It was a profitable day for a number of Canadian ultrarunners on the 61st operating of the JFK 50-mile race (America’s oldest extremely) in Washington County, Md. Former Canadian 50K document holder Calum Neff, and Robyn Mildren of Dundas, Ont., completed as runners-up within the males’s and girls’s races, and Quebec’s Valérie Arsenault was third within the girls’s race.
Canadians end 2nd in each Males’s & Ladies’s division at @jfk50mile . Plus Valérie Arsenault third. @CalNeff and Robyn Mildren each ran the quickest occasions ever by Canadians on the course by about 20 minutes every.
Cal was 10 minutes again of winner and Robyn solely 4 minutes again! https://t.co/LAkBuJXro5
— Reid Coolsaet (@ReidCoolsaet) November 18, 2023
Neff’s time was 5:38–10 minutes behind Seth Ruhling, who ran 5:28:38 (Ruhling additionally gained in 2019). Neff was simply forward of third place, Ryan Sullivan, who completed in 5:40. Ruhling’s time was the fifth quickest within the race’s historical past.
Neff described the race on social media as one of many hardest races he’s ever accomplished. “It was lonely and chilly on the market, undoubtedly didn’t love the gap, however it was a fantastic fall day and my time ended up being the sixteenth quickest ever at America’s oldest extremely and the quickest by a Canadian on the course by 20 minutes!”
It has been a profitable fall season for Houston-based Neff, who broke the 50K course document on the Marine Corps Marathon in Arlington, Va., simply weeks in the past—a race he mentioned was a coaching run for the JFK 50.
Twice is good
Mildren additionally ran to a second-place end, bettering the quickest time ever recorded by a Canadian on the course. Mildren crossed the road in six hours and 27 minutes, solely 4 minutes behind race winner Jennifer Lichter, who ran the fifth quickest time in race historical past, in 6:23. Arsenault rounded out the rostrum in 6:35.
“Can hardly even imagine I did this,” Mildren shared. “Second place in my 50-mile debut at America’s oldest and one of the crucial iconic ultras, that pulls among the biggest athletes on the earth.”
Lichter had an enormous lead on Mildren at one level within the race. “I used to be in a position to put up a battle and claw it again to ~3mins in the long run regardless of struggling so arduous,” Mildren mentioned. “Wasn’t fairly sufficient however I’m so happy with my thoughts and physique, I gave it all the pieces I may. 50 miles is not any joke.”
The JFK 50 was first held within the spring of 1963 after President John F. Kennedy pushed for a nationwide enhance in bodily health. Kennedy was assassinated in November of the identical 12 months, and in response to the occasion web site, many comparable races the late president had impressed folded instantly. The JFK 50, although, saved operating, and it continues to be an annual custom, 60 years later.
This 12 months, over 1,000 runners took to a course that follows the Appalachian Path, the C&O Canal Towpath, and paved roads.
For full outcomes of the JFK 50, head right here.