2018 Ragged 50K (USATF National Trail Championship)

This past weekend, we returned to south/central New Hampshire for the Ragged 75 Stage Race and 50K. Debbie only ran the 50K, unlike 2015 when she ran the three-day stage race, which was previously called the Emerald Necklace 3-Day Stage Race.

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About 38 people did the stage race and they deserve extra credit. Over the three days, they completed the 75-mile Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsage-Greenway. Day 1 was about 24 miles. Day 2 was about 26. Day 3, despite being called a 50K, was about 34 miles.

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This year, the 50K doubled as the 2018 USATF 50K National Trail Championship. That’s a nice distinction, but it doesn’t mean a whole lot.

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People really don’t travel for the nationals. A handful of folks who are interested in a neat race, or are interested in qualifying for the mountain running team, come out and run. Years ago, Debbie race the 50K Trail National Championship when it was at the Headlands 50K in Marin.

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Regardless, the USATF kicked in some prize money and medals, and there were some fine performances. Despite the conditions and the rugged course profile, there were some fast times. David Sinclair posted a 4:17:36. He was followed by Simi Hamilton and David Kilgore. On the women’s side, Kasie Enman triumphed in 5:11:23. She was followed by Leah Frost and Elizabeth Ryan.

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Debbie earned one of those medals, for placing third in the women’s 40-44 age group. The race was hosted by SIX03, and they deserve a lot of credit for bringing runners and volunteers to persevere in the rain.

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That rain was an annoyance. I don’t mind a little moisture, but it’s been rainy and stormy all week. The past few days have been the worst. After some Friday heat, it rained all day on Saturday, and again today. We drove up late on Saturday and camped out at the start line. That made for a convenient early morning start, but it rained all night. Today, there were dry spells, but they never lasted more than an hour, and it was very humid. The grey sky made it feel terribly gloomy.

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Shepard is away, so Dahlia was my companion while Debbie was running. We made it to all four aid stations, but we missed Debbie at #2. We saw her at #1, #3, #4, and #5. Then we saw her at the finish. We had fun driving around the Sunapee region.

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I took a bunch of photos while Dahlia made friends at the aid stations. Speaking of friends, it was nice to see a bunch of old ones. Drew Best ran well, and was cheered by his dad, Greg.

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They hail from Connecticut, and I’m a big fan of Connecticut runners. Longtime friends, Amy and Brian Rusiecki did the 3-day race. We just saw them three weeks ago at the Vermont 100, where Brian won the 100K and Amy was Race Director. We also saw a bunch of folks who we first met at this race in 2015.

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Ernie Lawas also did the stage race. He and I have done some epic events over the years, including the 2006 Jay Challenge, which will forever be one of my favorite and hardest adventures.  He was crewed by partner Nancy Simm. He was also cheered by Ben and Kerri Moore. We all go way back to the early 2000’s adventure racing days.

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Debbie had a good day. She finished in 6 hours and 56 minutes. The wet conditions were a challenge for everyone, but she thrives in the foul weather. Her legs weren’t feeling spry, but she still ran well. She said that the course ran long. Her GPS said it was more than 34 miles. She said the last 10 miles were tough. Rather than finishing on the rail trail like she did in 2015, she had to go over Ragged Mountain and then descend to the ski area.

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The first 10 miles had a lot of road and dirt road, but once the runners made their way on to the trail, they had to deal with a lot of wet rocks and roots. It was a good representation of what New England has to offer, so I hope those that visited from out west were pleased. I’m an unabashed “East Coast Running” fan.

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The aid stations were stocked well and had lots of volunteers. Everything was low-key. At the first aid station, which was hosted by UnTapped Maple, Dahlia made friends, and soon took over. I was busy taking photographs, but she learned the nutrition information for the Untapped product line and proceeded to educate every runner that stopped.

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It was a fun 28 hour adventure for us, but all of the driving took its toll. I need a few days off from “trucking.” On the way up north, we stopped in Northampton and dined at Nourish. It was a fine vegan meal. On the drive home today, we made our usual stop at the Putney Co-Op.

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This was the last ultra that Debbie planned for 2018, but that doesn’t mean that she is done. She will be riding the Vermont 50 like last year, but I’m assuming that she will pick another long distance trail race (or two) to run. I just hope she doesn’t ask me to drive.

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Race Results

SmugMug Photo Gallery

1 Response to “2018 Ragged 50K (USATF National Trail Championship)”

  1. 1 2018 Ultra-Trail Harricana | Life Adventures Trackback on 10 September 2018 at 9:40 pm

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