A quiet second weekend of January on the ultramarathon racing scene meant Dan Kelley of Lynnfield, Mass., gets this week’s roundup all to himself – and he earned the spotlight with a victory in California.
San Diego 50
Dan Kelley landed an unusual victory at the San Diego 50.
Kelley, 40, of Lynnfield, Mass., was one of 164 runners to toe the starting line of the 50-mile race on Saturday, Jan. 13, in Escondido, Calif., but as the race unfolded on the trails through San Dieguito River Park and Black Mountain Open Space Park, things got a little crazy.
First, the temperature soared to the 80s as runners made their way along the singletrack and doubletrack trails on the out-and-back course, and they were also sucker-punched with unseasonably high humidity.
Second, the course was shortened after the race had begun due to conditions near the turnaround point. The lead runners weren’t informed of the new turnaround spot, however, and ran the full length of the course. Kelley spent the day running in the top 10 and was among the first runners who were told to turn back for what was now a 46.5-mile race.
Kelley spent the return trip picking off other runners and ultimately surged into the lead. Battling the heat and a few other runners, Kelley held off the remainder of the field and raced across the 46.5-mile finish line first in 7:12:58. Less than three minutes later, Sally McRae, 38, of Huntington Beach, Calif., cruised across the finish line for second place overall first female in 7:15:12. Michelle Gosselin, 32, of St. Louis, Mo., finished third overall in 7:21:29, followed by second-place male Kent Green, 30, of San Tan Valley, Ariz., in 7:38:42.
The top nine finishers completed the shortened course in less than eight hours, and 141 runners completed the 46.5-mile distance.
Two runners finished the full 50 miles before race directors could reroute them, so 30-year-old Tyler Nash of Boulder City, Nev., earned the victory in 8:15:15 and 32-year-old Brian Ciuchta of Lakeside, Calif., placed second and rounded out the field in 8:51:16.
*Editor’s Note: Results are found on a variety of sites, including ultrasignup.com, UltraRunning Magazine, and official race websites. We do the best we can to find as many results as possible to report on and recognize the local ultrarunning community.