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Mountain trail racing

Tough as nails: Megunticook 50K, 10K participants show grit, mettle

Peaks and valleys: COVID-19 cannot stop hardy souls from making appointed rounds over hill and dale
By Holly Vanorse Spicer | Sep 14, 2020
Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. Steven Wood, left, and Justin Rindner.

Camden — Despite the obstacle of COVID-19 trying to block the trails of the Camden Hills, the inaugural Megunticook 50-kilometer and "Wicked Tough 10" trail race event proved a memorable, momentous and mountainous success on Saturday, Sept. 12.

With new pandemic safety protocols for runners in place, including rolling starts, and masks, 97 runners took to the tough, scenic trails of the Camden Hills State Park for the 50K (31.0686-mile) and 10K (6.2-mile) races.

Race creator David Hirschfeld called the grueling, challenging event a success. "I think by every metric, today's event was not just a success, but a stunning triumph," he said.

Watch video and see more than 80 photos below.

With the tough terrain, neither race let runners off easily.

The peaks of Battie, Bald Rock, Derry, Frohock, Cameron and Megunticook were topped in the race, which gave runners a total elevation over the 31 miles of more than 7,600 feet.

Overall, the 31 miles broke down to two miles of pavement, eight miles of closed gravel road and 21 miles of single-track trails.

The "Wicked Tough" 10K came with its own warning. Worried it may be considered significantly easier than its longer counterpart, runners were warned the course would be no piece of cake.

Just more than six miles long, the trail had an elevation gain of more than 1,600 feet. It covered two miles of pavement, and four miles of single-track trails, the "Wicked Tough" tested any runner who traversed the course.

In the Megunticook 50K main event, Chance Simonton of Lebanon, N.H., finished first overall with a time of five hours, 19 minutes and 52 seconds. Simonton managed a 10:18-mile pace over the nearly 31-mile trek.

Jennifer Britz of Bar Harbor was the first female finisher, third overall, with a time of 5:32:14. Britz's pace was 10:42, just 24 seconds per mile slower than Simonton over the course.

Erik Brooks of Camden took the overall win for the "Wicked Tough Ten" race in a total time of 52:51.

Sofia Arleo of Waterville was the first female finisher, sixth overall, in 1:04:59.

Megunticook 50 results were: 1, Chance Simonton, 27, Lebanon, N.H., 5:19:52; 2, Tyler Deangelis, 27, Readfield, 5:20:04; 3, Jennifer Britz, 42, Bar Harbor, 5:32:14; 4, Anne McKee, 22, Islesboro, 5:39:35; 5, Tess Hamilton, 25, Brunswick, 5:53:24; 6, Joseph Reynolds, 35, Westbrook, 5:58:28; 7, Haley Heinrich, 27, Newbury, N.H., 6:02:14; 8, Judson Cake, 42, Bar Harbor, 6:02:24; 9, Scott Eugley, 28, Saco, 6:03:07; 10, Bradford Eslin, 42, Bucksport, 6:11:00; 11, David Maggio, 27, Yarmouth, 6:28:27; 12, Michael Nolan, 53, New York, N.Y., 6:31:41; 13, Michael Flanagan, 26, Brunswick, 6:34:19; 14, Katie Clayton, 23, Boston, Mass., 6:34:47; 15, David Root, 51, Hope, 6:36:16; 16, Eric Williamson, 23, New York, N.Y., 6:45:48; 17, Nick Hoffmann, 23, Englewood, N.J., 6:46:02; 18, Solomon Treister, 20, Chicago, Ill., 6:46:03; 19, Steve Holt, 37, East Boston, Mass., 6:49:08; 20, Bran Lamoreau, 32, South Portland, 6:52:51; 21, Emily Harris, 23, Boston, Mass., 6:58:03; 22, Jeremiah Johnson, 41, Portsmouth, N.H., 7:06:10; 23, Bob Lowe, 43, Winthrop, Colo., 7:07:07; 24, Ben Lacy, 41, Camden, 7:07:12; 25, James Laurencio, 43, Danville, N.H., 7:14:21; 26, Jack Ryon, 39, West Bath, 7:15:55; 27, Eric Johansson, 59, Holmdel, N.J., 7:22:48; 28, Eric Christ, 47, Montevideo, Minn., 7:24:22; 29, Dylan Ascolese, 38, Sudbury, Mass., 7:24:41; 30, Steven Wood, 29, Gray, 7:26:26; 31, Colden Golann, 27, Union, 7:29:45; 32, Patty Higgins, 56, York, 7:30:50; 33, John Sheedy, 52, Berwick, 7:32:42; 34, Ian McCracken, 34, Portland, 7:36:51; 35, Steve Putt, 43, Montoursville, Pa., 7:38:32; 36, Edward Eichler, 39, Wiscasset, 7:43:52; 37, Todd Reutlinger, 28, South Portland, 7:46:02; 38, James Mor, Salem, N.H., 7:53:08; 39, Kate Lapointe, 32, Kittery, 7:57:07; 40, Nathan Fisher, 29, Somerville, Mass., 7:58:56; 41, Nathan Rice, 28, Levant, 7:59:32; 42, Lindsay Powers, 43, Rockport, 8:03:13; 43, Ramona Larsen, 41, Lincolnville, 8:06:25; 44, Emily McDevitt, 55, Camden, 8:15:31; 45, Linda Burbank, 38, Somersworth, N.H., 8:16:30; 46, Justin Rindner, 30, Saint Charles, Mo., 8:19:32; 47, Sam Crabtree, 36, Hancock, 8:19:36; 48, Taylor Wood, 35, Hancock, 8:19:36; 49, Mark Dorley, 48, Portsmouth, N.H., 8:22:14; 50, Brian Williamson, 26, Canastota, N.Y., 8:27:30; 51, Donald Kitchen, 42, Northport, 8:36:57; 52, Bryan Clement, 23, Union, 8:44:07; 53, Aaron Kennedy, 47, Belfast, 8:45:25; 54, Emma Erwin, 26, Kailua Kona, HI, 9:00:06; 55, Grey Skelton, 26, Bangor, 9:00:16; 56, Kelly Walsh, 30, Lydonville, Vt., 9:05:35; 57, Robert Nicholson, 33, Salem, Mass., 9:11:35; 58, Steve Wiltshire, 51, Franklin, Mass., 9:15:15; 59, Donna Kausen, 66, Addison, 9:24:21; 60, Nathan Short, 41, Takoma Park, Md., 9:39:53; 61, Nick Milano, 59, Barrington, N.H., 9:46:44; 62, Casey Callahan, 44, Brookline, N.H., 10:09:13; 63, Chad Colburn, 35, Liberty, 10:19:45; 64, Scott Perrapato, 64, South Berlington, Vt., 10:19:49; 65, Bobi-Jo Thomas, 40, Jefferson, 10:19:59; and 66, Atsuko Shimowada, 52, Portland, 10:32:28.

"Wicked Tough 10" results were: 1, Erik Brooks, 31, Camden, 52:51; 2, Henry McDevitt, 14, Camden, 57:17; 3, Thomas O’Brien, 31, Nobleboro, 57:26; 4, Draa Mackey, 24, Lincolnville, 57:39; 5, Joseph Jansen-Hedrick, 29, Greeley, Colo., 1:04:41; 6, Sofia Arleo, 19, Waterville, 1:04:59; 7, Jim Anderson, 52, Randolph, N.H., 1:09:19; 8, Sean James, 43, Monroe, 1:12:16; 9, Eric Olds, 50, Lincolnville, 1:17:02; 10, Tom Barrows, 16, Winthrop, 1:17:33; 11, Jenna Vanryn, 14, Rockport, 1:18:09; 12, Nataleann Gore, 14, Appleton, 1:23:01; 13, Jeffrey Stewart, 40, Yarmouth, 1:24:13; 14, Lakshmi Butcher, 41, Camden, 1:24:48; 15, Jason Sercu, 31, Brighton, Mass., 1:29:22; 16, Anna Sideris, 36, Lincolnville, 1:30:38; 17, Doug Blasius, 67, Belfast, 1:30:46; 18, Jennifer West, 43, Waldoboro, 1:31:05; 19, Gabriel Gore, 44, Appleton, 1:32:18; 20, Angela Gore, 43, Appleton, 1:35:27; 21, Beatrix Treister, 20, Burlington, Vt., 1:39:32; 22, Elizabeth Snarr, 44, Barrington, N.H., 1:43:16; 23, Guy Sercu, 28, Lincolnville, 1:44:57; 24, Christa Brey, 48, Ellsworth, 1:47:10; 25, Timea Hajdu, 37, Jefferson, 1:47:42; 26, Paula Herron, 63, Northport, Fla., 2:03:33; 27, Mary Jansen-Hedrick, 57, Greeley, Colo., 2:03:41; 28, Lisa Kearns, 56, Franklin, 2:04:55; and 29, Petra Hartlova, 38, Northport, 2:10:19.

Hirschfeld said he was grateful for the volunteers and staff who made the event happen.

"It sounds cliche, but these are the people without whom something like this, is impossible," he said.

He added dozens of people wrote to him to ask how they could help. An event like the Megunticook 50 and "Wicked Tough 10," which needs course set-up, aid stations, course monitoring, and management of the start, and finish, require a tremendous amount of work.

The Camden Fire Department, Camden Police, Coastal Mountain Search and Rescue, and North East Mobile Health Services also were on site to respond to emergencies.

"This offered great comfort, and encouragement to me, as well as runners on the course. Their contribution is greatly valued as well," Hirschfeld said.

"Then there is the Bureau of Public Lands and Camden Hills State Park staff. Holy smokes, their support and encouragement was incredible. The resources they made available to the race were indispensable," he said.

There was a moment when the event being held was in doubt because of COVID-19.

"We were exceedingly careful to meet all the state guidelines with regard to the virus," Hirschfeld said.

That presented many additional challenges for the event.

"It was worth it to provide people the opportunity to get out, and do something we've all been longing to do during this crisis," he said.

Hirschfeld hopes next year's event will find everyone in a position where the pandemic concerns are far behind, and the park will be full of runners, staff, and spectators celebrating health, and the beauty of the Camden Hills.

Megunticook trail events
Megunticook trail events on Sept. 12 at Camden Hills State Park. (Video by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. Justin Rindner, left, and Aaron Kennedy. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. Aaron Kennedy. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. Tess Hamilton. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. Nathan Rice. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. Justin Rindner. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. Bobi-Jo Thomas. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. Robert Nicholson. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. Dylan Ascolese. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. Justin Rindner. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. Steve Putt. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. Nick Milano. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. Patty Higgins. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. Emma Erwin. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. Sam Crabtree, left, and Taylor Wood. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. Lindsay Powers. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. Ramona Larson. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. Eric Johannson, left, Patty Higgins, middle, and Brian Williamson. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. Emma Erwin, middle, and Grey Skelton, right. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. Justin Rindner, left, Steven Wood, middle, and Mark Dorley. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. Lindsay Powers, left, Bobi-Jo Thomas, middle, and Aaron Kennedy, right, among others. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. Lindsay Powers, left, Ramona Larsen, middle, Bobi-Jo Thomas, front, and Donald Kitchen. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. Lindsay Powers, left, Ramona Larsen, middle, Donald Kitchen, and Aaron Kennedy, right. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. Taylor Wood, left, Grace Thompson, middle, and Sam Crabtree. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. Taylor Wood, left, Grace Thompson, middle, and Sam Crabtree. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. Taylor Wood, left, Grace Thompson, middle, and Sam Crabtree. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. Emily McDevitt, left, Jonathan Hayslip, middle, and Seth Kiernan. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. Nick Milano. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. Donna Kausen, left, and Casey Callahan. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. Nathan Short, left, Atsuko Shimowada, middle, and Todd Reutlinger. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. Todd Reutlinger. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. Chad Colburn. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. Jack Ryon. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. Robert Nicholson. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. Steve Wiltshire. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. Steven Wood, left, and Justin Rindner. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. Donald Kitchen, right, and Linda Burbank. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. Aaron Kennedy, left, Bobi-Jo Thomas, middle, and Linda Burbank. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. Aaron Kennedy, left, Bobi-Jo Thomas, middle, and Ramona Larsen. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. Aaron Kennedy, front. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. Ramona Larsen, right. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. Lindsay Powers, left, and Grace Thompson. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. Lindsay Powers, left, Grace Thompson, middle, and Ramona Larsen. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. Ramona Larsen. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. Sam Crabtree, left, and Taylor Wood. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. Sam Crabtree. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. Emily McDevitt, left, and Seth Kiernan. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. Emily McDevitt, left, and Seth Kiernan. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. Jonathan Hayslip, right. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. Seth Kiernan. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. Nathan Rice. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. Nick Milano. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. Scott Perrapato. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. Casey Callahan, front. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. Donna Kausen. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. Donna Kausen. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. Robert Nicholson. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. Chad Colburn. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. Atsuko Shimowada. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. Steve Wiltshire. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. Steve Wiltshire. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. Chance Simonton. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. Tyler Deangelis. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. Tyler Deangelis. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. Jennifer Britz. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. Jennifer Britz. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. Jennifer Britz. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. Anne McKee. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. Anne McKee. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. Tess Hamilton. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. Tess Hamilton. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. Judson Cake. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. Judson Cake. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. Scott Eugley. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. Haley Heinrich. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. Bradford Eslin. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. Bradford Eslin. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. Haley Heinrich. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. Haley Heinrich. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Scene from mountain trail race events on Sept. 12 in Camden Hills State Park. Bradford Eslin. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
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