Kendall runner, 16, youngest to complete Sehgahunda 72-kilometer race at Letchworth

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 26 May 2023 at 12:20 pm

Provided photos

LETCHWORTH – Ben Brundage, 16, of Kendall crosses the finish line on Sunday in the Vale of Three Falls at Letchworth State Park. He completed three courses that day – the Lower Falls 5K, Middle Falls 10K, and Upper Falls 15K.

The previous day he ran the Sehgahunda trail marathon. He covered 72-kilometers in all or 44.7 miles. He is the youngest to ever complete the Sehgahunda 72.

Two years ago he was the youngest at age 14 to finish the Sehgahunda trail marathon. He did it in 7 hours, 43 minutes as a 14-year-old.

The course is notoriously difficult, with a 3,000-foot elevation change on narrow, winding paths.

As a 15-year-old Brundage lowered his trail marathon time to 5 hours, 43 minutes.

Saturday there was a deluge of rain, and the course turned muddy. Brundage still finished in a new personal best of 5 hours, 4 minutes.

That was 34th out of 182 finishers. Not too many would then run another 30-kilometers or 18.6 miles on Sunday.

“It is very challenging but it is a lot of fun,” Brundage said today. “It’s not your average marathon.”

His father Daniel also finished the trail marathon on Saturday. His mother Sarah has conquered the course in previous years.

(Left) Ben Brundage stays focused while running a soggy course at Letchworth on Saturday during the Sehgahunda trail marathon. (Right) Ben Brundage smiles and holds a plaque on Sunday for completing the Sehgahunda 72. All of the finishers receive the “Put a Nail in Me, I’m done” plaque.

Ben is a member of Kendall’s cross country and track teams. He runs the 1,600 meter, 800 meter, 400 meter and 4-by-400 relay for Kendall. He competes at Sectionals on Saturday.

He said he enjoys long-distance running and often trains on the country roads in Kendall, Hamlin, Holley and Albion.

A junior at Kendall, he would like to run cross country in college at the Division II level.