The Cape Cod Ultrarunning Society kicked off 2016 in the same way it has each year for the past decade: with a character-building test of endurance, commitment, and tolerance to the elements.
The club played host to the 10th annual Cape Cod Frozen Fatass 50K on Saturday, January 16, on Sandy Neck in Barnstable, Mass., and—in typical fashion for the event—the weather was at its unfavorable best.
Vertical gain isn’t an obstacle on Cape Cod, although rocks, dunes, marsh, and plenty of sand make for difficult footing even on dry days.
Cold and wet are some of the race’s traditions, and it held true again this year. Temperatures flirting with freezing, a steady, driving rain, and fierce wind gusts turned this free, fun run into a grueling challenge.
That didn’t prevent eight hearty runners from navigating two loops of the course for a full 50K ultramarathon, while another 38 completed the 25K distance.
Most in the ultra were familiar faces, none more recognizable than Fred Murolo, a Connecticut resident who became the only runner to come to the Cape and finish the 50K all 10 years, covering the course in seven hours flat.
Joe Sears was the overall winner in 5 hours, 22 minutes, after finishing sixth in 2014. Peter Lawry, the third-place finisher in 2014, moved up to second in 2016 in 5:39. Meanwhile, Marek Bykuc improved on his fourth-place finish in 2015 by claiming third-place male honors and fourth overall in 5:53 this year.
Leah Lawry was the women’s champion and third overall in 5:49, improving upon her female runner-up finish in 2015. Nicole Gercke, the third-place female in 2015, was the second woman and fifth overall this year in 6:28.
Event newcomers Shawn Daylor and Dave Long finished in 6:06 and 6:40, respectively.
- Joe Sears, 5:22 (first male)
- Peter Lawry, 5:39
- Leah Lawry, 5:49 (first female)
- Marek Bykuc, 5:53
- Shawn Daylor, 6:06
- Nicole Gercke, 6:28
- Dave Long, 6:40
- Fred Murolo, 7:00