Wednesday, November 25, 2009

47th Annual JFK 50 Mile

For the 47th year tradition still holds true at the John F. Kennedy 50 Mile Race. Held amongst the rolling hills and along the banks of the meandering Potomac River of Western Maryland the JFK always holds true to its promise of fast times, big crowds and good memories. This year would prove no different.

The race starts in the sleepy town of Boonsboro, Maryland. The course climbs from the start for three miles up onto South Mountain where it gains the ridge and follows the rocky, leaf-covered Appalachian Trail (AT) for roughly eleven miles to the Weverton Cliffs. At the Cliffs the course descends steeply to the Chesapeake and Ohio (C&O) Canal. Once on the Canal, twenty-six miles of flat, dirt towpath await the runners. The final eight miles criss-cross paved country roads to the finish line in the small town of Willamsport, Maryland.

At the end of this year's race we'd see some of the fastest times ever run on the course. Three runners would finish under six hours and twenty-five runners would finish under seven hours. Greg Crowther of Seattle, WA would win with the second fastest time in course history; 5:50:13. Devon Crosby-Helms from Sausalito, CA would set a new women's course record in 6:29:21. In total, 1027 runners would traverse the course; one of the largest ultramarathon finishing fields ever in North America.

Along with individual performances, JFK 50 also recognizes Team categories. Rogue Valley Runners put together what we thought to be an unstoppable "men's open team" consisting of Hal Koerner, Scott Jurek, Eric Clifton, Josh Brimhall and Ian Torrence. We had a good run but it was Team New York City consisting of Michael Arnstein, Oz Pearlman, David James and Michael Oliva that had the better day. Team NYC topped Team RVR by a good 32 minutes.

In the open race it was great to see Hal Koerner and Scott Jurek finish in the top ten men at JFK. Hal finished with a 6:05:02 (his fastest of three finishes) and 4th overall. Jurek finished 10th in 6:31:12. Josh finished just outside the top ten in 6:32:13. Ian finished 20th overall in 6:48:14 and Eric rounded out the Team by finishing in 8:12:55.

Congratulations to all runners, race directors and volunteers who completed and assisted with the 47th Annual JFK 50 Mile Race.

Full Individual and Team results can be found on the race's web site.

Below is a photo-montage of the day's events from the Rogue Valley Runners' perspective. Photo's are courtesy of Jenny Uehisa, Maria Clementi and Bill Susa.

Boonsboro, Maryland

Scott Jurek, Hal Koerner, Josh Brimhall & Ian Torrence minutes before the start.

The crowd assembles in downtown Boonsboro, Maryland.

The start of the 47th JFK 50 Miler.

The AT

Koerner high fives spectators on the Appalachian Trail.

Koerner runs through the first major aid station at mile 9; Cramptons Gap.

Jurek grabs supplies at the mile 15 aid station called Weverton Cliffs; the end of the Appalachian Trail and beginning of the C&O Canal.

The C&O

Hal grabs some food to go at one of the many aid stations along the C&O Canal.

The Crew and Photographers: Jenny Uehisa and Maria Clementi.

Torrence on the Canal at mile 27; Antietam Aqueduct.

Jurek receives his goodies from Jenny near mile 38.

Josh Brimhall moves along the Canal near mile 38.

The Final Eight

Jurek enroute to a top ten finish. He is passing the Downsville aid station.

Torrence rounds the bend at Downsville, four miles to go. Maria Clementi cheers him on.

The Finish and Awards in Willamsport, Maryland

Jurek slaps Ian as he finishes his 15th JFK 50.

Eric Clifton (JFK 50 course record holder) is the fifth finisher for Team Rogue Valley Runners. Eric's wife Noni is there to congratulate him.

The top three finishers for Team Rogue Valley Runners show off their medals. (Left to right: Brimhall, Koerner & Jurek)

Not Worthy. Jurek bows in the presence of Greg Crowther; this year's JFK 50 Mile winner.

Some of the top ten men receive their trophies. (left to right: Jurek, Ingram, Lavine, Ricklefs, Koerner & Woods)

Some of your top women finishers. (left to right: Devon Crosby-Helms, Monica Ochs & Meghan Arbogast)

Post Race Cool Down

Post-race cool down at the 9:30 Club in Washington, DC with special guest Umphrey's McGee.

That ain't soda! Cheers to a race well run!


Rennaker said...

Nice work fellas AND ladies!

jenny u said...

Great recap of a spectacular weekend! You guys did awesome, thanks for letting me tag along!

mel said...

Fun pix & write-up, and what a fabulous race our PacNW runners had - very cool! Thanks for posting all this.

I hope Thornley notices Hal's choice of pants in the awards picture...

Speedgoat Karl said...

Way to go guys! Now go eat some Carcinogen Turkey! Gobble Gobble!

Ted Nunes said...

Umphreys ..... Nice choice!

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