Photo by Nick Presniakov
The 56th Annual JFK 50 Mile on Saturday, November 17th is shaping up to be a hotly contested battle between a strong collection of rabbit athletes from across the country.
First held in the spring of 1963, the JFK50 was one of a few 50-mile ultramarathon events held around the country as part of then President John F. Kennedy’s plan to help inspire and increase the fitness levels of our nation. Just a few months later when Kennedy was assassinated in the fall of ‘63, most of his organized endurance events were cancelled, but the JFK50 of Hagerstown, Maryland has held strong all of these years.
rabbitPRO Eric Senseman from Flagstaff, Arizona is the defending champion and has had a strong fall training season including an impressive second place finish at the Flagstaff to Grand Canyon Stagecoach Line 55k in September. He had this to say ahead of race day, when he hopes to improve upon his 5:46:54 from 2017, the tenth fastest performance in the history of the race. “JFK is an iconic race that I'm lucky enough to be racing for the 4th time this Saturday. As the defending champion against a strong field, I'm ready for the challenge ahead. It should be an exciting race.”
Lining up alongside Eric and representing the rabbitELITEtrail team will be Dan Goldstein of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Bethany Patterson haling from Richmond, Virginia, and Anthony Kunkel from Durango, Colorado.
Dan has had a breakthrough season with a win at the Green Lakes 50k in Fayetteville, New York as well as two other podiums at 50ks earlier in the year. Bethany last raced the JFK50 in 2011, finishing 8th and has found success this year winning the Dahlgren Heritage Rail Trail 50k and coming in 5th at Ultra Race of Champions 100K in Skylark, Virginia back in May. Anthony is no stranger to the race as well, finishing in 2nd behind Jim Walmsley’s course record setting performance in 2016 and 3rd place last year.
Photo by Cody Reed
Look out for HOKA athlete and 2nd place finisher from Way Too Cool 50k and Lake Sonoma 50 this spring, Jared Hazen, helping the front runners push the pace in his characteristic aggressive racing style in what looks to be definitely cold and possibly snowy conditions on Saturday.