Nick Curelop and Kehr Davis didn’t manage to rewrite the record boards at the Jug End Loop Ultra six-hour race on Saturday, July 28, but they came pretty darn close.
Both Curelop, of Housatonic, Mass., and Davis, of Great Barrington, Mass., missed setting new men’s and women’s records by less than one mile at the third annual event at Jug End State Reservation in Egremont, Mass.
Racing on a 4.2-mile loop that took them through an apple orchard, open fields and shaded forests while tackling more than 800 feet per loop, Curelop battled Tim Goric of West Hartford, Conn., in the men’s race while Davis easily outdistanced the women’s field. Both Curelop and Davis were near record pace throughout the day, and their pursuit continued into the final hour when runners switched from the long loop to a .88-mile miniature loop to get credit for a bit more distance.
Ultimately, Curelop closed out his day with a total of 40.64 miles, landing the 30-year-old in second place on the men’s record board behind Jason Mintz’s 41.52 from 2016. Goric, 32, placed second with 38.88 miles, earning fourth place on the record board (Goric also holds the third-place position with 39.13 miles in 2017. Scott Defusco, 42, of Beverly, Mass., rounded out the men’s podium with 35.56 miles.
Meanwhile, Davis cruised to a first-place finish in the women’s race – and third place overall – with 37.12 miles. Davis, 41, came within one mini-loop of beating her own course record of 37.67 miles which she established in 2017. Her closest competitor was 31-year-old Kathryn Zioto of Boston, Mass., who completed 33.8 miles. Ariana Pike, 30, of Windsor, Conn., rounded out the women’s podium with 31.16 miles.
Other runners who tallied at least 30 miles of distance were 51-year-old Alex Parker of West Roxbury, Mass., who placed fifth overall with 33.8 miles; 55-year-old Mike Spitzer of Sheffield, Mass., and 32-year-old Jordan Pike of Windsor, Conn., who both notched 32.92 miles; 32-year-old Matthew Imberman of Brooklyn, N.Y., who completed 32.04 miles; and 28-year-old Zachary Schmidt of Dover, N.H., who ran 30.48 miles.
Of the 70 runners who took part in the six-hour race, 23 surpassed the marathon distance.
In addition to the six-hour race, a one-loop 4.2-mile race was offered for the first time this year. Fifteen runners took part in that race with Jennifer Bell, 52, of Dalton, Mass., bringing home the overall win in 42:08, followed by 12-year-old Abigail Parker of Hinsdale, Mass., in 44:16. Carmine Rizzo, 45, of Pawling, N.Y., was the men’s winner in 51:12.
Proceeds from the race went to Louison House, a homeless shelter in North Adams, Mass., that supports those who need it in northern Berkshire County. A donation of $1,692.55 was made this year, nearly matching the $1,700 raised in 2017.
Jug End is part of the Berkshire Ultra Running Community for Service’s (BURCS) race series. Up next in the BURCS Race Series is the Sweltering Summer 8-Hour Ultra on Saturday, Aug. 11, in Pittsfield, Mass.