2013 JFK 50 Mile Results

The 2013 JFK 50 Mile saw blazing fast times despite significant winds on exposed portions of the course. However, the cool, dry weather could only help runners along.

Women’s favorite Emily Harrison led from wire-to-wire, never leaving any doubt as to whether or not she’d win the women’s race. The only questions were how fast would she run and where would she place overall. Well, her 6:35 was good enough to take home tenth overall. Sixyh-place woman Alyssa Godesky reports in a comment below,

I hit the AT in maybe 8th or 9th and gained some ground on the trails, ultimately coming onto the towpath in 2nd with 3rd (Shegoski) right on my heels. About 5 miles in Lara passed me but somehow I did pass her back. I held on until 26, when I was passed by a group of 3 girls (who all took 2,3,4) all running quite strong together and looking comfortable. Not sure how long they stayed together, but would love to know! At 38 I was passed for 5th, and I managed to hold on for 6th.

While nearby men’s runner CrawfordJr (and commenter) notes,

I came off of the AT just as Lara Shegoski was leaving the aid station. I briefly passed Lara but an unfortunate restroom break put her back ahead of me. At about mile 23, Sage Norton and Kara Henry passed me looking very strong, running side by side, and chatting. They then slowly caught up to Lara and the three of them began running together. I saw the three of them catch up to Alyssa and eventually pass her, and I hung onto the back of their group until probably mile 33. (They kept flying through the aid stations and finally dropped me!).

It looks like Sage and Kara were still together but two minutes ahead of Lara at mile 42 when the road section started. Then it looks like Sage build a 3 minute lead over Kara to grab 2nd place.

[Editor’s Note: If you were one of the women battling behind Emily, we’d love to know how the battle for the rest of the top five played out!]

Emily Harrison - 2013 JFK 50 mile - win

Emily Harrison wins the 2013 JFK 50 mile. All Photos: Eric Senseman

On the other hand, the front of the men’s race was topsy turvy throughout. Josh Arthur and Iain Ridgway left the Appalachian Trail for the towpath before the rest of the field, but Zach Miller (not the one some ultra aficionados are thinking of), Matt Flaherty, and Rob Krar were all within a minute or so of the lead. Once on the pancake-flat towpath, Krar, Miller, and Arthur took off with the last quickly falling off the pace around mid-race. Krar and Miller continued to battle with each opening small gaps on the other. It appears that Krar made a move after mile 30, opening up a 45-second lead on Miller by mile 34, but less than 5 miles later, it was Miller pulling Krar along. And then Krar dropped out leaving Miller all alone out in front. Still, Flaherty had relentlessly stayed 3to 4 minutes behind the leaders since mid-race and he continued to pursue Miller with Mike Wardian making an even stronger late charge. Neither would catch the previously unknown 25-year-old Miller, who had no marathons and two 50ks to his resume before winning JFK in the third fastest time ever–5:38:53. Zach ran for Division III RIT where he set PRs of 31:23 in the 10,000m and 15:32 for 5k.

Zach Miller - 2013 JFK 50 Mile - tow path

Zach Miller on his way to winning the 2013 JFK 50 mile.

Thanks to Andy Mason, Eric Senseman, and Rachel Smith for providing all the reports!

Men’s Results – 2013 JKF 50 Mile

  1. Zach Miller – 5:38:53 (third fastest JFK 50 ever)
  2. Matt Flaherty (Salomon) – 5:44:37
  3. Mike Wardian (The North Face)- 5:55:37
  4. Iain Ridgway – 5:57:26
  5. Ryan Aschbrenner – 6:13:25
  6. Mike Bialick – 6:14:45
  7. Kenneth Janosko – 6:16:58
  8. Daven Oskvig – 6:19:26
  9. Jon Lawler – 6:21:19 (masters winner)
  10. Will Kuper – 6:35:27

Full results.

Mike Wardian - 2013 JFK 50 Mile

Mike Wardian taking third six days after racing two marathons in a day (and winning the first).

Women’s Results – 2013 JFK 50 Mile

  1. Emily Harrison (adidas) – 6:35:05
  2. Sage Norton – 7:14:03
  3. Kara Henry (Newton) – 7:17:37
  4. Lara Shegoski – 7:20:34
  5. Shanna Ailes-Istnick – 7:30:02
  6. Alyssa Godesky (Oiselle) – 7:38:20
  7. Emily Halnon (Oiselle) – 7:46:33
  8. Erin Sutton (Altra) – 7:49:38
  9. Lindsay Simpson – 7:52:07
  10. Phyllis Tsang – 8:00:29

Full results.

 

Kara Henry - 2013 JFK 50 Mile

Kara Henry running in second early.

Additional Resources

Please let us know if you know of other 2013 JFK 50 resources!

Call for Comments

  • What do you think of the Emily Harrison’s dominance of the women’s race? How about the dynamic men’s race or Zach Miller’s breakthrough performance?
  • Did you run JFK this year? If so, how’d it go for you?
  • Have fond memories of running JFK? Share ’em!

There are 26 comments

  1. @PatrickDLyons

    I was a bit surprised – but delighted! – by Rob Krar's entrance in this race with TNF 50 Championship coming up in just two weeks. From what I can tell, in the past two years, only one runner finished JFK50 in the top 10 and toed the line at TNF 50: Michael Wardian (2011, 2nd & 18th, respectively).

    Last year, JFK50 sponsor Montrail sent Max King and Ellie Greenwood to dominate the course. But with Rob being sponsored by North Face – and not 2013 sponsor Hoka One One – I find his choice interesting with TNF's big, year ending race. Hopefully, some light on this.

    Speedgoat: change of plans about running JFK50 this year? I recall you mentioning it at one point on Talk Ultra and with Hoka One One sponsoring, thought it would be a good fit for you to trek out to the East Coast.

    Finally, congratulations to the runner now known as Zach "Previously Unknown" Miller. For having the same name as another top ultra runner, Zach, your nickname will do wonders for branding and future endorsement. Kudos, PU and for iRunFar for always excellent coverage!!

    1. EllieJG

      Just to note, although Montrail were more than happy that i raced at JFK I attended at the invitation of RD, Mike Spinnler. Each year, Mike really works hard to try get a competitive field, as well as paying attention to all runners, wherever they are in the pack. Mike organised a pick up from the airport by some local runners for me (way better than any airport shuttle!) and Andy Mason (local newspaper reported and competitive runner himself) drove myself, Max and Ian around the course the day prior in his own car. We were truly welcomed on a personal level to this awesome race, as are all runners.

      1. garygellin

        So the other Zach Miller is the one from Montana who was a close 2nd at Bighorn 100 last year? Zach from Montana strikes me as a pure mountain man whom you wouldn't see at JFK. Maybe there is a third one!

  2. AtomLawrence

    Wow. I actually didn't think Krar could be beaten at this kind of race (trail mixed with lots of flat road-like sections), but it's especially impressive that this kid came out of nowhere to take the win. Awesome work Zach "Previously Unkown" Miller. It looks like Krar dropped once his podium chances started to fade? Or perhaps he just didn't want to burn himself out for TNF. Mike Wardian is a monster. What else is there to say?

  3. tellick

    Way to go Emily and Zach! I ran today and can vouch for the wind being uncomfortable, albeit not soo terrible. I'm just happy it didn't rain. Thankfully all the race vets (who started the race two hours earlier) and the speedier athletes trampled down the leaves on the AT, saving me from stubbing my toe or face planting. Didn't make my A race goal, but had a wonderful day at a first class race! Thanks to all of the wonderful volunteers!

  4. j_w_s

    I have to think that barring any injury concerns…Krar pulled the plug on this one today because he wanted to be in prime condition for the TNFEC50 that is run by his sponsor in a couple of weeks. He's my pick to win that race despite dropping today.

  5. smartsolutionII

    I see this win by an unknown road runner as more evidence that as ultrarunning gains popularity — the current big names Krupicka, Roes, Grant, Jornet? of the ultra world will falter and current FKTs / course records will be smashed by a new breed of more competitive runners — Canaday, Clayton, Krar, Miller, etc… It may have been Krupicka or some other consistent ultra runner who said that road runners have a very different skillset than is needed to compete at the top of ultrarunning. I think that frame of mind may be changing as more road runners are breaking into the scene and being surprisingly competitive. Dakota Jones has also picked up on this — and I think has changed his training to be more competitive with the road runners. I think it's a win -win for the sport in general — as long as the laid back nature of trail running may survive. Props to Zach Miller for this big effort! Hope to see more from him… (and yes, I realize the JFK50 is much more of a road runner's course…)

    1. Bryon of iRunFar

      Totally get your point, but I'm not sure that Miller has much of a road racing background. However, he did run scholastic and collegiate cross country and track. Looks like he's been doing some sweet trail running post-collegiately – https://www.facebook.com/zach.miller.92775/media_… .

      What's interesting is that guys like Krupicka, Roes, Meltzer, (and more) all competed scholastically with the latter two both logging solid high school mile PRs. How to tease out the difference, if there is one between the two groups you note. Does the second group have inherent natural speed? Is it cultivated speed? Is it the more or less immediate continuation of a highly competitive/structured track or road racing background with their start of trail/ultra racing? Is it the latter group's continuation of structured track/road racing training while racing trails/ultras (whether the workouts are on tracks, roads, or trails).

      Food for thought.

      1. AtomLawrence

        I suspect part of the adaptation is mental. Many ultrarunners teach themselves to remain comfortable as long as possible, knowing that sooner or later the accumulated fatigue of vertical ft and miles will make running an 8:00 feel like a sprint. The old logic was that anyone who opens an ultra running a sub 7:00 was doomed, but (I think at tarawera) Canaday was able to blow up and walk the last mile or two, but was so fast in the opening that Olsen still couldn't catch him. On the track and the road you have to just push hard from the outset, and hope to hell your legs are still there for you in the closing miles. Smart pacing will always be rewarded, but it seems the road and track guys might just be willing/able to take more risks with their pace in the earlier miles. But Bryon's absolutely right that even guys we think of as doing nothing but LSD in the mountains did a lot of track/XC workouts once upon a time, when their young legs were first developing. Personally, I'm just waiting for there to be enough money in ultrarunning to attract the East African superspeedsters like Kipsang and Mutai who do a sub 5:00 min pace for 26.2. Watching those guys in a rugged mountain ultra will be truly epic.

        1. smartsolutionII

          Much of this discussion may have little to do with intrinsic differences in running types –but perhaps simply a numbers game. As ultrarunning is becoming more popular across the baords — we're bound to see more big names attracted as well — and the tops slots will become more competitive…

          I would be curious to see if world class road marathoners would have similar advantages in a European skyrunning race with race specific training.

          1. AtomLawrence

            That's an excellent point. While race-specific training is important, and running 9:00s for 15 hours up and down the sides of mountains is certainly physiologically different than running a 4:00 minute track mile, it seems probable that aerobic capacity, leg strength, metabolism, and biomechanical efficiency are much harder to build than race-specific adaptations. What we're seeing now could simply be the inevitable byproduct of professionalization and an increased sample size of top ultrarunners. After all, where are you going to find top running talent that's been training since puberty if not XC, track, and road marathoning? There's no professional/scholarship track for ultra-distance mountain running yet, no college teams, and even now the sponsership/prize money paydays for ultras pale in comparison to road marathoning. In the past, the most cynical interpretation of these facts has been that ultras tend to get the second or third-tier of endurance running talent, with the best of the best pursuing an Olympic path. At least at 100s this interpretation seems to be anecdotally untrue, given the number of speedy road and track guys (Clayton, for example) who have been unable to compete with the likes of Olsen and Meltzer. Conversely, I suspect the "slowness" of the hardcore mountain guys is exaggerated. Even if they never train for it, I can't imagine people with that kind of fitness couldn't be reasonably fast at shorter flatter distances. I'm pretty slow and have no real running background, but the first time I ever tried to run a flat mile all out, I pulled off a 6:00, after doing nothing but ridiculously long and climby hike/jogs for weeks. Not blazing fast, but at least twice the speed that I'd been doing most of my training at.

  6. ChrisErrecart

    I happened to meet Zach 2 weeks ago at Bootlegger 50k. Awesome young guy who at the time told me he was thinking about driving back cross country to do JFK. Said he thought it might be a good race to try and break onto the scene. Mission accomplished.

  7. agodesky

    Haha thanks Kelly!!

    Bryon – In terms of the ladies race, this is what I know…..I hit the AT in maybe 8th or 9th and gained some ground on the trails, ultimately coming onto the towpath in 2nd with 3rd (Shegoski) right on my heels. About 5 miles in Lara passed me but somehow I did pass her back. I held on until 26, when I was passed by a group of 3 girls (who all took 2,3,4) all running quite strong together and looking comfortable. Not sure how long they stayed together, but would love to know! At 38 I was passed for 5th, and I managed to hold on for 6th.

    1. crawfordjr

      This is exactly what I saw. I was right behind the four of you when you were briefly all running together.

      I came off of the AT just as Lara Shegoski was leaving the aid station. I briefly passed Lara but an unfortunate restroom break put her back ahead of me. At about mile 23 Sage Norton and Kara Henry passed me looking very strong, running side by side, and chatting. They then slowly caught up to Lara and the three of them began running together. I saw the three of them catch up to Alyssa and eventually pass her, and I hung onto the back of their group until probably mile 33. (They kept flying through the aid stations and finally dropped me!).

      It looks like Sage and Kara were still together but two minutes ahead of Lara at mile 42 when the road section started. Then it looks like Sage build a 3 minute lead over Kara to grab 2nd place.

  8. ThaMessenjah

    Is nobody remembering that Wardian ran two sub 3 hour marathons that were 1,000 miles from each other and had to get on a plane to get between the two just last Sunday and then ran a 5:55 at JFK yesterday? This guy is a freaking stud

  9. EllieJG

    Thanks for the coverage of JKF :) I absolutely loved this event last year, it's a true classic event with so much history and recognition of runners who have run it in the past or are still doing so year after year. Mike Spinnler, RD, is so passionate about the sport and the event, and truly cares that each and every runner has a great experience. For anyone on the west coast it is certainly worth making the trip to race at JFK.

  10. ultradad58

    Second the thanks for the coverage of one of our great east coast ultras. I ran yesterday and despite the colder and much more windy day, I had a solid run (for me). This was my second year in a row running and was able to knock more than an hour off of my time from last year (stomach issues last year). Such a unique type of race with the road beginning, the AT trail section, the never-ending towpath section and the extremely hard on your feet rolling country roads final section. The volunteers were fantastic and the race is well managed.

  11. @SnowyScott

    That picture of Mike Wardian – no offense to him – shows a horrific foot impact angle – which I've noticed many times before from both him and other Hoka runners … That is full inward pronation- to the point it almost looks like he's rolling his ankle…. I know..pointless comment, pictures don't tell the whole story,etc…but just look at it. You can clearly see the complete breakdown from knee to shin to foot

    1. Ken_Z

      You're not the only one who notices that with those shoes… so I'm coming up behind someone at a road race (a long ultra) and his inward pronation in his Hokas was horrific, so bad that if he hadn't been mid race, I would have pulled him aside and asked him if I could video him to show him how awful it looked. So as I come up past him, it's…. Marshall Ulrich. OK, knowing that I certainly wouldn't have pulled him aside. He's freakin' Marshall Ulrich! The dude runs across the US and doesn't seem to have issues. But seriously Scott, his ankle torquing was like a horror show playing out in front of my eyes. Bottom of his foot must have been canted inwards 7, 9, maybe even 12 degrees or more?

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