Cayuga Trails 50: The Elite Field


In the next couple of days, I will have more posts on Cayuga Trails 50 including a contest and a course preview.

You may also want to check out the race website or my race report from 2014.

Once again, the race is U.S. 50-Mile Trail Championships. That means an excellent elite field will head to Ithaca, New York for the weekend of May 31st. It’s only a few weeks away! I’ve broken the field down into geographic regions. At this point, it looks like the East-Coast fields are stacked. However, keep in mind that the race was won last year by two West-Coasters (although neither was originally from the West Coast).

Race registration opened up back in December and I’ve included below a list of prospective Top-10 finishers (and their odds to win, assigned by me).


Team East-Coast

Cole Crosby (12:1) – Cole is one of the local favorites. He was seventh last year and he is in a great position for a top-five finish in 2015.

Samuel Jurek (12:1) – Last year, Sam ran 3:35 for 50k, 6:13 for 50 miles and 16:56 for 100 miles. This is his first trip to Cayuga Trails and it should be interesting to see how he fares.

Tristan Williams (3:1) – Tristan came in second last year and he ran the fastest split for the second half of the race. At this point, he is the early favorite.

C Fred Joslyn (10:1) – Fred is a 2:18 marathoner, so speed isn’t an issue. He has done one other ultra and he had modest results. If he gears his training toward the 50-mile distance, Fred will definitely be competitive in the race. ** I heard through the grapevine that Fred has a broken toe. I’m not sure which toe it is or how it has affected his training.

Ryan Paavola (24:1) – I’m not really familiar with Ryan. However, he has been improving over time and has a decent chance at a top-ten finish.

Michael Daigeaun (8:1) – Mike had to drop last year due to injury. He will definitely be top-five if he is healthy and he may snag a podium spot. ** After winning Umstead, Mike had a DNF at Rock the Ridge. I know he has been rethinking his race calendar…

Ben Nephew (6:1) – Ben was fifth last year, and he wrote a great race report that is available here. With only one of the top four back so far, Ben looks ready to claim a podium spot in 2015.

Jim Mollosky (22:1) – Jim was ninth last year. He is another local favorite. Along with Cole, he will probably have spent the most time on the course leading up to race day (if the snow ever melts).

Daven Oskvig (10:1) – Daven was registered last year but couldn’t compete due to injury. He already ran a 50-miler this year – under 6 hours – in January! He’s obviously in great shape and will finish in the top five if he has a good day.

Iain RidgwayIain was 10th last year. I expect him to finish right near there once again.

Aaron Saft (14:1) – I’m not familiar with Aaron. However, he has some impressive results down in the Asheville area and he may surprise some people out there.

Silas Carey (26:1) – Silas was 13th last year at Cayuga Trails. Since then, he has finished second at Jay Peak 50k, Virgil Crest 50-miler and North Face Endurance Challenge (NY). He will definitely be a contender for a top ten spot.

Carlo Agostinetto (26:1) – Carlo was 15th last year at Cayuga Trails, but he has put down some impressive races since then. He is definitely a top ten candidate in 2015.

Ryan Welts (28:1) – Ryan has an impressive running resume and is definitely top ten material. In addition, his entry into the race almost guarantees the couples title will go to him and Kristina. Unless there is another ultra couple I don’t know about – anyone want to fess up?

Brian Rusiecki (15:1) – Brian has almost 100 results on Ultra Signup and he’s a young guy! Not only that, the results are all good. Already this year, he was third at Zion 100 and he won the North Face Endurance Challenge 50-Miler (New York). He was 11th last year and 4th the year before that. Since his 100 was earlier in the year, I think Brian is top-five material. *** Brian is signed up for Massanutten Mountain Trails 100 this weekend – if he runs, his Cayuga Trails 50 odds are closer to 50:1 🙂

Jared Burdick (10:1) – Jared Burdick has decided to throw his hat in the ring. As far as I know, this is Jared’s first ultra. However, he ran a 2:20 marathon debut and is well-established on the roads. Not only that – and this is where things get interesting – he is a college teammate of Zach Miller – yup, that Zach Miller.

Team Midwest

Tyler Sigl (4:1) – Tyler Sigl. I was really excited when I saw this name on the entrant list. Tyler is a 2:17 marathoner and he has gone under 5:30 for 50 miles. Yikes. Apparently, his long runs consist of 30 miles slightly below 6-min/mile pace. He will be near the front of the race for a long time – can he pull off the win?

Chad Trumbo (14:1) – Chad was eighth last year. He ran a quick 50k last month. He could be top-five material this year.

Team West-Coast

Andrew Benford (15:1) – Andrew is a new-to-me runner with some impressive times under his belt. In college, he was a second team all-American in the steeplechase and he ran under 14 minutes for 5k. His ultra resume is limited; however, he finished 2nd at Chuckanut 50k – only 13 seconds behind David Laney. That means he’s probably going to do just fine.

Jorge Maravilla – The word on the street is that Jorge is interested in this race. By putting his name here even though he isn’t signed up yet, I’m hoping to peer pressure him into entering. Let’s be honest, Team West-Coast needs him because they’re pretty limited in numbers.

Yassine Diboun



Team East-Coast

Kristina Folcik (5:1), aka Dangergirl, will be back for the third straight year. She won the race in 2013, but she had a tough race last year and finished ninth. Dangergirl will definitely be in the mix!

Sarah Schlaack (18:1) – Sarah ran well in 2014. Perhaps she is hitting her ultra stride. Look for her to finish in the top ten.

Jackie Palmer (4:1) – Jackie was third last year, just behind Krissy Moehl. I think she’s the favorite at this point, although the race is wide open.

Liz Pfleghardt (20:1) – Liz was third last year at the Green Lakes 100k (12:37:29). She is in a good position to take a top-ten spot.

Kristen Hyer (36:1) – Kristen is a regular on the CNY ultra scene. She did Cayuga Trails in 2013 (31st female) and 2014 (17th female) and I think 2015 will be the year she cracks the top ten.

Keila Merino (12:1) – Keila was seventh last year. She’ll definitely be top five this year, and she may be able to snag a podium spot.

Stacia Broderick (4:1) – Stacia will definitely be running at or near the front. She has a packed resume, including a 7:39 50-miler at Stone Cat. Along with Jackie, she is a pre-race favorite.

Laura Kline -(7:1) Laura has gone 4:09 for 50k – that’s fast! She ran JFK in the fall but had to pull out due to injury. Cayuga Trails will be her first 50-mile finish. Look for her to grab a podium spot.

Jade Mills (36:1) – Jade seems to enjoy tough races. The harder it is, the better she does. She may be able to crack the top ten.

Anna Piskorska (4:1) – Anna may have the most impressive resume in the women’s field. Recently, she has come in 2nd at Tussey Mountainback (7:31:39), 2nd at the D.C. North Face Endurance Challenge (8:27:36) and 4th at the N.Y. North Face Endurance Challenge (10:04:59). In 2013, she won the Virgil Crest 100, so she won’t be caught off guard by the difficulty of the Ithaca course. I expect her to finish top five.

Maggie Guterl (10:1) – Maggie is coming off her 4th place finish at the IAU 24 Hour World Championships. With that being said, will she still being feeling the effects of 146 miles on April 11th? Even with tired legs, I think Maggie cracks the top 10.

Karen Holland (8:1) – Karen came in 4th last year at Cayuga Trails. Since then, she was 2nd at the North Face Challenge 50-Miler (Utah) and she won the North Face Challenge Marathon (New York). She definitely has a shot to win, and I certainly expect her to be in the top five.

Michele Maciejewski (40:1) – Michele is an ultra newbie, but she ran well at the Green Lakes 50k in 2014 and she won the BPAC 6-Hour race in April. A top ten spot is a definite possibility!

Laura Rekkerth (30:1) – The Rochester, New York crowd has Laura’s back! They pointed out some solid performances this year including a second place finish (fourth overall) at Mind The Ducks. Will Laura crack the top ten at Cayuga Trails?

Sarah Bard (3:1) – Sarah is a fantastic late entry to the field. She is fairly new to ultra running, but she already has wins at Caumsett 50k (3:23:29) and JFK (6:37:04). Those times mean she can fly! The question is, how will she perform on the gnarly trails in Ithaca?

Team Midwest

Team West-Coast

Amanda Basham (Brown) (6:1) – Amanda was ninth at The North Face championships in December (she was only five minutes back of Alicia Shay who finished sixth). As of right now, she’s the only elite West-Coaster in the field. I wonder if she’ll think Ithaca is gorges…

Jen Benna (4:1) – I was pretty stoked to see Jen Benna show up on the entrant list. I heard her on Ultra Runner Podcast a couple of months back and she was hilarious! In addition, she was a producer of Unbreakable, my all-time favorite movie. I can’t wait to see her out on the trails!


Yassine Diboun, Amy Rusiecki and Krissy Moehl will miss this year’s race because they’ll be in France for IAU World Ultra Trail Championships.

The current entrant list for Cayuga Trails 50 is available here.

If you spot a mistake, let me know. I’ll post a clarification/correction ASAP!

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12 Responses to Cayuga Trails 50: The Elite Field

  1. erin mcdougall says:

    Hi- first of all, I always enjoy your posts. I’ve got a question for you about what the trails are like for this race- are they mainly packed, or mud, or rocky/ rooty? I’m just trying to finalize which shoes I want to wear for it. Thanks, Erin McDougall

    • Jason says:

      Thanks! I’m going to preview the course in the near future, but it includes hard-packed trails, soft trails, mud, stone and water crossings (although fewer than last year because it’s been so dry). I would generally recommend something pretty rugged. What are you deciding between?

    • Pete K says:

      I just ran the full 25 mile loop this weekend. It had rained the night before, so there was a half mile stretch of sloppy mud, but otherwise it was pretty much mud-free. There are eight creek crossings throughout the 50 miles, so you may want shoes that drain water quickly. Also, something with good traction on wet rock could be useful. The parks’ gorge trails are always kind of slick when you’re running on them. Hope this helps. Good luck at the race!

  2. Iain is also out due to the World Trail Champs.

  3. Pingback: Ultramarathon Daily News, Thurs, May 14

  4. evygonzales says:

    Cayuga!!! craziest course I’ve run… and go Maggie!!! I think she can pull off Top 5!!

  5. Trails2Brews says:

    Don’t sleep on Laura Rekkerth – Been crushing it lately in Rochester.

  6. Pingback: Cayuga Trails 50: The Contest | Must Love Jogs

  7. Shawna says:

    this makes me wish i lived near trails! i’d love to get into trail running. sadly, NYC isn’t that most conducive to that. 🙂 cool concept in this post.

  8. Pete K says:

    Cool write-up by the way! It’s great to see so much running talent come to Ithaca.

  9. Pingback: Cayuga Trails 50: The Course | Must Love Jogs

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