JFK 50 Mile – Because I Said So

I just put my entry for the John F Kennedy (JFK) 50 mile race in the mail (they are old school, no electronic sign-up):

There was a moment’s hesitation before I mailed it. Do I really want to do this? Or am I just doing it because I said I would? You see, many moons ago I used to run regularly with Reston Runners. Because I loved trails, I did many trail runs with them, some lasting over 4 hours, and so Anna Bradford, who was the president of the club at the time as well as the JFK coordinator (which she still is), asked me when I was going to run JFK. “When I’m 40,” was my reply. I was in my 20s at the time so 40 was waaaay off and I didn’t have to think about it much. Note that I hadn’t even run a marathon at this point and had no intention of running 50 miles. That was just crazy.

Over the years I’d think about JFK and it just seemed too far, too difficult, too much. And then gradually the idea started growing on me. Of course, I had to start with a 50K  first. That went exceptionally well, so well in fact that I immediately wanted to do more ultras. Around the same time, I realized that my promise of doing JFK when I turned 40 coincided with the race’s 50th anniversary. And that made me think it was meant to be.

So November 17th, 2012 I plan to toe the line at the 50th annual JFK 50 mile. My only goal (as it should be) is to finish. I know it will be hard. I’ve heard the stories. I’m running the race because I really, really want to do it. And…because I said I would. 🙂

Are you running JFK 50? Have you ever run an Ultra? If not, is ultrarunning on your bucket list? Do you think I’m crazy? Don’t answer that. 😉


  1. I did JFK last year and it was a really great experience. The training was tough but totally worth it. I had never run over 26.2 before signing up for the race. I did find out through the whole process that I don’t love ultras and probably won’t ever do another one – but again, would not trade the experience for anything.
    Jessica K (@irun26at8) recently posted..Setbacks have an upside…My Profile

  2. Very cool! JFK is on my bucket list for sure since it runs practically through my backyard.
    I usually help at the Weverton aid station so I’ll probably see you there! Best of luck to you!
    Tracy recently posted..Let the taper begin!My Profile

  3. I found your blog awhile ago when looking for Capon Valley info (running it this year) but first time commenting. My JFK app went in the mail today as well!
    abbi recently posted..Gettysburg North-South MarathonMy Profile

  4. I have three good friends who have run this over past two years. They all loved it, although it took a lot out of all of them. You’ll do great and I’m glad you’re getting an ultra in first.

    I am planning a 50k for next spring and then will see from there if I want to step it up to longer.
    misszippy1 recently posted..You’ve met your goal. Now what?My Profile

  5. Ahh, I’m so excited for you!! I would kill to be running JFK again this year, and I totally would except for that giving birth 2 weeks before race day thing.

    I recapped the race from last year (there is even video!) so maybe that will help you 🙂 http://itsadoglickbabyworld.blogspot.com/2011/11/jfk-50-race-recap.html
    Kara recently posted..Deep thoughtsMy Profile

    • I love your recap, Kara! I read it a while ago but plan to go back and refresh my memory, plus I don’t think I viewed the video last time so will def give that a look. Yeah, giving birth and babies in general do tend to get in the way of running. 😉 That’s your ultra for this year, but I know you’ll be back soon!

  6. Yes, I think you are crazy, but no more than me since I’ll be toeing the line as well! I’ve done 3 ultras (2 50Ks, one 50 miler) and I swore I’d never do JFK but the 50th anniversary thing sucked me in. Do you have a training plan?
    Alyssa recently posted..Half Ironman Week!My Profile

    • Racingtales says:

      Hey Alyssa, glad we found each other! You’ve done 2 more ultras than I have! Training plan – what’s that? 😉 Looking forward to talking with you more about this crazy adventure.

  7. JFK is supposed to be a great race!! I know a woman who did it 10 years in a row and really enjoyed it. This is an excellent way to celebrate your 40th!
    Beth recently posted..Monticelloman Race Week RecapMy Profile

  8. I think I’ll stick with Stone Mill and skip JFK. Way too much time on that rocky tow path for me. But I give you major props on your last year’s maiden ultra success at Capon Valley and being brave enough to do JFK as your first 50 miler! I have a feeling you are going to put in an amazing pace there too!

    Enjoy your ultra journey! You never know where the trail will take you.
    Shelly recently posted..Capon Valley 50k ~ 2012 Race ReportMy Profile

  9. No, you’re not crazy. What a great way to celebrate your 40th! I’m sure you will do well at the JFK 50. I’m an “oldtimer” who ran the race in 1972 & 1973. It’s fun.. it’s an adventure… but it’s also very challenging. After 40 years away, I plan to run once again to celebrate my 60th. Like you, my goal is just to finish. Good luck, Alison, with your training. I’ll see you in Boonsboro. P.S. Great run in Bolder Boulder… I couldn’t catch you!

    • Racingtales says:

      Thanks, Leo! Wow, you ran JFK the year I was born! Looking forward to meeting you to celebrate my 40th, JFK’s 50th, and your 60th! Thanks for the nice comment about Bolder Boulder – I had a fun time but the altitude sucked!!!

Speak Your Mind


CommentLuv badge