U.S. Women Shine at American 100K Championship
Tim Clement Men's Champion

EAGLE, Wisc. - (April 4, 2004) - American ultra women, led by 2001 National 100K champion Anne Riddle, stole the show Sunday at the American 100K National Championship here. On a rural, rolling 7.2-mile course, the steady-striding Riddle took the distaff lead immediately and just extended it all the way to the finish, which she reached in 8:11:02, a personal best. Almost all of the top women contenders for the 100K national team were in attendance, with the top 3 here being guaranteed team positions. Throughout the morning they jockeyed for position, with any of 6 women poised to garner a coveted national team slot for more than half the race. And at just about halfway, a blustery wind kicked up, gusting at times over 25mph. It took its toll on the entire field, and the tightly-bunched women started to spread out.

Riddle was nonplussed, however, and by 50K had separated herself from all other pretenders to gold. Rock solid and relentless, she chewed through most of the men's field, eventually finishing 4th among the men. By 40 miles, Ann Heaslett, running on her home course and recently having turned 40 and become engaged, pulled herself from the revolving string of medal contenders and seemed solid for silver. It was left to Laura Nelson and 2002 national champ Connie Gardner, who had been roommates at last year's World Cup 100K, to battle for bronze and the last remaining guaranteed team position. Gardner suddenly succumbed to intestinal woes and was forced to quit the race shortly after 50 miles. But an unexpected drama unfolded as darkhorse Anthea Schmid, a Colorado trail specialist (she had won the Leadville Trail 100 Mile race, run at an average altitude over 11,000 feet) running her first road ultra, crept into the fray late in the game and took Nelson by surprise. Not content with simply working her way into the medals, she then set out after Heaslett, who was briefly slowed by a mild asthma attack. Schmid gradually reeled in her prey, pulling to within about 30 seconds at 57 miles. But Heaslett dug deep, found another gear, and ran the last 5 miles faster than everyone else in the race, all the men and Riddle included. The surge carried her to a new U.S. women's 40-44 age-group record and personal best 8:29:49.

Nelson finished fourth and Carolyn Smith fifth, rounding out the finest top-5 American women's 100K finish since the mid-90s.

If only it were so for the struggling American men. The men's 100K program has fallen on hard times recently, as only Virginian Howard Nippert has been able to hold his own with the contenders at the World 100K for the last few years. And after Sunday's race the prospects continue to look bleak. Hope came in the form of relatively young, low-2:20's marathoners Mike Wardian and Mark Werner. In the men's race, by halfway the two were in the lead together, headed for a respectable time and national team spots. But Werner began to struggle shortly after 50K and Wardian was left alone at the front. Appearing to be in good form, he suddenly fell apart at about 45 miles, literally grinding to a complete standstill. Werner managed to keep a steady pace going, but he was overhauled by 2003 national 100 mile champ Tim Clement, who is more of a long-range ultra specialist. Clement stayed strong, if not fast, to clinch his second national title in 6 months, in 7:39:54, the slowest winning time in 100K championship history. Werner and veteran Mark Godale then came through to make the men's national team, but just barely, squeaking in under the 8:00:00 minimum team standard time.

The event was hosted and sponsored by the American Ultrarunning Association (www.americanultra.org).



1. Tim Clement, 7:39:53
2. Mark Werner, 7:53:48
3. Mark Godale, 7:57:54
4. Jim Ramacier, 8:14:10
5. Scott Belland, 8:30:52
6. Roy Pirrung, 9:16:39
7. Dave DeHart, 9:38:00


1. Anne Riddle, 8:11:02
2. Ann Heaslett, 8:29:49
3. Anthea Schmid, 8:31:39
4. Laura Nelson, 8:43:50
5. Carolyn Smith, 8:45:41
6. Pam Reed, 9:24:21
7. Kim Martin, 9:28:04
8. Sandy Powell, 9:54:44

AUA Home

AUA © 2004 All Rights Reserved.