Wickham Park Marathon

And 50, 100, and 200 Mile Fun Runs

The start of the Wickham Park trail.

These photos were taken on the first lap of day 4 of the 2001 race.

Yes, there is a trail through here.

The "nice" part of the trail... before the midday heat.

Shiggy Lane

Mike Farnsworth and Mark Henderson slog down Sahara Street.

Crossing the "Tiger Trap".

The canal crossing was mostly dry this year.

Mark Henderson wins the 200 mile fun run in 2001.

The race is held annually on Memorial Day weekend at Wickham Park, Melbourne Florida. The race is run in 50 mile stages starting on Sunday with a 12:30 cutoff each day (7:30 AM to 8:00 PM). The course consists of 7 loops of 3.75 miles (marathon) and 7 more loops of 3.4 miles on flat trails. All runners start together. Typical weather is high 80's to low 90's F (30-35 C), humid and sunny, with occasional afternoon thunderstorms.

Entry information
Frequently Asked Questions.
See our article in Runner's World.

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Race History

The 1995 race began as a marathion only, held on a 2 mile mostly dirt road loop on July 4. There were 4 starters and 1 finisher, race director Matt Mahoney in 5:41.

The 1996 race was moved to the current trails and included a 50 mile fun run, which nobody finished. There were 9 starters and 2 finishers in the marathon, Matt Mahoney in 7:33, and Roy Ramsey of Vero Beach in 8:03.

The 1997 race again had no 50 mile finishers. There were 8 starters and 5 finishers in the marathon, led by 2 time Badwater winner Bill Menard of Venice FL in 5:21. He quit the 50 because he had "someplace else he needed to be". His training for this race included the Marathon des Sables, a 150 mile 6 day staged race in the Sahara Desert in Morocco, carrying all of his food in a pack, just one week ago.

The 1998 race still had no 50 mile finishers. Out of 11 starters, 5 finished the marathon, won by Juan Tapia of Ft. Pierce in a course record 4:48. He said the race was "very difficult".

Kathy Faulkner of Decatur GA became the first woman finisher in the marathon with a 5:25, running with Robert Youngren. Both were training for the Western States 100, which they later finished.

The 1999 race was the first with any 50 mile finishers. Out of 21 starters, 18 finished the marathon and 6 of them went on to finish 50 miles. They were lead by Adam Bookspan of Aventura FL, who racewalked the entire course in 11:01. He later set a racewalking record for the Badwater double, 300 miles from Death Valley to Mt. Whitney and back, in temperatures ranging from 125 F to freezing. He trained for these events by walking 100 miles per week mostly at a 10 minute per mile pace.

Sue Thompson of Novi MI was the first woman finisher in the 50 in 11:26. In the marathon, Jason Maki and Vista Beasley set the men's and women's record in a 4:11 time. Conditions were unusually good this year for running, low 80's and overcast.

The 2000 race included a 100 mile fun run for the first time, staged 50 miles per day for 2 days. This was the hottest weather ever, 97 F and sunny for the first 50 mile stage, and 96 F for the second stage. Yet out of 13 starters, 11 finished the marathon, 3 of them finished the 50 miler, and one, Mark Henderson of Houston TX finished the 100 miler in a total time 22:19. His first 50 mile stage was also a course record 10:42. In the marathon, Chris Seinkner of Cocoa Beach FL lowered the record to 3:54.

Report by Mark Henderson

The 2001 race included a 200 mile fun run for the first time, staged 50 miles per day for 4 days. Mark Henderson was the only finisher in a combined time of 43:48. In the process, he lowered his own course recrods to 21:08 in the 100 and 10:20 in the 50. Jason Maki took back the marathon record with a 3:50 after running head to head with defender Chris Seinkner, until Chris dropped at 15 miles. Out of 28 starters, 16 finished the marathon. John Pugh of Savannah GA was the only other 50 mile finisher with a 12:04, and he went no further.

Report by Mike Farnsworth
Report by Jason Maki

In spite of cool weather (66-84 F) the 2002 race had 23 starters, 6 marathon finishers, and no 50 mile finishers. As a result, stages 2-4 were not held. Mike Farnsworth won the marathon in 4:35:30. Anita Allen was first woman in 5:33:06.

The 2003 race had the largest starting field ever, 32 runners. Nobody finished 100 or 200. Scott Sturtz won both the marathon (4:56) and 50 miler (11:10) but dropped out after 2 laps on day 2. High temps were about 90 F.

In the 2004 race, Mark Henderson set a new course record of 8:55:40 for 50 miles, but declined to run the second day. There were 3 other 50 mile finishers but none finished the second day, when it was 99 F with a heat index of 112 in the shade and 127 in the sun.

Zen and Nez of Wickham Park by Nanci LeVake

2005 Results. Pam Byrne lowered the women's 50 mile record by over an hour to 10:23:53. But nobody made it past 15 miles in stage 2. Weather was about average, 90F, dewpoint 72F and sunny.

Report by Wayne Wright
Report and photos (PDF) by Eric Friedman

2006 Results. Another brutally hot day, as usual. Mark Henderson's goal was to break the marathon course record of 3:50 and then his own 50 mile record of 8:55 on his way to 100. He missed the marathon by 4 minutes, the 50 by 26 minutes, then declined to run any further. David Harper was the only other 50 mile finisher. He also declined, so the race ended with one stage.

Report by Nanci Levake

2007 Results. Unusually cool weather (low 80s) resulted in 3 course records during the first stage. Mike Aldrink, 30, a 2:29 marathoner from Durham NC, lowered the course record by 30 minutes to 3:20:52. Helen Cox, 43, from New Smyrna Beach FL took 2 minutes off the record in 4:09:56. In the 50, David Briz, 25, from Miami lowered the course record by 83 minutes to 7:32. In stage 2, 3 runners started and Joe Ninke finished, only the second person to run 100 miles after Mark Henderson.

Article in Florida Today, June 6, 2007, by Wendy Haddad.

In the Camp Slayer, Baghdad Iraq Edition Mark Jackson ran 50 in 9:41. Weather: low 95 F, high 120 F, sunny and dry with light gunfire. Some photos:
Map of course
Mile 48.2, half way up Sniper Hill
Top of Sniper Hill, just before the 50 mile finish, with Baghdad in the background
Award ceremony
Better than a fake rock

2008 Results. Again, weather was unusually cool, low 80's and sunny every day. There were 27 of 32 marathon finishers in stage 1, of which 7 finished 50 miles. In stage 2, Richard Burrell finished 100 miles in 22:32:28, followed by Joe Ninke in 23:54:55. In stage 3, only Joe Ninke was left. He quit after 33.75 miles. Photos by Fiona Wright.

2009 Results and photos. 52 starters, 32 finished the marathon, of which 9 finished 50 miles. 5 started on day 2 with only Joe Ninke and Jeff Stephens finishing 100 miles. Joe set new course records of 20:16:05 in the 100 and 42:43:13 in the 200.

2010 Results. A new 50 mile course record of 7:22:10 by Emiliano Lemus of Honduras. In stage 2, Joe Ninke broke his own 100 mile course record with 19:28:50. photos.

2011 Results. Joe Ninke broke the 100 mile course record in 18:54:58 on his way to his third fake rock with a new 200 mile course record of 42:14:09. Krystle Martinez lowered the women's 50 mile course record to 10:17:20. photos and more photos.

2012 Results and photos. Ellen Cottom became the first woman to finish the 100. Her time was 19:25:51. She also lowered the 50 mile women's record to 9:35:28.

2013 results and map. Salt Shack (Tim Purol) won the fake rock in 46:50:27.

2014 results. First actual race for the fake rock with 3 finishers. Salt Shack wins in 43:44:30. Stephanie Miller wins the 100 and is the first ever 200 mile female finisher in 44:06:16. Chris Knight wins the last stage but can't make up a 68 minute deficit to finish third in 44:41:17.

Course Records

Marathon, men       3:20:52 Mike Aldrink, Durham NC 
Marathon, women     4:09:56 Helen Cox, New Smyrna Beach FL 
50 miles, men       7:22:10 Emiliano Lemus, Honduras
50 miles, women     9:35:28 Ellen Cottom, England
100 miles, men     18:54:58 Joe Ninke, Sebastian (2 x 50mi)
100 miles, women   19:25:51 Ellen Cottom, England
200 miles, men     42:14:09 Joe Ninke (4 x 50mi)
200 miles, women   44:06:16 Stephanie Miller

Finisher Summary

Year  Start  26.2  50   100  200
----  -----  ----  --   ---  ---
1995    4      1
1996    9      2    0
1997    8      5    0
1998   11      5    0
1999   21     18    6
2000   13     11    3    1
2001   28     16    2    1    1
2002   23      6    0    0    0
2003   32     15    2    0    0
2004   30     17    4    0    0
2005   41     27    5    0    0
2006   33     14    2    0    0
2007   38     30    6    1    0
2008   32     27    7    2    0
2009   52     32    9    2    1
2010   67     40   15    1    1
2011   78     57   13    1    1
2012   74     44   10    1    0
2013   80     45   14    8    1
2014   83     48   11    3    3
       --     --   --   --   --
Total 757    460  109   21    8

Finish Rate   61%  14%   3%   1%

Wickham Park is part of the Badass Slam of Ultrarunning.

Matt Mahoney, matmahoney@yahoo.com