And what a celebration! A "grand cru" with the coronation of both the new king and queen of this oldest American ultra event. Of course, I was way behind and too busy with my own run to follow the head of the race but I got a glimpse of the winner's performance as I was entering the Taylor's Landing aid station at mile 38.4 and a volunteer announced to others: "Max King has already finished, setting a new course record!" Geez, my GPS clock was indicating 5:42 and I had still 12 miles to cover...
At the award ceremony, Race Director Mike Spinnler told us it had been fascinating seeing the fierce competition for both the men and women overall lead (thanks especially to his skills for inviting the best North American distance runners to his race), seeing David taking the lead upfront before having to compromise for 3rd place, still in 4:45:26, a time faster than Eric's long lasting 1994 CR! Here is David, still leading the race at mile 15:
Chuckanut and stopped by after my finish: he admitted the last 5 miles were very tough for him. With an average pace of 6:43 min/mile (!), and 10 miles of technical trail, he must have run a few miles at 5 min/mile!
the JFK 50 mile challenge's website.
my Personal Best at 100-miles 7 days before JFK (14:55:15), not quite following the standard tapering idea... Thanks to Vespa in particular, I was actually feeling ok after last week's race if it wasn't for a cold which I contracted in Brazil the day before and which turned really bad during the week leading to JFK. On Wednesday, I still manage to work but had to go back to bed 3 times during the day between conf calls, shivering, coughing, sneezing... Thursday was slightly better but I'm still fighting the cold after the race, so it was a new experience for me to run an ultra with a cold, definitely not optimal nor recommended... And then there was the shoulder: Saturday actually corresponded exactly to the 5th anniversary month of my shoulder fracture on the TRT (Tahoe Rim Trail) and I still haven't fully recovered the mobility and strength of this complex joint. But this Saturday was the first time since June that I carried a bottle with my right arm so there is progress!
COO of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. Then at the Antietam aid station by mile 27 and Taylor's Landing at mile 38 for another and last Gu2O refill. Along the canal I was initially able to maintain a pace around 7:35-7:40 min/mile. Bev had passed me in the switchbacks and I had her in sight for 4 miles, before she had to do a pit stop. I kept going at this steady pace but had to stop myself at the Antietam aid station where she passed me again and I wasn't going to see her again. She eventually finished in 7:14, taking home the Masters title and 5th woman overall! Dennis Wallach also passed me and would easily win the M50 division in 7:14 too! Here he is (we are...), carefully negotiating the end of the switchbacks: