View Full Version : JFK 50 Miler

06-23-2009, 21:43
Anyone else thinking about signing up for this year's race?

I'm looking for at least 3 other runners to form Team SOWF.

It's not til Saturday, November 21st, so plenty of time to train.

Applications are posted to this website on July 1st:


The race fills quickly, in 2008 it closed out by mid-July.

This is a great site to help with training tips for the race:

Goal is to raise funds for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.

Anyone up for a good gut check for a great cause, let me know.

If you're game, post here or send me a PM.


06-30-2009, 18:23
Just a FYI that the registration is starting tomorrow. For military (both present and retired) it's open exclusively from July 1-8. Other than that only 5 time completion runners can register. After the 8th, it's a free for all.

If you are seriously thinking about doing it, DO IT!!! And make your decision quickly, as everyone I have talked to that has done it in the past and is doing it this year has stated that it will fill up very quickly!

This will be my first year doing the JFK (or any type of run above 10 miles) and I encourage everyone else to try it as well. I'm no star runner and am starting from an average bench mark, but if you train yourself and with others with the right mindset, the only limiting factor is yourself!

Warrior-Mentor, you've got a PM as well.

06-30-2009, 19:40
Wish I could do it with you guys, however I can't. So here is some info for anyone considering doing this. I am planning my own 50 miler next year and have read up on preparing so here is one site I got some good info from.


06-30-2009, 23:04
My boss did it last year and if you haven't trained for it....you better. He's a marathoner and does it for the WWP (Wounded Warrior Project). He's nuttier than a squirrel turd and runs his ass off. He finished in 9hrs, 50 min, 42 sec.

You did well last year sir! Any personal goal set for this year?

I really like the history of it. 20 hours to complete it, or lose your commission. See history below:

Event History

For those who did not know all of the history surrounding the event, as they say, here is the rest of the story.

The JFK 50 Mile was first held in the spring of 1963. It was one of numerous such 50 mile events held around the country as part of President John F. Kennedy's push to bring the country back to physical fitness.

When Kennedy was assassinated in November of 1963, most of these events were never held again. The one here in Washington County, MD changed it's name from the JFK 50 Mile Challenge to the JFK 50 Mile Memorial in 1964. The JFK 50 Mile in Washington County, MD is the only original JFK 50 Mile Challenge event to be held every year for the last 44 years. The 45th Annual JFK 50 Mile will be held on November 17, 2007.

Although open to the public, the JFK 50 Mile is in spirit a military race. It always has been and always will be. 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.

Of the many awards presented at the JFK 50 Mile each year, the most prestigious is the Kennedy Cup, which is awarded to the top-finishing military team. Each military team can have a maximum of 10 participants with the finishing times from the top-five finishers combined for the team time. Like golf and cross country, the low (time) score wins.

The military personnel that take part in the JFK 50 Mile are extremely well-prepared, disciplined and (even when greatly fatigued) always courteous to everyone involved with organizing and/or supporting the event. It is always a true honor --and pleasure-- to host U.S. Military personnel at the JFK 50 Mile.

Mike Spinnler

JFK 50 Mile Participant 1971-90

JFK 50 Mile Winner 1982 & 1983

JFK 50 Mile Director 1993-present

07-01-2009, 07:41
When JFK issued the challenge in early 1963, I was among a group of ROTC cadets from the Pershing Rifle Co at the University of Oklahoma who volunteered to take the challenge with an added twist. We would wear fatigues, boots, web gear, and carry rifles our 8.7 lbs M1903s!

I can't recall doing much in the way of getting in shape for the march. We started somewhere near Purcell and marched to one of the guys parent's home in Ada, OK where we planned to party! After arriving, I was struck down by severe leg cramps and a doctor was called (yep, they made house calls in them-thar days!)..he came and gave me an injection, which relaxed the muscles ended the pain.

I looked, but but couldn't find a newspaper article that I saved about the march. What I do remember is that we did it in great time, and were the first group to do it carrying rifles.

Boomer Sooner!