The local press is covering the JFK 50 with a series of articles leading up to tomorrow's race. You can read up by going to www.jfk50mile.org and clicking the articles listed next to "Media Coverage Herald-Mail". One thing I didn't realize is that two of the biggest names in Ultrarunning will be toeing the line at this years race - Scott Jurek and Hal Koerner, names that are unknown outside the world of ultrarunning. Jurek is kind of like the Lance Armstrong of the "Western States 100", which is probably the toughest ultra out there, having won it a record 7 times. He's also an ambassador for the sport and a vegetarian : )
Koerner has won Western States the last 2 years and is certainly making a name for himself in the ultrarunning community.
Think these guys race for the cash? Nope. The first place finisher gets a whopping $600 which doesn't even cover their cost for travel, lodging, food, and entry fees. Do they have lucrative sponsorship contracts? Uh, when compared to mainstream sports it's not even close, not even in the same ball park. Most people would crap if they heard some of the stories of these guys "roughing it" just to save a few bucks for their sponsors budget; certainly not pampered prima donna athlete's you find in the NBA and NFL. A handful of ultrarunners scrap together a living but it comes from racing, speaking engagements, personal appearances, some sponsor money, and some offer coaching and training camps.
Packing up and heading towards Hagerstown in just a couple hours. Race packet pickup this afternoon, check into hotel, eat and rest - that's the plan of the day.
More when I can...