Mason leads county runners to finish line

November 21, 2009|By DAN KAUFFMAN

WILLIAMSPORT -- Hagerstown's Andrew Mason took advantage of perfect conditions Saturday to set a personal record and cross the finish line first among Washington County athletes for the third straight year at the 47th annual JFK 50 Mile ultramarathon.

Mason, 37, the assistant sports editor for The Herald-Mail, finished 13th overall and 12th among men in 6 hours, 34 minutes, 30 seconds to break his previous best of 6:39:09 in 2007.

"I knew right away it was fast," Mason said. "I kept hitting every split faster than I've ever done. I was faster on the (Appalachian) Trail today by a lot, 11 minutes faster than last year and 8 minutes faster than ever before. I was a lot more aggressive on the trail, fell twice and took more risks."

Mason has been Washington County's top performer four times in the last five years. He finished ninth in 2007 and 10th last year in 6:40:32 in extremely cold and windy conditions.


"I wasn't surprised my place was worse. I knew it was a fast field," Mason said. "My No. 1 goal was to set a personal record. ... It's a great honor to be the top county runner. I come out here because I want to try to mix it up with the top runners in the country. I feel like I represent the county here."

Scott Draper, 38, of Williamsport, finished second among Washington County men in 8:36:24, good for 135th overall. David Grimm, 49, of Hagerstown, was the county's third finisher in 169th and the first Masters runner in 8:49:59.

Rebecca Orndorff, 39, of Hagerstown, was the top Washington County women's finisher in 9:22:18. Orndorff was the 36th woman finisher and 245th overall. MacKenzie Riford, 15, of Hagerstown, was the second county finisher in 10:54:20, and Misti Jesson, 24, of Hagerstown, finished third in 11:24:54. Tracey Bowman, 45, of Sharpsburg, was the first county women's Master, clocking 12:14:14.

Share your photos of the JFK

o If you took photos of Saturday's JFK 50 Mile and would like to share them, you're invited to go to and post them on your Washington County community social networking site.

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