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26-year-old Montana runner wins JFK 50 in his debut 50-miler

The JFK 50-miler is the oldest ultramarathon and the longest continuously held race of any distance in the U.S.

Photo by: ATRA

The oldest ultramarathon in the U.S., the JFK 50 mile, held its 59th running of the point-to-point race in Boonsboro, Md on Saturday. A 26-year-old runner from Missoula, Mont., Adam Peterman, won the men’s race in his 50-mile debut, only 58 seconds off the course record time.

Peterman led the race from the start and was ahead of the course record pace of 5:18 (set in 2020 by Hayden Hawks) until the 40-mile mark. Peterman ended up finishing in a time of 5:19, 16 minutes ahead of second-place finisher Zach Beavin (5:35). Eric LiPuma finished just behind Beavin for third in 5:39.

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Two weeks ago, Peterman also won the Moab Trail Marathon in Utah, while setting a new course record. He is no stranger to distance running, after having a prominent collegiate career in track and field with the University of Colorado, where he had an NCAA-best finish of 22nd in the 3,000m steeplechase (8:43).

The JFK 50 has a unique course, which features both road and trail terrain. The race starts on the Appalachian Trail, then runs onto the flats of the C&O Canal towpath, and ends with eight miles on paved roads.

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In the women’s race, it was Sarah Cummings who took the win in 6:18. Cummings battled with Sarah Biehl for the lead most of the race, until Cummings gave herself a minute lead at mile 38. She ended up beating Biehl by four minutes. Cummings was second at this race in 2020, and she led for a majority of the race until she took a wrong turn. She also represented the U.S. in the marathon at Toronto’s Pan-Am Games in 2015. 2009 JFK champion Devon Yanko finished third in 6:31.

This year featured a fast field with the top three female finishers running three of the 10 fastest times ever on this course.