This Week In Running: November 20, 2023

This Week in Running’s trail and ultra recap for November 20, 2023.

By on November 20, 2023 | Comments

This Week in Running Justin Mock TWIRIt was the 61st year for the JFK 50 Mile and the first year for the Dirt Circus 10k. Those are our top two races of the weekend.

Read on for those highlights and several others.

JFK 50 Mile – Boonsboro, Maryland

This was the race’s 61st year! A big field of over 1,000 with runners raced the Appalachian Trail, C&O Canal Towpath, and paved road combination course.

It was close at the end, but Jennifer Lichter was in front for the entire race. Lichter won in 6:23. It was the race’s fifth-fastest run ever.

Robyn Mildren and Valerie Arsenault were second and third in 6:27 and 6:35, respectively.

Jennifer Lichter - 2023 JFK 50 Mile - women's winner

Jennifer Lichter takes the win at the 2023 JFK 50 Mile. Photo: Colleen McGrath/Herald-Mail Media


The top five was:

1 – Jennifer Lichter – 6:23
2 – Robyn Mildren (Canada, lives in U.S.) – 6:27
3 – Valérie Arsenault (Canada) – 6:35
4 – Tara Dower – 6:51
5 – Lisa Roberts – 6:53


The 2019 JFK 50 Mile winner Seth Ruhling came back for more and won in 5:28. The time was 10 minutes better than Ruhling’s earlier run and, like women’s winner Lichter, also ranks as the race’s fifth-best ever.

Calum Neff was just in front of Ryan Sullivan for second. The two ran 5:38 and 5:40.

Seth Ruhling - 2023 JFK 50 Mile men's winner

Seth Ruhling wins the 2023 JFK 50 Mile. Photo: Collen McGrath/Herald-Mail Media

The top five was:

1 – Seth Ruhling – 5:28
2 – Calum Neff (Canada, lives in U.S.) – 5:38
3 – Ryan Sullivan – 5:40
4 – Jared Burdick – 5:46
5 – Geoffrey Burns – 5:55

Full results.

Dirt Circus 10k – Bentonville, Arkansas

The new Ultrasignup event pushed out a $10,000 prize purse. Some $3,000 went to each of the winners with money stretching three deep. That’s what I call Great Value. The race was run on a wild trail with lots of turns that totaled 790 feet of elevation gain.


Dani Moreno was way out front. Moreno finished the 10k course in 47:02.

Megan Lacy and Erin Woodward got on the podium at 49:33 and 50:48, and then there was a big gap back to the next finishers.

Fourth- and fifth-place Lydiah Mathathi and Karley Rempel finished in 55:58 and 55:59.


Christian Allen won for the men with a 38:00 first-place finish. That was nearly a minute up on everyone else. Nicknamed “Slim,” Allen’s pockets will be thick after this payday.

Second-place Morgan Elliott came through in 38:50 and Dan Curts was third in 39:16.

More typically at the top of the leaderboard, Joseph Gray and Andy Wacker were fourth and fifth in 39:26 and 40:58.

Full results.

Golden Gate Trail Classic – San Francisco, California

The race was the last stop of the 2023 Spartan Trail World Championships, but it hasn’t really gained the competitive traction of the former The North Face 50 Mile Championships event.

50 Mile

The top three women all ran under nine hours. Aude Hofleitner was first in 8:35. Men’s leader Benjamin Cook was almost an hour better than everyone else in 7:37.


Less than five minutes separated the first three women. Amanda Bayer escaped Courtney Hollingsworth and Andrea Bilodeau with a 5:28 first-place finish. Hollingsworth was only six seconds behind, also in 5:28, and Bilodeau was third in 5:33.

Men’s leader Franklin Rice outpaced Noa Sakamoto and Tim Freriks. Rice ran 4:30, Sakamoto 4:44, and Freriks 4:45.

Full results.

Additional Races and Runs

Griffith Park Trail Runs – Los Angeles, California

Maggie Noble and Scott Nickley won the 30k race in 2:29 and 2:07. Full results.

Dead Horse Ultra – Moab, Utah

50-mile winners Hannah Jochem and Koltin Hammer finished in 8:10 and 6:38, and 50k leaders Anne Flower and Cole Campbell both set new course records at 3:49 and 3:04. Full results.

2023 Dead Horse Ultra 50k - women's podium

The 2023 Dead Horse Ultra 50k women’s podium (l-to-r): 2. Giselle Slotboom, 1. Anne Flower, and 3. Genevieve Lillis. Photo: Mad Moose Events

2023 Dead Horse Ultra 50k - men's podium

The 2023 Dead Horse Ultra 50k men’s podium (l-to-r): 2. Matthew Vira, 1. Cole Campbell, and 3. Brooks MacDonald. Photo: Mad Moose Events

Wild Hare – Warda, Texas

The Tejas Trails race happened on a privately owned ranch between Austin and Houston. The 50-mile winners Carmen Busceme and Mason Grundy finished in 9:52 and 8:41, and 50k bests Rochelle Benson and Terry Palmer ran 6:04 and 4:02. Full results.

Dizzy Fifties – Huntsville, Alabama

Laura Komp and James Ebert took the multi-loop 50k in 6:00 and 4:21. Full results.

Duncan Ridge Trail 50k – Blairsville, Georgia

The challenging 50k race gains over 10,000 feet of elevation. Jennifer Moos and Callan Hasling won in 8:02 and 7:42. Full results.

Looking Glass 100k – Pisgah National Forest, North Carolina

Marisa Romeo and Marcus Welker won the big loop of the Pisgah National Forest in 13:21 and 12:00. Full results.

Wild Florida Trail Run – Canttell, Florida

Both course records fell over 50k at the third-year race. Aden St Charles led the women in 5:04 and Gavin Dunn won the men’s race in 4:46. Full results.

Call for Comments

Thanksgiving Day in the U.S. makes for a busy race day, but not much on trails. What are your running plans?

Justin Mock

Justin Mock is the This Week In Running columnist for iRunFar. He’s been writing about running for 10 years. Based in Europe, Justin has run as fast as 2:29 for a road marathon and finished as high as fourth in the Pikes Peak Marathon.