Scottish ultra runner, Ellie Greenwood, came first in the women's race at the 50th annual John F. Kennedy 50 Mile Run on Saturday (17 November), setting a new course record in the process. The Dundee-born runner, who now lives in Vancouver, completed the event in 6:12:01.
The 33-year-old's victory made her the first non-US citizen to capture victory in the race which is said to be the oldest and largest ultramarathon in America. She said afterwards: "This is big. To get the course record - and it was a solid course record - I knew I'd have to have a good day."
Ellie's time beat the previous record by a staggering 17 minutes. Her main rival throughout the race was Emily Harrison - who holds a marathon best of 2:32 - and was taking part in her first ultra marathon. Greenwood was the first woman to complete the Appalachian Trail section of the race, but Harrison started closing the gap on the flat and fast C&O Canal Towpath and less than seven miles later, she was in the lead. Greenwood reflected on the race, stating that she wasn't overly concerned at being overtaken.
"I was not going to get pulled into running too fast, knowing there were still so many miles to go. I just had to run my race and my pace and wait it out a little."
This tactic proved fruitful as by mile 31, Greenwood was back in the lead, this time for good as she gradually pulled away. With Harrison behind her, Greenwood set her sights on the frontrunning men and ended with a 10th-place overall finish. She admitted to being pleased with this: "To get top 10 is pretty cool. That's not my focus, but toward the end that was some incentive."
The race was won overall by Max King in 5:34:58 who also set a course record. Full results can be viewed here