WASHINGTON COUNTY, Md. (WDVM) — Racers from all over the country set out to Washington County for the 57th annual JFK 50 Miler.
Just over 950 racers put their running shoes to work Saturday to race 50 miles around Washington county. The roots of this race started in 1963. This year was a tribute to Buzz Sawyer who founded the race and was the original director. After Sawyer passed away last year, event officials say its an honor to be in his shoes.
“I have great pride in it, I first did this event when I was 12 years old, I’m now 61 I’ve been involved with the event as a competitor, a race promoter media personnel for the last 49 years,” Mike Spinnler said, the current race director.
The race featured runners from 40 different states and seven countries. One winner was the first female to cross the finish line. She traveled all the way from New Zealand and says it was harder to keep running when the finish line was in sight.
“I can’t believe it, I heard about this race, and I said I really want to do it, eight miles to go, is when I thought ok, I need to start digging deep,” Cecilia Flori said.
Another runner from Pittsburgh says he was pushing so hard that at one point, he fell to the ground. He crossed the finish line with wounds on his face and body. He says it wasn’t a second thought to get back up and keep going.
“I took a spill at mile 12 and went face first on the rock, so I got back up and wiped my face off. I wanted it. I wanted this really bad. I wanted a top ten finish, and it’s a great feeling,” Brett Mason said.
Flori says she’s not done racing within the United States. Just last week she says she was qualified to run the Boston marathon. The JFK race is known as North America’s oldest Altra marathon foot race.