The 5th Annual Rhode Island 6 Hour Ultramarathon & Relay took place on November 10, 2013. The RI 6 Hour is Rhode Island’s ONLY ultra-marathon and served as the USATF-NE Ultrarunning Championship for the 5th year in a row. There was a huge spike in entries this year with over 100 entered in the Ultra and 23 teams in the Relay. Those numbers gave me approximately double the amount of runners on the course compared to last year.
Both the Male and Female 2012 Ultra Champions were back this year, but the three-time defending relay champions acidotic RACING were not returning. Even with the defending ultra-champions returning it did not mean that the titles were etched in stone; there were plenty of competitors ready to take them down. With acidotic RACING not in town, the relay runners were licking their chops as there were cases of Bucket Brewery beer on the line!
Padraig Mullins went straight to the front in the men’s race, but was followed closely by 3-time champion Ben Nephew throughout the day. Padraig kept steady and Ben just could not close the gap, instead having to settle for his first loss at the RI 6 Hour. Padraig finished with 47.272 miles with Ben at 45.917 and Dima Feinhaus closed out the top three with 43.216. The next three males finished within a minute of Dima, all with a total of 43.216 miles.
On the women’s side, defending champion Maddy Hribar took the lead and never looked back, winning her second title with 43.216 miles. Second place went to Jennifer McHale whom started off a bit slower than Maddy and was running stronger and stronger as the day went on, running quickly through the final hour, finishing with 40.515 miles. Rounding out the top three was Gabrielle Pedersen with 37.814 miles.
In summary, the top-three open runners in the USATF-NE Ultrarunning Championship were Ben Nephew (45.917), Dima Feinhaus (43.216) and Ryan Welts (43.216) for the men and Maddy Hribar (43.216), Issy Nielson (35.113) and Katie Mack (35.113) for the women. In the 40+ competition we had Dima Feinhaus, Thor Kirleis and Mike Auger for men with Barbara Bell and Karen Ringheiser taking home the female awards. USATF-NE members battled hard all day for $1,000 worth of prize money.
The relay saw teams bouncing around the standings all day, but the Fuel Belt 4 team began to rise to the top mid-way through and held on to the lead, running 20 laps, just over 54 miles. The next three teams all finished with 19 laps, with Wild Colonial Running Club taking second and the Tri-New England Men’s Team edging out the Tuesday Night Turtles by 1 minute for third and the last case of Bucket Brew.
After the race runners headed over to Track 84 to enjoy some home-made New England clam chowder, baked ziti and other goodies along with some complimentary Bucket Park Loop Porter and Pail Ale.
The 6th Annual RI 6 Hour Ultra and Relay will be held in November of 2014. Check out www.better-pace.com for details after the New Year and check out our other races, including The Quahog Mile, which is new for 2014.