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Way too much fun at the 25th running of Way Too Cool 50k

The 25year anniversary of the iconic Way Too Cool 50k was a smashing success, with an exact 1,000 finishers, the most ever. Despite the huge size, the race was executed flawlessly by Race Director Julie Fingar and her team, and the post-race festival was one of the best ultra parties in recent memory.

Knickerbocker Creek Way Too Cool 50K - 2014 - Photo by: Myles Smythe/UltraSportsLive.TV

Knickerbocker Creek
Way Too Cool 50K – 2014 – Photo by: Myles Smythe/UltraSportsLive.TV

Fast times and tight races at the front of the pack were a highlight, as trail blazing youngsters Chris Vargo and Alex Varner sped through the course neck and neck until the very end, when Vargo eased in front of Varner less than a mile out and pulled away for a 17 second margin of victory in 3.16.51. Vargo’s and Varner’s times were the second and third fastest in the history of the race.  On the women’s side there was similar tight race going on between former winner Caitlin Smith and ultra newcomer Magdalena Lewy-Boulet.  The two friends ran stride for stride throughout the race, as if they were on a fast training run.  But in just her second ultra Lewy-Boulet pulled away at the gnarliest climb of the race- the infamous Goat Hill at mile 25, and then cruised to victory in 3.53.04.  The former Olympic marathoner’s victory heralds her arrival on the ultra scene, and was the second fastest time in race history. Smith crossed the line 3 minutes later in the fourth fastest time ever for a woman at Cool. After the race the two friends were again inseparable at various vendor booths and post race venues.

Alex Varner and Chris Vargo - Way Too Cool 50K - 2014 - Photo by: Myles Smythe/UltraSportsLive.TV

Alex Varner and Chris Vargo – Way Too Cool 50K – 2014 – Photo by: Myles Smythe/UltraSportsLive.TV

Meanwhile hundreds of runners were out in the course enjoying the ideal spring weather that was a perfect 60 degrees under clear blue skies. And then in 8 hours 35 minutes, Ed Ryan age 58 crossed the finished line DFL, but in the historic 1,000th place, ‘Way Too’ go Ed!!!

View Full Results

A complete race report with interviews and photos will appear in the May/June issue of UR magazine.

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Karl Hoagland has been the Publisher of UltraRunning Magazine since June, 2013. Hoagland is a former investment banker and hotel entrepreneur, having worked at Goldman Sachs, Montgomery Securities and Larkspur Hotels & Restaurants after graduating from Brown University in 1987. Since running the Quad Dipsea in 2003 Hoagland has been obsessed with ultrarunning and everything about it, especially the community and new friendships he’s made. Karl especially likes to take on challenges and strive for improvement. Ultrarunning is the perfect platform for such endeavors, and his big goals are to encourage others and help the sport grow.

Latest posts by Karl Hoagland (see all)

  • Beryl Whitney

    Thanks for mentioning my running buddy Ed Ryan a.k.a. Mr. DFL ! Ed and his wife, Patty, are not only accomplished ultra runners, but some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. This was a huge accomplishment for Ed, since this was his first 50k since battling cancer. Go Ed !

  • David Gollom

    Hi Karl. There were actually more finishers. Ultrasignup only shows 1000 rows at a time. If you filter on just the female runners you’ll see the DFL was Julie Bedell of Folsom who was finisher 1024.

  • David Gollom

    I submitted a support issue to ultrasignup and they have fixed the issue below. You can now view all 1026 finishers on one screen!