The 25–year anniversary of the iconic Way Too Cool 50k was a smashing success, with an exact 1,000 finishers, the most ever. Despite the huge size, the race was executed flawlessly by Race Director Julie Fingar and her team, and the post-race festival was one of the best ultra parties in recent memory.
Fast times and tight races at the front of the pack were a highlight, as trail blazing youngsters Chris Vargo and Alex Varner sped through the course neck and neck until the very end, when Vargo eased in front of Varner less than a mile out and pulled away for a 17 second margin of victory in 3.16.51. Vargo’s and Varner’s times were the second and third fastest in the history of the race. On the women’s side there was similar tight race going on between former winner Caitlin Smith and ultra newcomer Magdalena Lewy-Boulet. The two friends ran stride for stride throughout the race, as if they were on a fast training run. But in just her second ultra Lewy-Boulet pulled away at the gnarliest climb of the race- the infamous Goat Hill at mile 25, and then cruised to victory in 3.53.04. The former Olympic marathoner’s victory heralds her arrival on the ultra scene, and was the second fastest time in race history. Smith crossed the line 3 minutes later in the fourth fastest time ever for a woman at Cool. After the race the two friends were again inseparable at various vendor booths and post race venues.
Meanwhile hundreds of runners were out in the course enjoying the ideal spring weather that was a perfect 60 degrees under clear blue skies. And then in 8 hours 35 minutes, Ed Ryan age 58 crossed the finished line DFL, but in the historic 1,000th place, ‘Way Too’ go Ed!!!
A complete race report with interviews and photos will appear in the May/June issue of UR magazine.