It took a record-setting performance to deny Patrick Caron the victory in the 50-mile race at the TARC Fall Classic in 2015.
Caron wouldn’t be denied the victory two years in a row.
The 19-year-old from Needham, Mass., hammered all five loops of the course Saturday, Sept. 10, at Great Brook Farm State Park in Carlisle, Mass., and obliterated the course record in a blistering time of 7:05:41.
Caron’s performance was well more than an hour faster than his time from 2015, and he surpassed Hanscomb Air Force Base resident Billy Preston’s old course standard by 47 minutes. Caron now owns two of the top three times for the 50-mile distance at the Fall Classic.
The 50-miler was added to the Fall Classic lineup in 2015, although the event itself has taken place every year since 2011.
Ryan Timme, 29, of New Haven, Conn., was the runner-up Saturday with a time of 8:48:55, good for the fourth-fastest time in course history but more than an hour and 40 minutes behind Caron. Jacob Varekamp, 42, of Norwell, Mass., finished a distant third in 9:21:00.
Capitalizing on the friendly terrain of Great Brook Farm State Park with its occasional rocks and roots and rolling hills, Kristin Scott made sure the women’s course record also fell. Scott, 32, of Boston, Mass., finished fourth overall and took top female honors with a winning time of 9:26:26, more than a half-hour faster than the previous course record set by Jodi Badershall in 2015. Anne Gutmann, 37, of Boxford, Mass., was the second-place female and 11th overall in 10:28:03, while Kerrie-Ann Briguglio, 45, of Townsend, Mass., took third-place female honors and finished 12thoverall in 10:29:08.
A total of 28 runners completed the 50-mile race.
Wetzel, Pak Take Top Honors in 50K
Beginning with her victory in the marathon at the TARC Spring Classic in April, Lori Wetzel has compiled a 2016 racing season full of consistently strong performances. No matter the distance – she was the ninth-place female at the difficult and competitive Miwok 100K in California in May, second-place female at the hilly Vermont 100K in July, and second-place female on a fast 40-mile course at the TARC Summer Classic in August – Wetzel has continually found herself near the front of the pack.
For Wetzel, the TARC Fall Classic marked her final tune-up before racing the Mountain Lakes 100-miler on Sept. 24 in Olallie Lake, Ore., and she once again turned in a quality effort.
The 43-year-old resident of Danvers, Mass., ran among the fastest men and women all day and ultimately earned herself first-place female honors with a time of 5:08:54, also good for seventh overall and seventh-fastest time by a female ever on the course. Yuki Chorney, 44, of Mount Vernon, N.H., was the second-place female and eighth overall in 5:15:19. Heather Lucas, 32, of Hopkinton, Mass., finished ninth overall and was the third-place female in 5:17:50.
The overall win went to Jynyong Pak, 38, of Beverly, Mass., who cruised to victory in 3:59:37, good for the third-fastest time in course history and 21 minutes ahead of runner-up Thomas Gennaro, 30, of Jamaica Plain, Mass., who crossed the finish line in 4:20:27. Gary David, 46, of Stow, Mass., finished third overall in 4:37:03.
Other Bay Staters to finish in the top 10 were Gregory Esbitt, 42, of Salem, Mass., who finished sixth overall in 4:59:33, and Pete Cannon, 28, of Boston, Mass., who placed 10th overall in 5:26:48.
A total of 82 runners completed the 50K race, the most ever in the history of the event.
Up Next: TARC 100
A busy year of TARC trail races continues with the TARC 100 on Oct. 8-9 at Hale Reservation in Westwood, Mass. The event will include 100-mile, 100-kilometer, 50-mile, and marathon distances.
The fourth running of the TARC 100 will be the last for the time being as the Trail Animals Running Club announced in August that the event will go on hiatus for at least the next few years as the group takes over the Ghost Train 100 beginning in 2017. TARC has played a major role in supporting Ghost Train in recent years.
Registration for the TARC 100 closes Oct. 4 and can be done via ultrasignup.