Degree, Top-10 Finish at Western States

May and June were shaping up to be hectic months in the Pietari home in Brighton, Mass.

Kyle Pietari, 29, was about to graduate from Harvard Law, studying for the Patent Bar Exam, training for the mid-August Leadville Trail 100, and preparing to move to Colorado with his wife, Stacy, and their two children.

It didn’t seem like life could get much busier – and then UltraRunning Magazine came calling. Continue reading Passing the Bar and Raising the Bar: Pietari’s Hectic Month Includes Harvard Law Degree, Top-10 Finish at Western States

Pietari 8th as Massachusetts Trio Completes Western States 100

The center of the ultrarunning universe was in Squaw Valley and Auburn, Calif., on June 25-26 as 353 runners tested their luck and endurance on the historic trails of the Western States 100.

That included a trio from Massachusetts: Kyle Pietari of Brighton; Amy Rusiecki of South Deerfield; and Peter Plourde of Westfield. Continue reading Pietari 8th as Massachusetts Trio Completes Western States 100