JFK 50 Mile
23 November 2019
Although open to the public, the JFK 50 Mile is in spirit a military race. The JFK 50 Mile was first held in the spring of 1963. In 1963, the initial inspiration behind the event came from then President John F. Kennedy challenging his military officers to meet the requirements that Teddy Roosevelt had set for his own military officers at the dawn of the 20th Century. That Roosevelt requirement was for all military officers to be able to cover 50 miles on foot in 20 hours to maintain their commissions. When word got out about the “Kennedy Challenge”, non-commissioned military personnel also wanted to take the test themselves as did certain robust members of the civilian population.
The JFK 50 Mile course is a point-to-point “horse-shoe” configuration. The race starts in the town of Boonsboro, Maryland, and heads east out of town toward the South Mountain Inn. The first 2.3 miles are on a hardball road, which leads to the Appalachian Trail. The Appalachian Trail piece is approximately 13 miles. The trail then continues on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal for 26.3 miles, following the canal to Dam on the Potomac River. The final leg of the Race follows 8.4 miles of hardball roads to Williamsport, Maryland.
Parking is at Boonsboro High School in the Boonsboro Educational Complex.
14 fully stocked Aid Stations on the course. Provisions at these stations will include: colas, electrolyte replace drinks, water, sandwiches, salted items, sweet items, energy gels, energy bars and basic first aid supplies. Some later aid stations may have hot drinks.
From 7:00 p.m. until 11:00 p.m. after the race a JFK 50 Mile Post-Race Celebration will take place at the Ramada Inn Plaza in Hagerstown. Participants admitted free-of-charge. Entertainment, snacks, draft beer and soft drinks provided.
Homewood Suites by Hilton Hagerstown, Ramada Plaza Hagerstown,Holiday Inn Express & Suites Hagerstown.
Cash awards will be presented to the top six male and female finishers (lst = $1,000, 2nd = $600, 3rd = $400, 4th = $250, 5th = $150, 6th=$100) with an additional $2,000 bonus for the establishment of a new men’s or women’s course record. All finishers within the official 13-hour time-limit will receive a beautiful, uniquely designed JFK 50 mile finisher’s medallion immediately after crossing the finish line. The top 10 men and women as well as the first male and female in the following age divisions (19-and-under, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70-79 and 80-and-over) will be recognized at the awards ceremony.
School buses will be on hand to bring participants back to the Boonsboro Educational Complex beginning at 2:30 p.m. and will run regularly until 8:30 p.m. Bag transport service is provided from the start staging area (outside the Boonsboro High School gymnasium) to the finish line area.