February 15, 2006
NATIONAL 24-HOUR RUN TEAM HEADS TO TAIWAN FOR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
The fourth annual World 24-Hour Run will be conducted by the International Association of Ultrarunners (IAU) the weekend of February 25-26, 2006 in Taipei, Taiwan.
The U.S. national contingent will be one of the strongest ever in the four year history of the event. The Americans include:
Rudy Afandador, 47, Medford, NY
Scott Eppelman, 39, Coppell, TX
John Geesler, 47, St. Johnsville, NY
Roy Pirrung, 57, Sheboygan, WI
Danny Ripka, 48, Minneapolis, MN/Naples, FL
Alex Swenson, 41, Vashon, WA
Laura Nelson, 40, Woodstock, VA
Sue Olsen, 48, Burnsville, MN
Sandy Powell, 48, Greenville, VA
Pam Reed, 45, Tucson, AZ
Five of the six American men on the national team have run over 140 miles, and all have World 24-Hour racing experience. Eppelman and three-time national champ Geesler have been the top Americans at previous editions of this all-day, all-night global crucible of non- stop running. But on recent form, the men are so evenly matched that any of the six could be among the three American scorers, and in any order. The best team showing for the men occurred in the 2004 World event in Brno, The Czech Republic, where Eppelman led the Americans to a fourth place finish. Pirrung continues as athlete/manager, a role he has played all four years of the World event, and each year the 57-year old continues to break his own record as the "most senior" athlete ever to participate on an open national team. Only three months ago Pirrung finished second overall in the open National 24-Hour Run Championship.
Reed and Powell are the likely leaders of the women's squad, which has won the bronze team medals in both the 2004 and 2005 World events. Reed is the current American Record holder for the 24-hour track run and recently won her second national 24-hour title. Powell was the top American, finishing 6th, in last year's World 24-Hour in Worschach, Austria. Olsen was also a scorer on that team. Laura Nelson, a relative speedster as a recent veteran of the national 100km squad, brings the fastest set of distaff legs to the team, having only moved up to the 24-hour event during the past year.
Results of the World 24-Hour will be posted on the website of the American Ultrarunning Association (www.americanultra.com), which organizes and manages the national team.
This year's National 24-Hour Run Team is sponsored by Recover-Ease, a new endurance athlete recovery supplement (www.recover-ease.com).
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