KEYS 100 ULTRAMARATHONERS GRIND OUT TOUGHEST RACE YET

With temperatures in the high 80s and humidity approaching 90% for much of the day – a combination weatherspark.com classified as “miserable” – hundreds of extreme endurance athletes faced a test of their mettle as they took to the streets for the Keys 100 on May 21. The annual race combined a series of individual and team relay ultramarathons ranging from 50 kilometers to 100 miles alongside the Overseas Highway from Key Largo to Key West.

The challenging conditions understandably forced more than 130 racers to an early exit in the 100-mile individual race. In a newsletter to participants, race director Bob Becker reported that only 51.9% of runners who began the 100-mile individual contest made it to Key West – the lowest percentage in race history.

Runners left the corrals in waves starting at 5:30 a.m. in Key Largo, and after more than 16 hours, individual champion Vitor Rodrigues of Portugal crossed the finish line, posting a final time of 16:42:34. The “No Sleep Crew” averaged a 6:31 mile en route to the top team finish with a time of 10:52:30.

THE WINNERS’ CIRCLE

50K Overall

  1. Jeff Welsh – 4:49:01
  2. Alex Shtogren – 5:21:00
  3. Belen Coronel – 5:38:37

50-Mile Individual

  1. Katalin Nagy – 7:52:19
  2. Ann Roberts – 9:27:35
  3. Dan Saavedra – 9:59:51

100-Mile Individual

  1. Vitor Rodrigues – 16:42:34
  2. Brian Million – 18:54:48
  3. Caryn Lubetsky – 19:43:52

100-Mile Team Relay

  1. No Sleep Crew – 10:52:30
  2. Conch Wranglers – 11:12:35
  3. NSB BOYZ – 11:30:29

50-Mile Team Relay

  1. Worst Pace Scenario – 7:44:06
  2. Vamonos Team – 7:46:30
  3. Nemesis Fitness – 7:47:14

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Alex Rickert made the perfectly natural career progression from dolphin trainer to newspaper editor in 2021 after freelancing for Keys Weekly while working full time at Dolphin Research Center. A resident of Marathon since 2015, he fell in love with the Florida Keys community by helping multiple organizations and friends rebuild in the wake of Hurricane Irma. An avid runner, actor, and spearfisherman, he spends as much of his time outside of work on or under the sea having civil disagreements with sharks.