William Jackson and Kristen Smith have been mainstays near the front of the pack in recent years at the G.A.C. Mother’s Day 6-Hour Run, with Smith earning a few victories and Jackson coming close.
At the 24th annual race, which took place Sunday, May 13, at Bradley Palmer State Forest in Topsfield, Mass., Smith once again claimed the top spot among the women while Jackson finally secured the top spot among the men.
The recently engaged couple from Salem, Mass., swept the victories while sharing top honors for total mileage on the three-mile loop course. Both Jackson, 36, and Smith, 32, completed 13 loops and a little bit extra for 40 miles apiece.
For Jackson, the men’s victory capped a string of solid efforts at the race. He finished second in 2017 with 30 miles, third in 2016 with 40 miles, and fourth in 2015 with 33 miles. For Smith, the win was her third straight and a personal best for mileage on the course. She was the women’s champion and second overall finisher in 2017 with 37 miles, and also completed 37 miles in 2016 while finishing fourth overall and first female.
Smith’s victory in 2017 came by a narrow margin as Deidre Lowe was just steps behind her. In 2018, Smith needed another strong effort to win. Laura Ricci, 34, delivered a speedy performance finishing third overall and second among the women with 38 miles. Bethany Couto, 33, rounded out the women’s podium with 31 miles.
Andy Novis, 54, was the men’s runner-up and fourth overall finisher with 37 miles, followed by Mickel McClish, 47, with 33 miles.
Seventy-three runners took part in the race, and 13 ran beyond the marathon distance. That included 10 who completed at least 30 miles.
Other runners who completed 31 miles were Dietmar Bago, 50, and Robert Martin, 51. Ryan Couto, 33, and Linnea Laverty, 32, both finished with 30 miles.