Even as the temperatures start to dip heading into Thanksgiving week, the UltraRunning Calendar remains stacked from Georgia up to Maryland, across to Ohio, south to Texas, into Utah and over to the West Coast in Oregon and California.
The 59th Annual JFK 50 Mile, America’s oldest ultramarathon, leads our weekend lineup this Saturday, November 20, starting in downtown Boonsboro, Maryland at 6:30 a.m. EST. The elite women’s and men’s fields are stronger than ever, featuring names like 2020 runner-up Sarah Cummings, 2021 USATF 50k National Champion Kimber Mattox, three-time USA Champion Fernando Cabada, and the new USATF Marathon Champion from earlier this month in Moab, Utah, Adam Peterman.
Last year’s race saw Hayden Hawks set a new course record and with the forecast anticipating dry and cool weather, there’s an opportunity for fast times with a deep field. Andy Mason of The Herald-Mail will be tweeting live race day updates as he has in years past. Who’s your pick for the men’s and women’s title? Will we see either course record fall? Chime in with your guesses in the comments section below.
Nearly five hours west in Bath, Ohio, the Regal Beagle 50k kicks off on Sunday, November 21 at 8 a.m. EST. The five-mile, six-loop course in the vast Bath Nature Preserve is flat and fast, too. If you’re in the greater Akron/Cleveland area and looking for an ultramarathon to run this weekend, there are 23 spots left as of publishing time—get on it!
Heading southeast to Columbus, Georgia we’ve got the Fountain City 5 50k also on Sunday. The course is a 5k loop that runs along the Chattahoochee River: “the longest urban whitewater course in the world.” The theme this week so far is flat and fast, and the Fountain City 5 is no different.
As we move our way west, we find the Dinosaur Valley Endurance Run touting a 50k, 100k and 100-mile race in Glen Rose, Texas, with an elevation rating of ‘2’ meaning it’s still pretty fast, but there will be more rolling hills than the last two aforementioned events. Quite uniquely, the 50k race can be started on Saturday or Sunday.
Bumping up to an elevation rating of ‘3’ in Moab, Utah, is the Dead Horse Ultra 50k/50m races on Saturday. Featuring the Magnificent Seven Trails off Gemini Bridges, these courses feature challenging slickrock with stunning views of Arches National Park and the snow-capped peaks of the La Sal Mountains towards the east.
When we finally reach the West Coast, we find the mountainous Nine Trails 35 Mile Endurance Run in Santa Barbara, California. An out-and-back course covering nearly every trail in the front country of the Los Padres National Forest overlooking the American Riviera and the Channel Islands National Park, this course has it all: big climbs, technical descents and even the opportunity to hop into a hot spring mid-race to soak your achy muscles. Yours truly is lining up, too.
Other ultra races this weekend include the Cape Mountain 50k in Florence, Oregon, Bound For the Hounds 6-hour in Shortsville, New York, and the Crooked Road 24 Hour Ultra in Rocky Mountain, Virginia, all starting on Saturday.
What’s Up in Ultra in your town this weekend? Do you have a race you’re looking forward to after Thanksgiving next weekend? Be sure to keep us in the loop so we don’t miss out on any of the fun, wherever it may be.