USA 100 km  National Championship
Hosted by GNC Ultras

MARCH 25, 2000



GNC 100 km
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Welcome to the 2000 USA National 100 km Championship!  In addition to serving as the 100 km championship, the race raises money for children suffering from cystic fibrosis. 

Please follow these instructions to make sure your page gets updated regularly throughout the day. 

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2. Press "RELOAD" often, especially if you are returning to your computer from your morning run (some of us don't get that luxury today).

As you might be aware, the top three men and top three women finishers from today's competition are automatically selected to the US 100 km National team, provided they meet the qualifying standard of 7:45:00 for the men and 9:00:00 for the women.  They will be competing in the IAU international 100 km challenge in the Netherlands this September.  Because funding for ultra distance competition is limited, they are required to spend their personal money to travel and represent the US in competition.

To help generate funds for distribution to all the members of the National Team, Ultrafit has made USA Ultrarunning apparel available for purchase.  All proceeds will go to defray the travel expenses of our National Team members.  We are currently working on getting the apparel items on-line for purchase.

For now, contact Ultrafit directly for more information: Ultrafit, W5297 Young Road, Eagle, WI 53119. Phone: 888-838-2802. Fax: 262-495-2236



Registered Entrants


Friday, March 24, 5:00PM
Conditions today at Pittsburgh's North Park were sunny and warm, with high temperatures in the low 70's.  A band of precipitation, however, is making its way from the midwest, and should produce some scattered showers during the race.  The temperature forecast calls for a cloudier, breezy day.  It should be in the mid 40's for the 6:30AM start, and could get up to 70°F by mid-afternoon.

Not ideal conditions, but a far cry from the extremes of the two previous USA 100km Championships run here, from the bitter cold, driving rain of 1997 to the 80+degree heat wave of 1998.

Last-minute withdrawals include Scott St. John and Brian Purcell of the Western Region, and Melissa Belleman of the Southern Region.

Saturday, March 25, 6:30AM
The race has just begun! Stay tuned as the day progresses. Weather conditions from the weather channel: Temp: 52°F; Wind from the Southwest at 6 mph; Dewpoint: 46°F; Relative humidity: 60%. Forecast for today is variable cloudiness with a chance of showers and a few thunderstorms. Warm and breezy. High in the lower 70s. Southwest Wind increasing to 15 to 25 mph. Chance of rain 40 percent.

Saturday, March 25, 7:15AM
Unusual developments right from the start!  In the men's race, the Canadian duo of Victor Hickey and Ryne Melcher are way ahead of the pack right from the gun.  They covered the first 5-mile loop of the park in a stunning 31:30, out-pacing the lead trio of Americans (Jim Garcia, Tim Hewitt, and Courtney Campbell) by over a minute.  Rich Burgender follows closely, running alone, with a 30-second lead over Howard Nippert and Kevin Setnes.

The men string out from there with Michael Kichty, Kevin Sawchuk, Mark Godale, Brian Teason, David Allison, John Geesler, and Roy Pirrung all close behind.

In the women's race, Deb Bollig is out front by over two minutes over Kathy D'Onofrio-Wood.  Deb covered the first 5-mile loop in 35:20.  Following Deb and Kathy is a large pack of women an additional 40-seconds behind which includes: Daniele Cherniak, Lisa Smith, Dana Parrot, Nancy Drach, and Jane Moser.  Rounding out the women's top ten are Janice Anderson, Holly Neault, and Ann Heaslett.

There has been no rain so far, but the air is very humid. With the expected high temperatures in the mid-70's this afternoon, the combination of heat and humidity will certainly be a factor in the later hours of the event.  One can only wonder how the runners from the arid climates will fair in the moist air, and one can only speculate how Hickey and Melcher -- both from Canada -- will respond to the higher than normal temperatures as they continue to rise throughout the day. 

Saturday, March 25, 8:00AM
There has been a lucky break in the weather!  Thick clouds have covered the park, dropping the temperature by a few degrees. There has not been any rain thus far, but the threat of showers still looms. 

In the men's race, the Canadians are still way out in front, with Victor Hickey passing the 10-mile mark in 1:03:22 and Ryne Melcher a mere 10 seconds back.  The first Americans, running in a four-man pack of  Jim Garcia, Tim Hewitt, Courtney Campbell and Rich Burgender, are running approximately 2 minutes behind Melcher.  Howard Nippert and Kevin Setnes, still running together, are 30 seconds off the lead American pack.  Their position is not currently being contested.  A gap of over 3 minutes separates Nippert and Setnes from the first big American pack led by John Culhane and closely followed by ten other runners.

The pack of Americans includes Michael Kichty, Kevin Sawchuk, Mark Godale, Brian Teason, David Allison, Roy Pirrung, Ed Parrot, Ian Torrence, Keith Hileman, and Dave Drach. 

The biggest surprise in the men's race to this point is the unusually conservative pace of Godale and Teason, running in the large pack.  This development is unusual for each of these runners.

In the women's race, Deb Bollig continues to lead, covering the first 10 miles in 1:13:20.  She is over 3 minutes in front of a small pack of runners consisting of Daniele Cherniak, Dana Parrot and Lisa Smith, who have all passed Kathy D'Onofrio-Wood during the last lap of the park.  Nancy Drach and Jane Moser are running together, following D'Onofrio-Wood by approximately 30 seconds. 

The rest of the women's field includes: Holly Neault, Ann Heaslett, and Janice Anderson about one minute behind Drach and Moser, Mariann Foster, Sany Powell, and Katie Benson two additional minutes behind, followed 2 minutes later by Tracy Rose and Susan Olsen.

Saturday, March 25, 8:45AM
After the third loop of the park (15 miles), the cloud cover has continued to keep the temperatures below 60 degrees. 

Jim Garcia is having intestinal problems and has had to take 2 pit-stops in the last five miles, forcing him out of the lead pack of Americans. Garcia has also been passed by Howard Nippert and Kevin Setnes. The large pack of American men has been broken up, as Mark Godale has surged in front of the pack and has taken a convincing 60 second lead over Brian Teason.

In the women's race, Deb Bollig is still all alone out in front, with Daniele Cherniak and Dana Parrot easily in second.  Cherniak and Parrot appear to be working together and are feeding off of each other's energy.  As many runners know, the conservation of energy that occurs while running with a partner could play a huge role later in the day when fatigue starts to set in.  Lisa Smith and Kathy D'Onofrio-Wood both appear to be suffering and have dramitically fallen off their pace from earlier today.

Two points of clarification
Rich Burgender, in the first pack of Americans, is not participating in the 100 km race: he is only running the 50 km event. 
John Culhane, referred to earier as the leader of the large American pack, is Canadian.

Saturday, March 25, 9:30AM
Temperature is now in the low 60's, but the continued cloud cover is keeping back the sun.  It is still extremely humid.

20 mile standings

Victor Hickey 2:08:50
Ryne Melcher 2:10:50
Courtney Campbell 2:11:00
Tim Hewitt 2:11:20
Jim Garcia 2:12:25
Howard Nippert  2:12:25
Kevin Setnes 2:12:25
Mark Godale 2:17:20
John Culhane 2:18:45
David Allison 2:18:45
Ed Parrot 2:20:35
Kevin Sawchuk 2:20:35
Ian Torrence 2:20:50
Michael Kichty 2:21:50
Brian Teason  2:21:50
John Geesler 2:21:50
Roy Pirrung 2:22:30
Mike Carlson 2:23:20
Tim Clement 2:23:50
Jeff Foster 2:24:20
Mark Friesen 2:27:15
Keith Hileman 2:27:40
Ron Johnston 2:28:00
Deb Bollig 2:29:00
Dana Parrot 2:32:20
Daniele Cherniak 2:33:20
Lisa Smith 2:38:40
Holly Neault 2:38:40
Ann Heaslett 2:39:11
Nancy Drach 2:40:50
Janice Anderson 2:40:50
Jane Moser 2:41:30
Mariann Foster 2:41:30
Katie Benson 2:42:30
Sandy Powell 2:45:45
Tracy Rose 2:46:30
Susan Olsen 2:46:50

After 20 miles, there will be a change in the top places.  Ryne Melcher has taken an extended break and has already lost about 10 places in the standings.  Courtney Campbell, one of the top American trail runners for years, has taken over second place.  Campbell's success on the trails has never translated to success on the roads.  Is this going to be Campbell's big road breakthrough?

On the women's side, Kathy D'Onofrio-Wood has taken an extended break and appears to be out of the race.  Daniele Cherniak, we have just found out, entered the race nursing a sore hamstring.  She has fallen off of her early pace as the hamstring injury has flaired up.  Lisa Smith, while still in the race, continues to struggle at the 20-mile mark.

Saturday, March 25, 10:00AM
The sun has broken through the clouds and it is getting much warmer.  The top men at the 1/2 way mark are all looking very strong.

50 km Men

Victor Hickey 3:23:08
Howard Nippert 3:24:57
Kevin Setnes 3:25:21
Jim Garcia 3:27:54
Mark Godale 3:29:42
Courtney Campbell 3:30:31
Tim Hewitt 3:31:08

Saturday, March 25, 10:40AM
The temperature is rising faster than the competition!  The sun is up and is baking the field of contestants.  Everyone is starting to feel the effects of the heat and humidity.

In the women's race, the first competitors past the 50km mark are Deb Bollig in 3:55:32 and Dana Parrot in 3:58:52.  The gap between them has remained remarkably steady for the last 10+ miles.  Cherniak, continuing to struggle with hamstring paroblems, has fallen back considerably.

After about 37 miles and 4 hours, Vickor Hickey has given up his lead to a determined Howard Nippert.  Setnes is now in third place, followed by Mark Godale.  Jim Garcia, though appearing strong, has taken another pit stop forced upon him by his intestinal woes and has fallen to fifth overall.

Saturday, March 25, 11:10AM
Big shakeup in the women's race! Defending US National 100km champion Daniele Cherniak has dropped out due to a hamstring injury after running 30 miles.  Also on the women's side, Jane Moser has dropped out of the race. Holly Neault has also retired after 50km.

On the men's side, some of the early leaders have faded and/or dropped out all together.  Early leader Ryne Melcher, from Canada, has dropped out after finishing 30km.  Dave Drach has also decided to call it a day.  After losing contentionand struggling for most of the morning, Brian Teason has also retired after completing the first half of the race.

Temperatures have continued to rise and are playing a greater role than we had originally thought.  It is now 70F degrees.  The conditions are very oppressive due to the high humidity and the bright sun.  Rain that was forecast for today appears to have held off, at least for the time being.

50 km Standings

MEN (hr:min)
Victor Hickey 3:23
Howard Nippert 3:24
Kevin Setnes 3:25
Jim Garcia 3:27
Mark Godale 3:29
Courtney Campbell 3:30
Tim Hewitt 3:31
David Allison 3:36
Ian Torrence 3:38
Ryne Melcher 3:39 (dropped)
Kevin Sawchuk 3:41
Ron Ross 3:41
Tim Clement 3:42
Rich Burgender 3:43
Mike Carlson 3:43
Brian Teason 3:44 (dropped)
John Culhane 3:44
Ed Parrot 3:44
Michael Kichty 3:44
Jeff Foster 3:44
Dave Drach 3:45 (dropped)
John Geesler 3:47
Roy Pirrung 3:49
Scott Eppelman 3:53
William Wilke 3:53
Marc Friesen 3:54
WOMEN (hr:min)
Deb Bollig 3:55
Dana Parrot 3:58
Ann Heaslett 4:13
Janice Anderson 4:14
Lisa Smith 4:17
Tracy Rose 4:19
Katie Benson 4:22
Susan Olsen 4:26
Nancy Drach 4:28
Kathy D'Onofrio-Wood 4:29

Saturday, March 25, 11:40AM
It looks like a 3 man race or a 1-man runaway.  Howard Nippert has extended his lead to about 4 minutes over Victor Hickey, hitting 45 miles in 4:58:25. Setnes is closing in on Hickey and is almost within a minute of the Canadian.  All three runners appear to be in good shape, have made the necessary physiological adjustments to the heat, and believe they can win.

The women's race is heating up in more ways than one. Dana Parrot has finally begun to make a dent in Deb Bollig's lead and has taken 1 minute out of Bollig's long-standing 3-minute advantage.  At this point, it appears to be a 2 women race as Ann Heaslett is now over 15 minutes behind in 3rd place.

Saturday, March 25, 11:45AM
FLASH!!  Dana Parrot has caught Deb Bollig.  They have just passed the 40-mile point in 5:10.  This could turn into an interesting contest, since neither Bollig nor Parrot has ever been tested at distances longer than 50 miles!

Saturday, March 25, 12:15PM
Sporadic cloud cover is finally granting the runners some relief from the beating sun.  Even though it feels cooler due to the clouds, the races aren't cooling off one bit!

Excitement continues at the front of the men's race, with Howard Nippert passing 50 miles in 5:32:54 before stopping to change shoes.  Kevin Setnes, passing Canadian Victor Hickey shortly before the 50 mile mark, has finished the first 50 miles in 5:39:42.  Hickey is only a few seconds behind after covering the first 50 miles in 5:40:15.

In the women's race, the real story is the battle for the third and final spot on the US National team.  Deb Parrot and Deb Bollig, the first and second place runners, passed the 40 mile point in the race a full 24 minutes ahead of the 3rd place woman.  Battling for third in a dead heat are Ann Heaslett, Janice Anderson, and Tracy Rose, all of whom passed 40 miles together.  At the 40 mile aid station, Rose took the official reins of 3rd place by emerging from the aid stop shortly before Heaslett and Anderson.

Saturday, March 25, 12:30PM
A couple of more 50 mile splits from the men's race:  Mark Godale and Jim Garcia finished the 5th lap within seconds of each other -- in 5:46.

Saturday, March 25, 12:34PM
Kevin Setnes' 50 mile split of 5:39:42 is a new pending US best for the Master's 45-49 age group! It beats Robert Perez's 5:40:05 mark by a few seconds. Way to Go, Kevin!

Saturday, March 25, 12:55PM
Nippert looks good as gold!
Nippert's performance is a far cry from last year's 100km when his last 5 miles was more of a death march than it was a run.  He looks as strong as he did at the start and at 55 miles (6:08:42) has extended his lead over Setnes to about 9 minutes. Setnes is still closely trailed by Canadian Victor Hickey.  In fourth place, approximately 8 minutes back, is Jim Garcia with Mark Godale in chase. 

The women's race continues to excite, as Dana Parrot has extended a slim lead over Deb Bollig to about 2 minutes at the 45-mile mark.  The new surprise, however, is Tracy Rose, who is rapidly pulling away from her pursuers and appears to be sewing up the bronze medal and a spot on the women's national team. 

Saturday, March 25, 1:25PM
Quick update on the women!  The first two women have passed 50 miles, and Dana Parrot is pulling away.  Her 6:32:03 50-mile split is 7 minutes ahead of second place Deb Bollig's 6:39:05 clocking.

50 Mile Splits
(going to have to get these later)

Howard Nippert 5:32:54
Kevin Setnes 5:39:42
Victor Hickey 5:40:15
Mark Godale
Jim Garcia
Ian Torrence
Courtney Campbell
Tim Hewitt
Tim Clement
David Allison
Jeff Foster
Michael Kichty
Roy Pirrung
John Geesler

Saturday, March 25, 1:35PM
Final time: 7:01:06

Saturday, March 25, 2:00PM
Nippert, Setnes and Garcia become the first selections to the 2000 USA 100km National Team!
In the women's event, Dana Parrot continues to lead the race after 55 miles and holds a 1.5 mile lead over Deb Bollig.  Tracy Rose continues to hold onto 3rd place.

Saturday, March 25, 2:41PM
In the ongoing women's race, Dana Parrot continues to lead, running12th overall.  She is still on target to break 8:30.

Saturday, March 25, 3:00PM
Contratulations to DANA PARROT, the new US National 100 km Women's Champion!
Finish time: 8:22:21

Saturday, March 25, 3:15PM
There have been more clouds over the last hour and the temp is dropping through the high 60's from today's high of 73F degrees. The humidity has been a consistent 65% 

Deb Bollig has just clinched a silver medal to compliment the gold medal she won at last year's 50 mile championship race.  The second place finish automatically qualifies her for the USA National Team.  It is also apparent at this time that Tracy Rose will finish as the third woman, and will most likely qualify for the USA National Team with a time of under 9 hours.

Saturday, March 25, 3:30PM
TRACY ROSE becomes the third automatic women's selection to the US National 100 km Team with a 8:51:46 finish, just ducking under the qualifying standard of 9 hours!

The women's National 100km Team is now comprised of three runners who have never been selected to the team previously: Dana Parrot, from Pennsylvania, Deb Bollig from Colorado, and Tracy Rose from Georgia. CONGRATULATIONS!

The remaining 3 spots on both the men's and the women's USA National Teams will be selected by committee based on performances in this event and at others over the previous 2 years.  The deadline for consideration is May 15, 2000.  For more information, see the official announcement and selection criteria here.

Saturday, March 25, 4:00PM
Ultrarunner Greg Helbig, a participant in today's race, has offered a donation of $600.00 each toward covering travel expenses to the IAU World Challenge 100 km in the Netherlands in September to the 3 men and the 3 women who made the 2000 US 100 km National Team by virtue of their performances today.  A nice, last minute, unexpected surprise!  Check presentations will be made at tonight's presentation ceremony.

This will be the last live coverage posting for this afternoon.  Please check back later this evening for complete results which will be posted at:

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