Ultra News for May - July 2000

June 21, 2000. Several potential age-group records recorded at Surgeres, France 48-hour. Three American ultrarunners have recorded potential US bests for their performances at the Surgeres 48-hour event in France, held on June 2, 2000.  According to the Ultramarathon World web site, the following distance marks were recorded:

Roy Pirrung (age 51) 
48-hr: 372,463.65 meters [pending age group best]
24-hr: 221,668.65 meters [pending age group best]

Danny Ripka (age 42?)
48-hr: 348,336.45 meters [pending age group best]

Susan Olsen (age 43)
48-hr: 332,352.18 meters [pending age group best]

Results taken from ultramarathon world web site.

May 25, 2000. USA National Team Selections.
The Mountain/Ultra/Trail (MUT) Subcommittee of USA Track & Field has selected the US 100km Team to compete in the 2000 IAU 100km World Challenge.  The 62.1 mile event, to be held September 9 in Winschoten, the Netherlands, is the longest annual World Title footrace.  The twelve team members who have confirmed their intent to compete are:

James Garcia, 41, Westford, MA
Mark Godale, 29, Aurora, OH
Dan Held, 34, Waukesha, WI
Howard Nippert, 34, Blacksburg, VA
Kevin Setnes, 46, Eagle, WI
Bob Sweeney, 32, Paris, FR

Dana Parrot, 29, Darby, CT
Deb Bollig, 36, Boulder, CO
Tracy Rose, 37, Acworth, GA
Daniele Cherniak, 38, Cohoes, NY
Nancy Drach, 40, Leasburg, NC
Chrissy Ferguson, 39,Conway, AR


Steve Szydlik, WI
Brian Teason, VT

Luanne Park, CA
Christy Cosgrove, MA
Holly Neault-Zinzow, WI

May 24, 2000. USA National Team Selection Expected Soon. The Mountain, Ultra, Trail (MUT) Subcommittee of USATF is expected to release the names of its six men's and women's selection to the USA National 100 km Team sometime in the next 24 hours.

The  Subcommittee uses the following procedures to select six athletes for Men and six for Women to represent the USA at the 100km World Challenge in Winschoten, Netherlands on September 9, 2000. 

The top three American men and top three American women at the 2000 USA National Championship 100 km were automatically named to the USA National 100 km Team.  The remainder of the team is selected based on current and past performances prior to May 15, 2000.

The automatic team selections for 2000 are:

(With finish times at the 100 km National Championship)

Howard Nippert 7:01:06
Kevin Setnes 7:11:04
Jim Garcia 7:15:40
Dana Parrot 8:22:21
Deb Bollig 8:36:17
Tracy Rose 8:51:46

The complete team announcement will be announced on this web site as soon as the selections are made public.

May 22, 2000. Luanne Park leads Western Region to ARC Title at Ice Age Trail. By Kevin Setnes. Overcoming a seemingly overwhelming sweep by Wisconsin men of the top three places, Luanne Park, of Redding, California was the first women to cross the line (13th overall) and lead the West region to a surprising win at the Ice Age 50 Mile Trail National Championship.

Considered one of the premier trail runners in the country, Park led the West region to a decisive victory over the favored Central region.  While the Central men's trio of Dan Held, Steve Szydlik and Kevin Setnes swept the first three places, Park and Colorado-based, Deb Bollig offset this quick early lead and went on to lead the West to team point total of 58, matching the low score posted by the East region at March's GNC National 100 km Championship.

Despite missing some of its bigger names, the West men were led by a great, clutch performance by Dusty Olson, of Winter Park, Colorado, who finished fourth overall.  Olson was followed by Eric Clifton and Kurt Coonrod, both of Albuquerque, New Mexico (7th and 17th respectively).

Long considered to have the deepest core of trailrunning talent in the United States, the West in recent years has had a hard time demonstrating its ability to compete outside the friendly confines of its home turf.  Despite having some of its strongest women in Luanne Park and Deb Bollig competing at Ice Age, some of their better male counterparts failed to show in this the most important and competitive trail contest of the year.

The Central team wound up finishing second with a team total of 80 points.  The South finished third with 147 and the East, after establishing the initial ARC lead by winning the USA 100 km in March, failed to finish a team.

The American Ultrarunning Association (AUA), in conjunction with the USA Ultra Team Program of USATF's Mountain/Ultra/Trail Subcommittee, earlier in the year announced this competitive team format to be held at the USA National Ultra Championships for 2000.  The competition brings regions of the country together in a highly competitive format, determining what region of the country has the best all-around ultrarunners at each particular event.

The United States is divided into four distinct regions: East, Central, South and West.  Each region's top 3 men and top 2 women combine their scoring place (cross country scoring) to see who has the lowest aggregate score.  The team with the llowest point total is the winner.  More information is here.

American Regional Challenge (ARC) Series Results - Ice Age 50 Mile Trail Championship

First Place
West Region - 58 Points
Dusty Olson (4), Eric Clifton (7), Luanne Park (14), Deb Bollig (16), Kurt Coonrod (17)

Second Place
Central Region - 80 Points
Dan Held (1), Steve Szydlik (2),  Kevin Setnes (3), Ann Heaslett (27), Holly Neault-Zinzow (47)

Third Place
South Region - 147 Points
Dewayne Satterfield (6), Amanda, McIntosh (23), Craig Robertson (26), Anong Pustow (39), Jeff Henderson (53)

Fourth Place
East Region - DNF
Dan Brannen (37)

May 19, 2000. National 50 Mile Trail Championship Results.  Complete results of the 50-mile championship race are located here. Read the complete story and view pictures from the event!

May 13, 2000. 
National 50 Mile Trail Championship Results. Better known as a top American marathoner, Dan Held, 34, of Waukesha, Wisconsin, made his surprise ultra debut in spectacular fashion, running away from an elite American field in the USA National 50 mile Trailrunning Championship on Saturday.

The event, hosted by the Ice Age Ultramarathon on the steep, rocky hiking trails of Kettle Moraine Forest in Whitewater, Wisconsin, was run under cloudy skies in ideal temperatures.

Held won the event in 5:54:41, barely missing the course record held by Andy Jones of Canada.

Luanne Park of Redding, California won the women's national crown in 7:11:43 over Boulder, Colorado's Deb Bollig.

USA 50 Mile National Trailrunning Championship Ice Age Ultramarathon, Kettle Moraine Forest, Whitewater, Wisconsin May 13, 2000 


Open Men
1 Dan Held, Waukesha, Wisconsin                   5:54:41
2 Steve Szydlik, Oshkosh, Wisconsin               6:07:50
3 Kevin Setnes, Eagle, Wisconsin                    6:12:35
4 Dusty Olson, Winter Park, Colorado              6:24:03
5 Mark Godale, Aurora, Ohio                             6:29:54
6 DeWayne Satterfield, Huntsville, Alabama    6:39:25
7 Eric Clifton, Albuquerque, New Mexico          6:39:38
8 Clement Grum, Elm Grove, Wisconsin           6:54:41
9 Stuart Kolb, Green Bay, Wisconsin                6:55:36
10 Rick Stefanovic, Milwaukee, Wisconsin      6:56:26 

Open Women
1 Luanne Park, Redding, California                   7:11:43
2 Deb Bollig, Boulder, Colorado                         7:19:38
3 Amanda McIntosh, San Antonio, Texas          7:31:43
4 Ann Heaslett, Madison, Wisconsin                  7:39:01
5 Anong Pustow, Louisville, Kentucky                8:01:19
6 Holly Neault-Zinzow, Whitewater, Wisconsin  8:14:04
7 Tammy Hunter, Amherst, Wisconsin                8:22:29
8 Jane Moser, Madison, Wisconsin                    8:23:57
9 Julie Treder, St. Francis, Wisconsin                8:28:42
10 Caroline Spencer, Madison, Wisconsin       8:53:26 

Masters Men
1  Eric Clifton, Albuquerque, New Mexico          6:39:38
2  Clement Grum, Elm Grove, Wisconsin           6:54:41
3  Bill Wilkey, Madison, Wisconsin                      7:24:04
1  Kevin Setnes, Eagle, Wisconsin                     6:12:35
2  Dan Brannen, Morristown, New Jersey          8:00:22
3  Larry Hall, Lake Bluff, Illinois                            8:00:40
1  Ron Erhardt, Brookfield, Wisconsin             6:56:37
2  Roy Pirrung, Sheboygan, Wisconsin            7:07:44
3  Don Simon, Milwaukee, Wisconsin              9:18:52
1  Tom Bunk, Eagle, Wisconsin                            7:48:50
2  John Rodee, Shorewood, Wisconsin               8:35:59
3  Lowell Mutchelknaus, Brookfield, Wisconsin   9:18:53
1  Jim Peterson, Milwaukee, Wisconsin            8:55:50
2  Kent Holder, Huntington Beach, California    9:10:02
3  Tim Lang, Green Bay, Wisconsin                   9:18:28
1  Bill Dodson, Albuquerque, New Mexico         8:44:23
1  John Moran, Cudahy, Wisconsin                  11:27:59

Masters Women
1  Jane Moser, Madison, Wisconsin                8:23:57
1  Tanya Cady, Concord, Ohio                          9:06:50
2  Lin Gentling, Rochester, Minnesota            11:03:33
1  Ingrid Honzak, Dayton, Ohio                          9:17:11
2  Joan Heimler, Oak Creek, Wisconsin          9:31:26
1  Lorraine Bunk, Eagle, Wisconsin                 9:57:00

Mens Team
1  Badgerland "C"     [Szydlik, Stefanovic, Erhardt]     20:00:53
2  Badgerland "B"     [Setnes, Grum, Pirrung]              20:15:00
3  Badgerland "A"     [Wilkey, Dorgan, Yanachek]       23:28:40

Womens Team
1  Badger Girls     [Heaslett, Neault-Zinzow, Hunter]     24:15:34

May 10, 2000. 
National 50 Mile Trail Championship set for Saturday, May 13.
   * Fast Men's and Women's Field
   * Missing in Action?
   * American ARC Challenge

The Ice Age 50 Mile Trail Run is set for this Saturday, May 13th at 6:00 AM. This is the second consecutive year that this Wisconsin event has hosted the 50 mile trail championship. Defending champions Amanda McIntosh (San Antonio, TX) and Eric Clifton (Albuquerque, NM) are ready to defend their titles.

This will be a fast and heated competition, with some of the best women trail ultrarunners in the country contending for the crown.  Amanda McIntosh should expect a strong challenge from Deb Bollig (Colorado), and Georgia resident, Tracy Rose.  Bollig and Rose placed 2nd and 3rd, respectively, at the recently held USA National 100 km Championships in Pittsburgh on March 25th.  Bollig and Rose will represent the USA at the annual World 100 km Challenge in Winschoten, The Netherlands, this September.

Other women to watch include Luanne Park of California, and Holly Neault-Zinzow and Ann Heaslett, both of Wisconsin.  An interesting long shot at the title is Kathy D'Onofrio-Wood, one of the standout trail runners of a decade ago who has been unable to capture any kind of recent performance that befits her successes of the past.

The men's side of the race has Eric Clifton returning to defend his title for the second year in a row.  Clifton's 1999 time of 5:59 enabled him to become only the third person in the history of the Ice Age 50 to break the magical 6-hour barrier.  Andy Jones (5:53) and Clement Grum (5:59) are the only two other people to have ever broken 6 hours in the 19 year history of the event.

Others contending for the men's title will be Charles Hubbard of Bloomington, Minnesota and 4-Time Champion, Steve Szydlik of Oshkosh, Wisconsin.  Mark Godale, 1999 Male Ultrarunner of the Year and the first American at last year's Sunmart Texas Trail 50 Mile Run, should also be the hunt for the championship crown.  Kevin Setnes of Eagle, WI, 3-time National 100 km Champion and veteran of the Ice Age Trail event also plans to be in the field and is in shape to push (or pull) several runners to sub 6-hour finishes.

Clearly, the fastest man in the field will be Dan Held of nearby Waukesha, Wisconsin.  Held, who has represented the United States on numerous national teams (marathon, half-marathon and cross country), is making his ultramarathon debut.  With a 2:13 marathon best, and a 1:02:46 half-marathon performance, Held has plenty of speed to run with the best; however can he go the distance? 

Where are the other notable trail runners from around the country?   Missing in action?  AWOL?  In light of some recent debates about who reigns at trail supremacy, it is more than a bit curious as to why some of the purest of elite trail runners fail to show at major championship events.

It could be speculated that a full trail running calender is just too packed with quality events -- events that pull apart the competition and allow runners to race regionally -- to draw several national-caliber runners from vast areas of the country.  It could also be argued that trail runners are a shy of fast competition from their road counterparts who seem better adapted to make the transition from road to trail racing than vice-versa. 

Whatever the reason for the lack of national class competition in National Championship events, close examination is needed to entice runners to compete.  The diluted nature of competitive ultras is unhealthy for American ultrarunning, especially when taken in the context of world-class performance.

This event also marks the second ever, AUA-sponsored ARC Series (American Regional Challenge).  Four geographic regions of the USA square off in a combined team scoring system (details here).  In the first contest held in conjunction with the National 100 km Championships in Pittsburgh, The East Region narrowly edged out the Central Region with a score of 58 to 61. This weekend, a heavily favored Central team will be tough to beat because of several, deeply talented Badgerland Striders of Wisconsin who are virtually unbeatable on this, their home course.

Joining Badgerland Striders, Kevin Setnes, Steve Szydlik, Holly Neault-Zinzow and Ann Heaselett will be Mark Godale of Aurora, Ohio.  Will any of the other three regions mount much of a challenge to the "Home" Central team? All four regions are expected to field completing teams in this, the only trail event of the 2000 Series.

May 2, 2000. 
Wisconsin' s Ice Age 50 Mile/USA National Trail running Championship set for May 13th. The 19th annual Ice Age 50 Mile Trail Run promises to be one of the most strongly contested American ultramarathon events of the year.  With approximately 500 ultrarunners from around the USA, this event has taken on a unique character of its own due to the varied glacial terrain that befits the Ice Age National Trail.

This year marks the second consecutive time that the USA National Trail running Championship will be held in Wisconsin.  The host for this year's championship is the Badgerland Striders running club of southeastern Wisconsin.  The Badgerland Striders have one of the deepest bases of ultrarunners in the country.

Defending champions Amanda McIntosh, of San Antonio, TX and Eric Clifton, of Albuerqueque, NM, are set to defend their titles.  Others contending for the title will be 4-time winner Charles Hubbard of Bloomington, Minnesota, and former USA National Ultra Team member Steve Szydlik of Oshkosh, Wisconsin. On the women's side, Luanne Park of Calif ornia, Tracy Rose of Georgia, Deb Bollig of Colorado and locals Holly Neault-Zinzow and Ann Heaselett should make for one of the most closely contested women's ultra title contests in years.

An interesting darkhorse to watch is Dan Held of nearby Waukesha, Wisconsin. Held is one of the fastest Americans ever to make a debut at racing beyond the marathon. With a marathon best under 2:14 and 1:02:46 half-marathon (94 World Championships), this veteran of the USA National marathon, half-marathon, and cross country teams is certainly one to watch. Having spent some time preparing with 4-time National ultra champ Kevin Setnes, who resides near the Ice Age  trail, Held has done his homework, getting to know the trail and some of the finer of aspects of preparing for ultradistances.

This event also marks the second time for the AUA-sponsored ARC Series (American Regional Challenge), with four geographic regions of the USA (East, South, Central, West) squaring off in a combined Men's/Women's team scoring (cross country scoring - by  place).  In the inaugual ARC contest, held in conjunction with the USA National 100Km Championship in Pittsburgh in March, the East narrowly edged out the Central region with a score of 58 to 61.  This time, a heavily favored Central team will be tough to beat, due to the deeply talented host Badgerland Striders, who consider themselves unbeatable on this, their home course.


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