After months of heavy racing, the Nov. 19-20 weekend was relatively light in anticipation of upcoming Thanksgiving feasts. The most notable ultra in the country was among the few that took place, with 50 New England residents earning finishes at the 60th edition of the JFK 50 in Maryland. Additionally, a handful of runners headed West to Moab to race the Dead Horse Ultras. Both of those races make for some light pre-holiday reading in this edition of the roundup.
The nation’s oldest ultramarathon, the JFK 50, played host to its 60th edition on Saturday, Nov. 19, taking runners on a journey along the Appalachian Trail and C&O Canal Towpath as they made their way from Boonsboro to Williamsport, Md. The legendary event featured some historic performances from the men’s and women’s champions as 26-year-old Garrett Corcoran of Baltimore, Md., clocked the fifth-fastest time ever at the event while winning in 5:29:46, a few minutes ahead of runner-up Makai Clemons, 26, of San Diego, Calif., who finished in 5:32:19. Shortly after, 38-year-old Sarah Biehl of Columbus, Ohio, smashed the women’s course record by six minutes with her winning time of 6:05:41.
Those big efforts led the way at a race that typically features a massive field. This year was no different as 966 runners finished within the 13-hour time limit – including 50 New England residents.
Leading the way for the local contingent were 26-year-old Bruce Johnson of Brewster, Mass., and 46-year-old Alyssa Anderson of Claremont, N.H. Johnson finished 40th overall in 7:14:54 while Anderson was 54th overall and seventh in the women’s field in 7:31:15. Blake Benke, 46, of WEstport, Conn., placed 67th overall in 7:40:58, and 32-year-old Kelly Wei of Woodbury, Conn., was 69th overall and the 11th-place woman in 7:42:58. Jonathan Pincince, 45, of Cranston, R.I., and Jack Begin, 19, of Augusta, Maine, also were among the top 100 finishers, with Pincince placing 73rd in 7:46:16 and Begin 75th in 7:46:47.
Twenty other New Englanders clocked in at 50 miles in less than 10 hours. They were Maximilian Armstrong, 30, of Freedom, N.H. (8:26:28); Rob Mandeville, 38, of Lexington, Mass. (8:27:06); Theresa McBride, 48, of Westerly, R.I. (8:33:02); Anuj Sirsikar, 20, of Nashua, N.H. (8:34:44); Aaron Dy, 31, of Dorchester Center, Mass. (8:36:34); Brendan O’Hara, 41, of Salem, Mass. (8:38:40); Brian Power, 53, of Westport, Conn. (8:40:32); Annie Buelt, 20, of New London, Conn. (8:49:00); Brandon Wunder, 19, of New London, Conn. (8:54:29); Aaron Diamond, 43, of Westport, Conn. (8:58:48); Drew Gerety, 24, of Melrose, Mass. (9:12:26); Connie Lutkevich, 54, of Belgrade, Maine (9:14:45); Erik Zukauskas, 43, of Bridgeport, Conn. (9:26:12); Matthew Lynch, 38, of New Haven, Conn. (9:28:09); Jacob Revelo, 20, of Florence, Mass. (9:32:33); James Cormie, 38, of New Haven, Conn. (9:36:41); Ryan Benz, 23, of Somerville, Mass. (9:37:30); Jeffrey Ray, 39, of New London, N.H. (9:43:33); Stephanie Tang, 40, of Westport, Conn. (9:46:45); and Sean Cavanaugh, 53, of Hingham, Mass. (9:59:51).
Additional finishers from New England were Jana Kenney, 33, of Portland, Maine (10:01:56); Belinda Nyakowa, 42, of Leominster, Mass. (10:03:35); Michael Minopoli, 32, of Trumbull, Conn. (10:07:26); Brendan Cavanaugh, 54, of Scituate, Mass. (10:14:12); Curtis Lueker, 50, of Westport, Conn. (10:17:30); Tanner Wadovick, 20, of North Kingstown, R.I. (10:25:33); Patrick Burke, 41, of Concord, Mass. (10:34:07); Hilary Donahue, 37, of Concord, Mass. (10:34:08); Abigail Anderson, 47, of Marblehead, Mass. (10:40:49); Marc Anderson, 48, of Marblehead, Mass. (10:51:57); Joel Schrock, 36, of Milford, Conn. (10:54:14); Jonathan Bath, 29, of Brockton, Mass. (10:55:42); Ryan Hanley, 48, of Concord, Mass. (11:01:48); Bill Moran, 30, of Bristol, R.I. (11:03:57); Ross Minkov, 50, of Whitinsville, Mass. (11:12:15); Jennifer Smith, 44, of Scituate, Mass. (11:23:51); Desmond McGoey, 58, of Ridgefield, Conn. (11:27:46); Eric Goodman, 52, of Weston, Conn. (11:33:13); Phil Martin, 63, of Colchester, Vt. (11:41:25); Tim Ferron, 20, of Greenville, R.I. (11:53:49); Colin Walker, 54, of Westport, Conn. (12:18:27); Diana Benke, 50, of Westport, Conn. (12:18:27); Darren Carmon, 40, of Boston, Mass. (12:45:31); and Rhiana Sherwood, 38, of Millbury, Mass. (12:48:22).
Dead Horse Ultra
Four New England residents took to the technical slickrock trails of Moab, Utah, to earn their first ultramarathon finishes at the eighth annual Dead Horse Ultra 50-mile and 50K trail races on Saturday, Nov. 19. John Collmer, 46, and Christopher Reale, 40, both of Hingham, Mass., and Deirdre Bailey, 33, and Gwendolyn Bailey, 29, both of Buxton, Maine, completed the 50-mile race and became ultramarathoners while taking in scenic views of Arches National Park and the Moab Valley. Collamer finished in 12:10:01, Reale followed a few minutes later in 12:17:13, and then the Baileys crossed the line together in 12:30:04. Another New Englander, 40-year-old Lauren Defrancesco of Guilford, Conn., also finished in 13:07:15, though it was her second ultra. Defrancesco completed her first ultra four weeks earlier at the Bimblers Bluff 50K.
Morgan Galvin, 28, of Durango, Colo., and Nora O’Connor, 28, of Binghamton, N.Y., were the men’s and women’s 50-miler winners in 6:35:59 and 8:04:46, respectively, while leading the field of 210 finishers within 13 ½ hours.
In addition to the 50-miler, another 347 runners completed a 50K at Dead Horse within 12 ½ hours. Five New England residents were among that group. Bridget Freudenberger, 44, of Colebrook, N.H., led the way for the local contingent in 5:52:44, followed by Kimberly Tillotson, 40, of Barre, Vt., in 5:54:56. Additionally, 28-year-old Matthew D’Agostino of Worcester, Mass., finished in 6:18:28; and 41-year-old Matt Benjamin and 38-year-old Abigail Scott, both of Conway, N.H., finished in 6:35:40 and 6:35:41, respectively. Gary Messina, 29, of Salt Lake City, Utah, and Katherin Robinson, 28, of Fruita, Colo., topped the men’s and women’s fields in 3:22:24 and 3:58:10.
*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.