Sylvania, Ohio, Sept. 11-12, 2004
Sweeney and Gardner Crowned National 100 Mile Champions
Connie Gardner of Medina, Ohio successfully defended her national 100 Mile title and Bob Sweeney of Rye Brook, New York struck gold in his first race beyond 100 kilometers here today. Both Sweeney and Gardner are veteran members of the National 100K Team, Gardner have previously taken national titles at both 100K and 100 miles, and Sweeney here taking his first.
Under a relentless sun which brought daytime temperatures to 82 degreesF, both athletes took the lead from the starting gun and controlled the race throughout. Sweeney was never challenged, extended his lead continuously by the hour, ran steady throughout, and bested runnerup Steve Peterson of Lafayette, Colorado by over an hour at the finish. His 13:05:28 final time was the fastest 100 mile by an American in 13 years, and represents an average pace under 8 minutes per mile.
Gardner, on the other hand, was constantly pursued and challenged by Rebecca Johnson, who hails from the same hometown as Peterson. Having established an early lead of over a full lap of the 1.1 mile certified road loop on which the race is held, Gardner then guaged her ongoing effort on the various attempts Johnson made to unlap herself. The pair waged a tug-of-war until the final hours, when Johnson finally lost the ability to match her more experienced adversary's pace. Gardner's final time of 15:48:04 was, like Sweeney's, a course record.
1. Bob Sweeney, 37, Rye Brook, NY, 13:05:28
2. Steve Peterson, 42, Lafayette, CO, 14:11:26
3. John Geesler, 45, St Johnsville, NY, 14:55:44
4. Serge Arbona, 39, Baltimore, MD, 15:57:39
5. John Nichols, 40, Waterville, OH, 16:06:49
1. Connie Gardner, 40, Medina, OH, 15:48:04
2. Rebecca Johnson, 35, Lafayette, CO, 16:19:13
3. Janet Runyan, 45, Boulder, CO, 17:28:59
4. Susan Hart, 38, Reserve, NM, 18:25:08
5. Sue Albert, 35, Murrsville, PA, 19:40:50
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