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The week before Thanksgiving on our UltraRunning Calendar provides one last opportunity to earn your feast next Thursday. Look no further than the country’s oldest ultra just outside of the nation’s capital, a triple header in the state of Texas, a 50k/50m event in Moab and a whole lot more.
The 60th Annual JFK 50 begins in Boonsboro at 6:30 a.m. on Saturday, November 19 and finishes in Williamsport, Maryland. First held in the spring of 1963, the initial inspiration behind the event came from President John F. Kennedy when he challenged his military officers to meet the requirements that President Teddy Roosevelt had set for his own military officers at the dawn of the 20th century: that all enlisted should be able to cover 50 miles on foot in 20 hours to maintain their commissions.
The event has stood the test of time and morphed into one of the largest ultras in the country, boasting finishing numbers close to 1,000 runners each year. For 2022, the elite women’s and men’s fields are stronger than ever, featuring two Olympians, Reid Coolsaet of Canada and Caitriona Jennings out of Ireland, as well as the women’s runner-up from 2021, Sarah Biehl from Columbus, Ohio. Biehl ran the fourth-fastest time the course has ever seen. Andy Mason of The Herald-Mail will be tweeting live race day updates as he has in years past. The forecast is calling for cold, yet clear conditions. 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.
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, on Saturday. As a unique bonus, the 50k race can be started on either Saturday or Sunday. UltraRunning Ambassador Charlie Fisher is doing an Instagram takeover for the race, so be sure to follow along to check out all the behind the scenes action.
The Dead Horse Ultra 50k/50m races in Moab, Utah, are also taking place 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. Registration closes tonight and there are just 49 spots left.
Other races around the country include the Dizzy Fifties 50k in Huntsville, Alabama, the Wild Hare 50k/50-mile in Warda, Texas, the Crooked Road 24-Hour Ultra in Rocky Mountain, Virginia, and the Golden Gate Trail Classic 50/100k in San Francisco, California, all on Saturday, November 19.
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. Don’t forget to check out our Ultra Weekend Recap from Sunday, and subscribe to our Thursday newsletter for all the weekly news.