The 49th running of the JFK 50 Mile brought me across the country from my high altitude Arizona home to Maryland, the state in which I was born and raised. It's a pilgrimage I've taken part in since I ran JFK in 1994. No matter where I happen to be in life, physically and mentally, JFK is that one beacon that solidifies my plans each year in mid-November. Hard to believe that I've been at attendance for this event for nearly half my life.
Here's an excellent race summary and several interviews with the top finishers (men and women) by Bryon Powell on his iRunFar site.
Results for all 864 finishers can be found here.
The 2011 edition of JFK underway through the streets of Boonsboro, Maryland.
My training partner and Flagstaff, AZ resident Brian Tinder comes off the trails on his way to the Canal.
Eric Clifton ran a 5:46:22 at JFK in 1994, a course record that stood for 17 years. He is crewed here by his wife Noni Nierenberg.
The final, rocky steps of the Appalachian Trail.
Cincinnati's David Riddle on his way to the win and a new JFK course record: 5:40:45.
Prolific marathon and ultra -stud Michael Wardian fought Riddle all day only to fall short by a few minutes.
Covering the miles on the C&O Canal.
On the women's side, Meghan Arbogast put her vast ultra and marathon experience to work and gave chase all day...
...but Wisconsin's Cassie Scallon proved herself a worthy opponent by finishing 4 minutes ahead of Arbogast in 6:31:22.
Running into Downsville (4 miles to go).
Finally, the finish chute: 7:24:15.
A warm congratulations from Race Director Mike Spinnler.
Celebratory hugs from Emily Harrison.
Team "Waiting for the Train": Brian Tinder, Eric Clifton & Ian Torrence
My 17th JFK finish in the books!
Special thanks to Derek and Emily for adding the giddy-up to my step, Mike Spinnler for keeping this event alive and well, and to the hundreds of volunteers that keep the oldest and largest ultramarathon in the country running smoothly. I'm looking forward to JFK's 50th anniversary next year!
Your Moment of Zen
After four days of driving across the country and crewing a 50 mile race this is all I'd want to do too.