Lake Waramaug at sunset

Race History

A 2011 Lake Waramaug Ultras Recap

The 37th edition of the Jack Bristol Lake Waramaug Ultra races was run on 23 April 2011. The day brought a large group of runners to us from all over the US as well as from Canada. It was good to see such a diverse crowd running under typical spring conditions in New England. Our northern friends felt more or less at home in the weather while some of the California, Arizona and Texas folks found it somewhat less than inspirational. Temps were in the high 30’s at the start and rain fell most of the day. It was nothing like we had a few years back, but, it wasn’t paradise. Despite the weather, a good time was had by most all runners.

The JBLWUM is the oldest 100K race in the country and has a grand history. Some of the best runners in our sport have posted some incredible times out on the lake road. This year, Tatsunori Suzuki won the 100K event with a steady pace that had him covering the 7.6 mile loops at very consistent times throughout the seven loops. We had 6 finishers in the 100K this year with one “in-spirit” finisher which I will explain later. A good effort was put in by all. Hopefully, the growing number of finishers is an indicator that the number of participants in the 100K will continue to expand in coming years. In the 50 mile race, Michael Maurer held the lead for nearly the entire race. It wasn’t until the final lap that the ever pressing Shiran Kochavi was able to put it together and pass Michael for the men’s win. For the ladies, the always smiling Tina Ryan had a great day. Tina had such a great time in the 50K last year that she upped the ante this year and ran the 50 Mile. That decision, coupled with a splendid effort gave her the win and she says that she’ll be back for the 100K next year.

In the Men’s 50K, Gene Karaffa and KC Klegar slugged it out for most all of the race with Gene coming in for the win only 37 seconds ahead. Amy Demarco seemingly cruised all day and went on to the win.

Now let me explain the “in-spirit” 100K finisher. The perennial Ray Krolewicz was not with us this year. First miss in a looonnng time. As it turns out, Ray was the holder of a ‘kitchen-pass’ and was duly forgiven for missing the race. He was accepted into and ran the 6 Day in Flushing. So as to not miss the JBLWUM entirely, Ray ran a proxy race in Flushing beginning at 0730 and completed the 100K in 18:17:06. You will find Ray listed in the results with an asterisk. Ray promises that he will be back singing to the JBLWUM ladies next year.

This year’s race field was the largest that we’ve had in some time. It was gratifying to see all of the bright, cheery faces at the start. Well done to everyone who participated and I do hope that we’ll see you all back again. Remember – the RD promises better weather in 2012. I would like to publicly thank all of our wonderful volunteers who spent their day with us yet once again. These folks are some of the best out there and we are all very lucky to have their support and commitment.

Carl Hunt, RD

A 2010 Lake Waramaug Ultras Recap

The 36th running of the Jack Bristol Lake Waramaug Ultra Races took place on 25 April. It was a good day for a race and all involved had a great time. Weather at the start was in the low 40's and hovered in the low 50's the remainder of the day. We did get a bit of rain. Well, alright, it rained most of the day. But, it was nothing like the four inches from four years ago!

In the 50K, Gene Karaffa took the lead and held it through the first out and back and the first 7.6 mile loop. From that point, Nathan Echols took over and stayed in front for the remainder of the race. Gene was never far behind and finished only about 40 seconds back. Amy Lane was the first female runner this year. Amy took the lead out of the gate and stayed in front for the entire race.

In the 50 Mile men's race, Craig Moyse and Michael Maurer started out strong and maintained a steady pace throughout the race. Split times put this pair of runners in sync for five out of the seven times that they went over the timing mats. Amazing! It was a different picture on the ladies side. Elizabeth Mainiero took the lead at the start and just had a great time in her first 50 mile attempt. She was able to maintain a steady pace and keep the lead until the last loop when the distance began to take its toll. Following behind her was a solid performing Kelly Bird. Kelly stayed in pursuit and overtook Elizabeth in the last half mile for the winning finish.

In the 100K, Claire Heid and Susan Warren stayed close to each other for the first 10 miles or so and then Claire just found the energy to push ahead. She extended her lead on each lap and held on for the win. The men's winner was Bruce Dougherty. Bruce had never been in a race of this distance previously. In fact, he had never run a half marathon or a marathon or even a long run in training. We all know that this is not the normal training regimen for a 100K, but, this one was different. The reasons behind this extraordinary effort are detailed further down. This was also a year of many 'firsts' for us.

This was the first time that we had a female win the overall at the races. Claire Heid, a senior cadet at the USMA at West Point, was rock steady all day long and was a wonderful personality to have out on the course. Thank you for your service, Claire, and for showing the guys how it's done. Claire came to the races with three fellow cadets. They ran the 50K and stayed as a 'team' throughout. They crossed the finish line in lock step and shared a ninth place finish. First time with three runners sharing a finish. Good job, guys, and, thank you for your service. Craig Moyse and Michael Maurer stayed together throughout the 50 Mile race. They finished in lock step and shared the first place finish. First time for a 'shared' win for us.

Gene Karaffa, Susan Lehrer and Stephanie Ranges were all first time ultra runners in the 50K race. This was the first time that we had three first timers finish in the top ten in their race. And Gene came within 40 seconds of the win. Nice work.

Amy Lane won the 50K for the ladies. She ran the race with Karl O'leary and shared a third place finish with him. Dave Obelkevich and Jennifer Ketchell also ran together and shared a finish. First time that we had so many folks just run together and share the day as well as the finish.

One amazing first for me was in being there to experience the finish of Bruce Dougherty. He came in third in the 100K. For background, a friend and work colleague of Bruce, Jim Shifrin, told him of his daughters passing. The young lady was born with Edwards Syndrome and was not expected to survive birth. Instead, she fought the odds and lived on for nearly seven years. Bruce's wife, Jodi, had run our race in 08 and had enjoyed her time here with us. Naturally, Bruce decided to run the 100K at our race as a fund raiser for the handicapped access playground being built in honor of this brave young lady. Not so naturally, he did it on short notice and with little in the way of training. Long run? What's that? It was a long day for Bruce, but, heart, character and will power pulled him through. In the end, Bruce gave his finishers medal to Jim for his daughter, Bailey. Outstanding, Bruce! Anyone interested in the story can have a look at the park project at www.baileysgarden.org

Ray K has informed me that a friend of ours has promised to come to Waramaug next year. This guest will remain un-named at the moment, but, Ray has promised to be in great shape next year for a real 'shootout' at the lake with him. This will be a special event and shouldn't be missed. Be there in 2011.

Carl Hunt RD

Complete Lake Waramaug Ultras History 1974-2003

1974

The 1974 race represented both the young and old of the sport. . Ultra marathoning legend Ted Corbitt, 54 years young, was present ( Ted also assisted Jack and Dean with measuring the two courses) along with a young computer operator from Pennsylvania by the name of Park Barner.

With an 8:30 am start under sunny skies, Jack Bristol blasted away from the starting line, leading the field through the marathon mark in 2:58, followed by Dean Perry, Barner and the ageless Ted Corbitt. By the 50k split, Barner began reeling the leaders in and by 50 miles, Barner had opened up an 11 minute lead over Bristol, reaching 50 miles in 5:55! Dean Perry concluded his racing day at the 50 mile mark, with an impressive 6:29 debut effort.

Of the 12 men who began the race, 8 runners found their way to one of the two finish lines. Of the 8 finishers, 3 completed the 100 kilometers and they all finished under 8 hours! Park Barner set the American record of 7:37:42, followed by Bristol and Corbitt. Corbitts 7:52:37, at the age of 54, is still one of the finest times ever recorded for his age group! When looking back on the size of the first race, Dean recalls;" It was a smaller field than we had hoped for." " We had more volunteers working the race than runners running it!" But by all accounts, Dean and Jack had produced a wonderful event!

OFFICIAL RESULTS Of THE FIRST LAKE WARAMAUG ULTRA MARATHON
Sunday, May 2, 1974

  50 Miles 100K
Park Barner 5:55:30 7:37:42
Jack Bristol 6:06:23 7:47:15
Ted Corbitt 6:11:27 7:52:37
Dean Perry 6:29:35
Lloyd Ryyslyainen 6:34:38
Phil Heath 6:57:21
Nat Cirulnick 7:56:25
Edwin Duncan 10:11:10

1975

This year's race saw the number of entries almost double to 22 runners. A DNF from the '74 race, Rory Soumi, from Brooklyn Connecticut, set a new record for the 50 mile event. The 19 year old covered the 50 miles in 5:54:40, besting Millrose star Steve Grotsky by 12 minutes. On this warm day, with temperatures in the 70's, the l00K event again belonged to Park Barner. Losing almost 11 pounds of body weight due to the heat and some dehydration, Barner ( also known as I The Machine I), ran a comfortable 7:53:28 for his second consecutive l00K win at Waramaug.

1976

This years race was the Park Barner show. With only Nick Marshall to push him, Park set records for both the 50 miles in 5:48 and 7:15:14 for l00K, a new American record.

1977

The fourth edition of the race saw 35 starters, making this the largest turnout to date. Nick Marshall, dueling with Park Barner again, would have the better day, winning both the 50 mile and l00K. Reaching the 50 mile mark in 5:42, only Barner had a chance of running him down by the l00K mark, but Marshall proved too strong, finishing first in 7:17. Barner took second in 7:44 with Don Choi, paying his first visit to the lake, two minutes back in 7:46.

1978

Again, the race field swells, attracting 56 entrants to the fifth running at the lake. In this field were the only three American men who had broken 7:20 for l00K. Park Barner, Nick Marshall and Frank Bozanich, along with the fourth fastest man, Don Choi! Bozanich covered the first 10 miles in 59:07! He reached 26.2 in 2:37 with only Marty Kittell somewhat nearby in 2:56. Bozanich missed the American record for 50 miles by less than two minutes, running 5:14:36, setting a new course record in the process. Frank called it a day at 50 miles with several people still in contention for the l00K title. But with everyone watching the big names, Roger Welch, from Marshfield Mass., surprised everyone with a 7:25:37 victory.

This year was also the first year women made their way to the finish lines at Waramaug, with Connie Acton running 8:05 for the 50 mile and Sherry Horner setting a new women’s record for the 100K in 10:55:33. Also of note this year was 9 year old Howie Breinan, who ran 8:58 for 50 miles, making him the youngest ultra runner in the country!

1979

This year saw the race explode in both size and accomplishments. The gathering of 12 runners in 1974 had become a party for 120, making this the second largest U.S. ultra, next to the JFK 50. Allan Kirik, from Long Island, and Marty Kittell, from Troy NY, took aim at the 5 hour, 50 mile barrier. Both runners reached the marathon split in 2:33, a sub six pace with almost half a race to go! Kittell and Kirik hammered at each other for the next few miles, but the early pace proved too much for Kittell, and soon Kirik was alone at 40 miles, reached in 3:56. He went on to break the American record for 50 miles by over 12 minutes, running 5:00:30!

But the records didn't stop there! Sue Ellen Trapp, from Lehigh, Florida, cruised through the 50 mile mark in 6:55 and went on to set a new American record for 100K, turning in a 8:43:14, which was a PR by over an hour!

The men's 100k also saw a hard fought contest with defending champ Roger Welch running a PR of 7:17, with Don Marvel right behind him in 7:23. 10 Year old Howie Breinan covered the 100K in 9:56, cementing his hold on the fastest, youngest ultra runner in the country. All in all, this was truly a memorable day in the hills of Connecticut!

1980

May 4, 1980, saw one of the windiest days ever at the lake. 113 runners started the race, with Max White, 29, of Virginia, going wire to wire to win both the 50 mile and 100K. His 6:59:45 in the l00K was not only a course record, but the second fastest ever run by an American. Also a double winner that year was Sue Medaglia, 44, of the Bronx, NY. Her 8:53:49 for 100K was also the second fastest ever run by an American masters woman.

All of this was done with steady winds, with gusts recorded at over 60mph in the area. With Waramaug being a loop course that repeatedly circles the

lake, runners said times it felt like you were running in place!

May 3rd saw a world record fall, as Scotland's Leslie Watson battled Marcy Schwam for the 50 mile title. A 3:04 marathon split had Schwam in control, but Watson caught her near the 40 mile mark and went on to clip almost 10 minutes off of Sue Ellen Trapps world best time, setting a new standard of 6:02:37. Schwam finished in 6:13. A school teacher from Pontiac, SC made his first of many trips to the winners circle this year. Trailing Stu Mittleman who won the 50 mile event, Ray Krolewicz ran the remaining 12.2 miles alone to record the fourth fastest 100K ever run by an American in 7:05:52. Rays motivation comes from many unique sources. This year, his race number was secured by blue, yellow and pink safety pins, which were used when his children made their first trip home from the hospital." When I start feeling the pain from running, all I have to do is think about my children, and that's all the motivation I need," Ray said.

112 runners were there that day, making the eighth Waramaug a fixture on the Ultrarunning calendar.

1981

May 3rd saw a world record fall, as Scotland's Leslie Watson battled Marcy Schwam for the 50 mile title. A 3:04 marathon split had Schwam in control, but Watson caught her near the 40 mile mark and went on to clip almost 10 minutes off of Sue Ellen Trapps world best time, setting a new standard of 6:02:37. Schwam finished in 6:13. A school teacher from Pontiac SC made is first of many trips to the winners circle this year. Trailing Stu Mittleman, who won the 50 mile event, Ray Krolewicz ran alone the remaining 12.2 miles to record the fourth fastest 100K ever run by an America in 7:05:52. Rays motivation comes from many unique sources. This year, his race number was secured by blue, yellow and pink safety pins, which were used when his children made their first trip home from the hospital." When I start feeling the pain from running, all I have to do is think about my children, and that's all the motivation I need," Ray said.

112 runners were there that day, making the eighth Waramaug a fixture on the Ultrarunning calendar.

1982

75 degrees and bright sun greeted the 147 runners for the ninth installment. Prepping for this year’s race with a 2:28 at Boston 13 days earlier, Ray Scannell, of Ipswich, Mass., opened with a 2:37 marathon split and cruised to a 5:17:14 win in the 50 mile race. Stu Mittleman, 30, of New York, was second in the 50 in 5:25, and continued on to set a new record in the 100K, running 6:57:49 and breaking Max White's two year old mark! After opening with a 2:59 marathon, Marcy Schwam had to retire with bad blisters. Kim Beaulieu of Maine continued on in the heat to win the 50 mile in 6:44:24. In the hot conditions, 107 runners completed the 50 miles, with 19 running the 100K.

1983

May 1, 1983, can best be remembered as the battle of the Rays! That's Scannell and Krolewicz! 138 runners began the race. A warm and humid day caused many to tone down their hopes for fast times, but Scannell, with a 2:42 marathon split, followed by Warren Finke (2:43) and Krolewicz (2:45) had other ideas. Scannell led through 50 miles in 5:27 with Krolewicz one minute back. By 58 miles, Scannell had 4 minutes onKrolewicz, which stood up to the finish. Scannell's 6:59:24 to Krolewicz's 7:04:24 was one of the most exciting duels at that distance, ever at Waramaug.

The women's race belonged to Kim Beaulieu again. Having just run a 2:51 at Boston to qualify for the Olympic trials, she took it easy this day, winning comfortably in 6:47 ( 50 miles), with only Karen Smith-Rothberg to push her. Smith-Rothberg took second in the 50 in 7:16. Park Barner completed his ninth consecutive 100K in 8:43, and young Howie Breinan now a veteran at age 14, finished the l00K in 9:45.

1984

The 11th running of Waramaug was different for many reasons. First and most importantly, the co-race directing team of Dean Perry and Jack Bristol, carne to an end. For the previous ten years, these two men put their heart and souls into producing this wonderful event. For Jack, the greatest reward was, " just to see the thing click...to provide conditions where runners can excel, do their best...where runners can ('have their needs met with a minimum of hassle and where all runners can enjoy themselves for the day. . .we want to treat each runner like he or she is the lead runner."

Dean also gathered a great deal of satisfaction from this event." Certainly one of the biggest changes over the 10 years is that more and more runners are capable of doing 50 miles. And more and better trained runners are moving up to l00K. More people are looking for new challenges, events where they are not just a face in the crowd, but where they can stand out as individuals."

But differences in how the race should be conducted, and its future growth, pulled at the seams and the 1984 race saw Jack Bristol decide to cease his involvement with the event.

The 84' race saw 94 runners toe the starting line, with 64 finishing the 50 miles and temperatures in the 70's allowing only 5 to complete the l00K. The S/F for this year's race was adjusted to allow for both distances to finish at the same spot where in previous years" the two finish lines were a couple of miles apart. Bernard Heinrich of Vermont, seemed to be unaffected by the heat and ran to an easy 5:29 win in the 50 mile, and continued on to capture the l00K as well, in 7:15:41.

In the women's race, Karen Smith-Rothberg won the 50 mile event, turning in a 7:15:14, which was 83 seconds faster than her time from a year earlier, when she was second.

1984 also was the first time Park Barner did not complete the l00K. Arriving about 20 minutes after the start, Park ran the 50 mile only, in 8:39!

1985

This year would prove to be pivotal in Waramaug history. The AAU had been replaced by TAC (The Athletics Congress) a few years earlier as the governing body for road racing in the U.S. A re-measurement of the course took place in the fall of 84', with new measurement standards to be used. In 1974, the course was measured to the standards of the day. A calibration device, \attached to a bicycle, which was ridden 12 inches from the curb, on the side of the road the runners would run on. This measurement was done by Jack and Dean. Jack, in fact, was an AAU course certifier, and had certified several other courses as well.

But in 1984, the new standard called for the course to be measured on the shortest possible route a runner could take, meaning now the course had to be measured cutting all the tangents. Using this method, one lap of the lake was now about 7/100 of a mile shorter (7.66 versus 7.597 miles). The 50 mile event requires about 6 laps of the lake, which left the 50 mile course about 4/10 of a mile short. The National Running Data Center chose to decertify all of the American, world and age group records set there since 1974.

All of these early performances still exist in history, and are certainly noteworthy performances. Would Allan Kirik's 5:00:30 50 mile run be any less spectacular if it had been 5:03:30? Of course not!

As race directors, both Jack and Dean were devastated by this decertification. With the legendary Ted Corbitts assistance, the 1974 course had been meticulously measured to the standards of the day and AAU requirements. Now, all of those performances were wiped from the record books! Dean was especially hard hit by this. So much so, in fact, that at the conclusion of the 1985 race, after 12 years as co-director and director, Dean would resign as race director.

The 85' race saw 77 runners at the lake on April 28. An early warm sun gave way to clouds and showers. Again, the Rays were the stars of the day. On the newly certified course, Scannell led Krolewicz most of the day. Around the 45 mile mark, a surge by Krolewicz saw him pass Scannell and take him to his first win in the 50 mile event in 5:40, with Scannell finishing 6 minutes back. Krolewicz continued on to set the new course record for the 100K. in 7:25:12.

Kim Moody of Maine turned in one of the fastest times ever by a woman at the lake, winning the 50 m1le race in 6:05:55, one of the fastest times ever recorded by a woman for that distance. Debbie Sawyer, also from Maine, took second, just over an hour back. Back in 29th place, a local runner and a veteran of many ultras, Bert Meyer ran a comfortable 7:46 for 50 miles. Unknown to Bert at the time, the future of Waramaug would rest in his capable hands. A longtime friend of both Jack and Dean, when the race returned to the racing calendar in 1987, Bert would serve as race director for the next 8 years.

1986

No starters. No finishers. No Race. For the first time in 12 years, runners were not circling the lake for the spring classic. Jack and Dean had both left the race, and 1986 found the race with no one to pull it together. But that would all change the next year when Bert began his tenure as race director.

1987

After a years absence, Waramaug returned to the race calendar on April 26,1987. Having not been held in 1986, the high turnout of racers from the previous years was reduced to 23 starters for this years event. Although a relatively small field, it was still a talented one.

Once again, Ray Krolewicz made the long drive from South Carolina and after the first 7.59 mile lap of the lake had a nine minute lead over Ken Littlefield, Laurie Dexter and Ray Scannell. Ray ran uncontested for the rest of the day, for a double win in both the 50 mile(6:18) and 100k(8:20). Littlefield took second in the 50 in 6:31. No women competed at Waramaug this day. But thanks to Bert Meyers passion for this event, Waramaug was back to stay.

1988

The number of starters grew to 31 on this cloudy, cool day. Ray Krolewicz once again showed both his dominance and love of this race, winning both events. Steve Schiller, of New Britain, Ct, gave chase to Krolewicz the entire day, recording impressive times for both events. Krolewicz ran a 5:56 50 mile and a 7:49 100K to Schillers 6:29 50 mile and 8:19 l00K. In the woman’s race, Brooklyn NY resident Christians Avin easily outdistanced second place finisher Diane McNamara, running 6:56 to McNamara's 8:40 effort.

1989

April 30, a cool cloudy day saw 49 runners begin the 15th edition of Waramaug. Similar to the 88' race, Steve Schiller would again chase Krolewicz for the entire day. Krolewicz recorded another double win, 5:56(50 mile) and 7:57 (l00K). Schiller took second in 6:18 with Cambridge Mass resident Rick Hogan running third in 6:31. Danielle Cherniak, Of Long Island NY, made her first visit to the lake, and turning in a 6:55 effort for first place in the 50 mile. For the second year in a row, Diane McNamara grabbed second place in 8:15. 38 of the 49 starters completed this years run.

1990

After several years of domination at Waramaug, Ray Krolewicz would see his grip loosened a bit. Ralph Swenson, of South Burlington, VT, ran clocklike 52 minute laps of the lake, recording a 5:57 win in the 50 mile race. Krolewicz still owned the l00K, with a 7:52 effort, with Steve Schiller in second in 8:04.Carla Rotunda won the woman’s 50 mile in 10:45. 31 of the 34 starters completed this years runs.

1991

Temperatures in the 50's and little wind greeted the field of 43 runners. The early lead belonged to Ray Krolewicz, but Needham, Mass. resident Col in Corkery had other plans. . Taking the lead near the 25 mile mark, Corkery ran every lap of the 7._9 mile lake between 50-52 minutes, turning in a superb 5:32:43 to win the 50 mile race. Another former winner, Roger Welch, took second place in the 50 in 6:07, with Krolewicz third in 6:18.

Ray was the only one of the early leaders to run the l00K, notching another win in 8:39. Barbara Mcleod, of Ontario, Canada, took the early lead in the woman’s 50 mile race, with Vermont's Dot Helling in close pursuit. Between 30-35 miles, Helling turned an eight minute deficit into a 5 minute lead and went on to an 8:04 win in the 50 mile race, with McLeod second in 8:40.

Eight weeks before the race, the local here was deeply saddened at the news of the Bristol, who along with Dean Perry, founded event for its first decade.

Jack passed away unexpectedly on March 5, 1991. Jack was a thoughtful, kind individual, whom has been missed by all that were fortunate enough to call him our friend. Jack lived only a stones throw from the lake and ran there often. For all who knew and remember Jack, there will always be a part of Jack at Waramaug.

When I think, of Jack, an old saying comes to mind. It goes something like;" The candle that burns the brightest, only burns half as long." If you knew Jack, he certainly did burn the brightest in the running community death of Jack and co-directed this event.

1992

Steve Schiller of Connecticut and Vermont’s Bob Dion, went at each other tooth and nail for 50 miles, never more than 3-4 minutes apart, In the end, Dion won the 50 in 6:19, to Schillers 6:23. Steve continued on to record an 8:18 win in the l00K, with Ray Krolewicz and Ed Finnegan tying for second in 9:42. The woman's race saw Liz Dollinger, of New York, notch a double victory on this cool day. Her 8:20 50 mile win and 10:40 l00K victory marked the first time a woman recorded a double victory at Waramaug.

1993

Steve Schiller, of New Britain, CT, had run several previous races. at Waramaug. But this day, April 23rd, would be his finest effort to date. Steve took an early lead over Krolewicz, Lance Guiliani of Maine, and Don Davis of Pennsylvania. Schiller never relinquished his early lead recording a wire win in the 50 mile with a time of 6:18. He continued on to capture the 100K as well, with a 8:11. Ray Krolewicz took second in both events (6:49/8:59). The woman’s race belonged to New Britain’s Jennifer Girouard. ( who, by the way, would later become Mrs. Steve Schillert) Jennifer went on a wire to wire run in the 50 mile event, turning in an 8:12 for the 50 miles.

1994

This year was the eighth year since Bert Meyer took over the race from Dean and Jack. Bert was contemplating a permanent move to Colorado after the race, and knew he would not be around to direct and future Waramaug races. Unsure of its future, this years run was billed as the 'LAST' Lake Waramaug ultra. Fortunately. this would not be the case. Mark Debartolo, of New Jersey, turned in a 6:08 effort that saw temperatures hit 80 degrees, unusually warm for April in Connecticut. He was followed by Ray Krolewicz in 6:17 and Danielle Cherniak of New York who finished third overall and first woman in 6:56. Dot Helling took second in 8:00 with Diane McNamara third in 8:10.This was the 20th running at Waramaug, with last conducted under the care and guidance of Bert Meyer resurrected this race after 1986, the ultra running would have lost a wonderful event, thought of by many of spring in New England. Bert deserves a great deal of thanks or all of his efforts at Waramaug, past and present!

1995

This year began my term as race director. Having been present at Waramaug since the late 70's, as either a participant, crew member or volunteer, I was pleased to assume the duties when Bert asked me. Previously, I had directed events from fun runs to marathons, with a few triathlons thrown in, as well.

Two major changes greeted the runners for this year’s race. First, I added a 50K distance, in the hope of encouraging more runners to give ultras a try. The second change was to rename the race. Jack Bristol had been a longtime friend, and when he passed in 1991, all who Knew him were deeply saddened. I thought it would be a nice memorial to Jack to rename the race in his memory. Dean Perry agreed, and with Jacks family’s permission, the race now had a new name. April 23 saw 54 starters at the lake, with 48 reaching one of three finish lines. The 50K was won by Joe Banas, of Norwich Ct., who led right from the start, with a 3:36. UR's Don Allison was second in 3:52. The 50 mile race saw Ray Krolewicz hold off a fast charging Rob Carusso of Mass., 6:40 to 6:41! Ray continued on in the l00K, but was in for a surprise. Dave Luljak, of NY, ran an easy. 7:02 for 50 miles and then ran the remaining 12.2 miles almost 50 minutes faster than a tiring Krolewicz, to win the l00K in 8:31 to Rays 9:01. In third was Howie Breinan of Mass., making his first return to the lake in 10 years. The star of the day was Eileen Eliot, of Hollywood Florida. Running second in the 50 mile in 7:47,( Jennifer Girouard won the woman's 50 in 7:34 ), Eliots sights were set on the US woman's record in the 50-54 record for l00K. Running evenly paced laps all day, she obliterated the old mark by an hour and eight minutes, setting a new best time of 9:50:35! Danielle Cherniak won the woman's 50K in 4:13 and 69 year old Frank Dolen finished the 50K in 6:11!

1996

Temperatures reached 80 degrees on this April 21st day. Dave Luljak, just coming off a 2:30 effort at Boston six days earlier, defended his 100K title in 8:06, with Ray Krolewicz second in 9:55. In the 50 mile event, Bob Carusso of Mass., held off a fast charging Luljak by two minutes, winning in 6:17. Carusso collapsed at the finish and was attended to by EMT's and quickly recovered.

Vermont's Bob Dion won the 50K in 4:03 with Jennifer Girouard winning the woman's division in 4:28. On this hot day, the woman's 50 mile and 100K were won by Spain's Blanca Rodriguez, who showed amazing stamina in the extremely hot weather, with times of 9:54 for the 50 mile and 13:00 in the 100K! 70 year old Frank Dolen, of Ridgefield Ct., improved his 50K time by nine minutes from the previous year, turning in a 6:02 in 80 degree heat!

1997

Prior to the race starting, a special presentation was made to Ray Krolewicz. At the completion of _he 1996 race, Ray had competed in over 1,000 miles of competition at Waramaug! He was given a plaque to commemorate his first 1,000 miles. " I've run a lot of races around the world", Ray said. "This is my absolute favorite. I'll come here as long as they keep putting it on...let's a very special race." Ray had also been a good friend of the late Jack Bristol.

This years race saw some hotly contested races. The means 50K saw Danbury Ct. runner Manoel Leal and New Milford Ct. 's Brent Backus hammer each other for three hours, with Leal winning in 3:20 to Backus's 3:22 ! Krolewicz and Steve Schiller battled all day long with Krolewicz prevailing in both runs. His 6:39 win in the 50 to Schillers 6:48 was about the same average pace for the difference in the 100K, 8:38 to 8:54!

The woman's 50K saw Danielle Cherniak return to the lake with a 4:10 effort over Jennifer Girouards second place time of 4:29. Janice Kuhl won the woman's 50 mile event in 8:39.

And 71 year old Frank Dolen lowered his time 17 minutes in the 50K, with a 5:45 effort! 53 of the 60 starters finished this years races.

1998

Forty degrees and a steady rain welcomed the 45 runners who braved the conditions as New England weather proved its unpredictability.( two years earlier it was 80'and sunny) Charlie Mattheus made the most of the conditions. The South African runner, training out of Colorado and the 1997 COMRADES MARATHON winner, went through the marathon mark in 2:39, in spite of heavy rain and winds. He won the 50 mile event unchallenged, in 5:35, just 3 minutes off of the course record.

Ray Krolewicz was second in the 50(6:54) and the only runner to complete the 100K in 9:33. Vermont's Dot Helling won the women's 50K in 4:18, with neighbor Bob Dion winning the men's in 3:50. 72 year old Frank Dolen ran 5:39 for 50K, lowering his time for the third year in a row.

1999

COURSE RECORD FOR SCHILLER AT WARAMAUG!

Jennifer Schiller, 36, of New Britain Ct., ran the 50 kilometer course around lake Waramaug faster than any woman before her, demolishing Daniele Cherniaks 1997 time by almost 10 minutes, setting a new standard of 4:00:53. This placed her third overall in the 50K event", which was won by Vermont's Bob Dion whose winning time of 3:47:51 does not reflect the fact that he misjudged his driving-time to get to the lake and started almost 8 minutes behind the race field. Nonetheless, he moved from 14th place after the initial 4.4 mile out and back to 4th place by the 12 mile checkpoint and an eventual 13 minute victory over Ben Maynard.

Kevin McGovern, of Worcester, MA, led the charge from the start, reaching the marathon split in 2:58:04. Running clocklike laps of the 7.597 mile lake in 50-52 minutes per lap, McGovern's initial plan was to run the l00K. But as the sun rose and temperatures climbed. and some strong wind gusts began to hammer at the runners, McGovern's pace began to slow and his winning time of 6:08:31 for the 50 mile event proved enough of a workout for the day.

The only two runners chasing McGovern were New Hampshire Ron Johnston and South Carolina's Ray Krolewicz. But both of these men had their sights set on winning the 100 kilometer race. At the 50 mile split, Johnston held an 8 minute lead over Krolewicz, who has won both the 56 mile and l00k races here numerous times and has a 7:04 l00K time to his credit.

But this would be Johnston's day, as the Durham NH runner increased his lead and eventually won the l00K event in 8:32:50 with Ray finishing 18 minutes back in 8:54.In all, 47 of the 52 starters reached one of the three finish lines. This was the 25th running of the race, first held in 1974, and is America's oldest l00k race.

2000

SIX WIN AT WARAMAUG

There's nothing like a soft, easy, breeze to keep a runner comfortable while out for a long run. Unfortunately, gale force gusts along with fairly steady winds can add another dimension to running an Ultra, particularly on a loop course! These were the conditions that greeted the 72 runners who began this years races.

Temperatures in the low 60's and partly sunny skies did make the loops of the 7.597 mile lake a little more bearable. Wind gusts in the area were recorded at over 50mph this day, however!

Barry Lewis made the most of the occasional tailwind and blasted from the start, covering the first 4.4 mile out and back in just over 27 minutes! Several of the usual suspects were in pursuit, including Bob Dion, first timer to the lake Brian Teason, Steve Schiller, Harry Lepp and some guy named Krolewicz!

Lewis, of Philadelphia, ran each lap of the lake in right around 50 minutes and won. the 50K in 3:22:02,just missing the course record by a minute and a saw the men's 50 mile race saw a seesaw battle between Teason and Lepp take place for most of the day. For the first 27.2 miles, Teason enjoyed a 2-3 minute lead over Lepp. But by the 34.8 mile checkpoint, Lepp had taken nearly a 4 minute lead and ran a strong 6:22: 1 a for the win. Teason took second in 6:27 and Rich Boretti charged through the field to grab third in 6:461

Ray Krolewicz mentioned before the race began that he and the late Jack Bristol had wondered some 15 years ago if the race would still be going on in the year 2000. Not only is the race still a fixture on the Ultrarunning calendar, but Rays name keeps appearing in the winners column! Beginning with a 7:26 50 mile split, which was good for 5th place, Ray ran the additional 12.2 miles for another 100k win, in a time of 9:39:451 This was his 71 is lifetime Ultra victory! Amazing does not do justice to that accomplishment! Mike Menovich of Lexington, Ma, took second in 9:57 and UR's Don Allison grabbed third in 10:14!

The woman's 50K belonged to Danbury Ct resident Ellen McCurtin. Coming off a 50K win the previous week at Sybill Luddington, McCurtin just missed the course record by less than two minutes, notching another victory in 4:02:27. Record holder Jennifer Schiller took second in 4:17 and Kathy Kost took third.

Tara Hemond battled the strong winds all day to win the womans 50 mile race in 8:46:39 and Ruth Kessler of Burlington, Ma, took second in the 50 in 9:29. Ruth was also the only woman to complete the 100K course, crossing the finish in 12:04:57.

Seventy-two runners began at the 7am start and sixty-five found their way to one of the three finish lines. First run in 1974, Waramaug is the oldest 100K in the country, and the second oldest Ultra, with only the JFK 50 being older!

2001, Sunday, April 29

Sneaking in a little last minute training the day before, by winning the Sybil Luddington 50 K, Bob Sweeney, of Rye Brook New Y9rk, averaged 7:33 per mile to record a 3:45:48 win at the 50K distance. Enjoying about a two minute lead with 4 miles remaining, Bob missed the 50K turnaround point, and after discovering his mistake, only a frantic dash to the finish enabled him to overtake Hans Put, who finished 5 seconds back.

The first woman at the 50K distance was Michaela Heeb, from Amherst, Mass. Finishing 6th overall, her1ime of 4:44:24 was her first Ultra victory, as she prepared for Western States this June.

For the second year in a row, Harry Lepp, won the 50 mile event in a time of 6:22:58 with veteran Steve Schiller in second in 7:15:56. Margie Peckham-Lawson, from New Cannan Ct., won the women's 50 mile in 8:20:54, on a day that saw temperatures reach the low 60' s and light winds buffeting the runners most of the day.

Returning to the Lake for the first time in 17 years was Vermont's Bernd Heinrich. Many of us still remember his 1984 visit when he won both the 50 mile and 100K in 5:29 and 7:15, respectfully. Having just turned 60, Bernd finished third in the 50 mile race in 7:28:58

Ed Buckley, of Southampton, Mass, won the 100K event in 8:56:22 with Maryland's Mike Woodman second in 9:35:14. Ruth Kessler of Massachusetts, notched her second 100K victory in a time of 12:19:27.

In all, 63 runners began the day and 59 found their way to one of the finish lines!

2002

For the second time since' 1974, there would be no race around Waramaug. Extreme weather conditions, and a dire forecast for the day, which later in the morning included a tornado watch for the northwest comer of Connecticut, forced the cancellation of the 2002 race.

Heavy rain, high winds, a brief period of hail in the morning and temperatures in the low 40' s and a forecast for worse, left me with little choice in not putting the race on. About 40 or so of the 55 pre registered runners did show up for the run, and although I know many were disappointed with my decision, most supported my choice. One runners wife who was there as a support crew actually gave me a hug and exclaimed;" Thank you - Thank you!"

A few runners felt I was over reacting to the conditions and the forecast and were unhappy. Several went out planned to run several laps, but after a loop or two, called it quits.

Along with the runners well being and safety, I also have about 25 volunteers who work the race. I decided if I had to make a mistake about whether or not to hold the race, That I would err on the side of caution. 25 years ago, when I was a little younger, I probably would have thrown caution out the window and put the race on.

Two weeks later at Waramaug, several local schools were having a crewing regatta on the lake. Heavy rain and temperatures in the 30's sent 19 athletes to area hospitals by ambulance to be treated for hypothermia! Those are the kinds of conditions I have witnessed at Waramaug for almost three decades. All recovered to row another day. But I know how treacherous the weather can be there and felt canceling the race was the best choice. Rick Favier R.D.

2003

After missing the 2002 race due to terrible weather conditions, which included a tornado warning, runners were back at the lake on April 26. Former race director Bert Meyer reassumed the RD's job for Rick Favier, who had directed the race the previous 8 years.

Runners were greeted with seasonable temperatures in the 50' s and an early bright sun which gave way to afternoon clouds. Light winds buffeted the runners as they circled the 7.597 mile loop around Waramaug, nestled in the western Berkshire foothills of Connecticut.

In he 50K event, Hans Put, of New your ran to a 3:38 victory over Andrei Aroneanu, who finished in 4:30. Jennifer Schiller, a familiar name to the winners circle at the Lake, won the womans 50K in 4:25, 10 minutes ahead of Marianne Withington.

The 50 mile saw an unusual finish of Moe Pratt winning in 6:50 with second place going to the first woman, Jody-Lynn Reicher finishing in 6:58:39. This is one of the fastest womans times turned in at Waramaug in many years.

Maine's Craig Wilson cruised to a comfortable win in the l00K with a 10:03, with Bob Oberkehr only 9 minutes back in 10:12. 1985 course record holder in the l00K, Ray Krolewicz, finished third in the l00k, in 12:26.