Ultra News for October 2000

October 18. 2000. USA Ultrarunning Update!

1. American Ultrarunning Association (AUA) Web Page
2. 2001 National Championships
3. World Challenge 2000
4. World Challenge 2001
5. Annual USA Track & Field Meetings

The year 2000 is almost behind us and before you know it, we will be looking  at snow, for those of us in the north.  Next year is just around the corner and based on this year, it promises to be a very eventful one as well. This update is to bring you up to speed on where we are at with some current activities. 

American Ultrarunning Association (AUA) Web Page:  The AUA web page is well established, thanks to the outstanding efforts of Jay Hodde in Indiana. The key behind the site is the current reporting of USA Ultrarunning events.

While the AUA is a separate entity from the Mountain, Ultra, Trail subcommittee of USA Track & Field (MUT), it has always maintained a close relationship with MUT and the people involved in the organization.  This close, working relationship is expected to continue well into the future.

Based on this relationship, as well as the need to have a constant, available  resource of information, we will now use the AUA website as our primary vehicle for  distributing news and updates on USA Ultrarunning programs and events.

Going forward, we will be updating the AUA site on a regular (hopefully, weekly) basis, with 
whatever is current and newsworthy.  I encourage you to use it as your main  source of information regarding championships, team selections, results and other USA Ultrarunning news.  This will be in lieu of email distribution. I will, however, maintain the email list, to alert you to 
major news items and refer you to the website for more details.

The AUA website is: www.americanultra.org

2001 National Championships:  As some of you are aware, the MUT subcommittee is currently accepting bids for championships during the calendar year 2001.  These championship bids must be in by the 20th of November, with selections to be made during the annual USA Track & Field meetings in December. 

While is it premature to speculate on how many, what kind and where the bids are coming from, it is safe to say that we will be looking at a mix of road and trail championships next year.  The MUT subcommittee strives to create a mix of championships that do not conflict with each other.  We would also like, whenever possible, to move the host sites around the country to be as fair as possible to athletes from all regions.  We will post the information on the 2001 USA Championship slate as soon as it becomes known (on or about December 10th), so please check the AUA
website for details. 

What makes a championship bid successful?  This is a question that I and the members of the MUT committee get asked quite frequently.  Typically, the following parameters are looked at:

Quality of event
Date of event
Location (ease of access and accommodation)

The bottom line is that we want the most competitive events possible. Whatever the event can do to ensure a competitive field is looked upon with keen interest.  This includes assistance to top ranked competitive ultrarunners in their respective events.  Examples include prize money, travel budget and accommodations.  Fairness of competition rules apply to all USA Track & Field 
sanctioned championships.  Thus, athletes should expect a well organized event with proper judging and results.

If you have an event in your area that you think would make for a good championship, please sell them on the idea of submitting a bid to host a championship.  Events, like athletes, need competition.  Currently only a small number of events meet the standards that we are trying to uphold to sufficiently pull off a championship quality event. 

2000 World 100K Challenge: As most of you have heard, our men’s and women’s 100K teams did very well in Winschoten, The Netherlands.  Being led by Dan Held in 6:33 (4th overall),  the American men took second in the team standings.  The women, led by Deb Bollig, along with strong finishes by Luanne Park and Daniele Cherniak, took third in the women’s competition. This result is exactly what the USA Ultrarunning program is striving for, a consistent placing on the medal stand. 

More details on the event can be found on the AUA Website or in the upcoming November Ultrarunning Magazine.

2001 World 100K Challenge: Currently, there is only one recognized “World Event” on the global calender and it continues to be the 100 kilometer road event.  The 2001 race is scheduled for August 25th in Cleder, France.  This is in the Brittany region of the country and, like previous world 100K events, should be the most competitive ultrarunning event in the world. 

Team selection procedures have not yet been finalized, but expect more details following the USA Track & Field Annual Meeting in early December.  I will post the details as soon as they are known.

I would suggest to you that a selection race is almost assured and that it would probably be at a 100 kilometer distance in the March to May time frame. As in the past, the top three individuals from the selection race typically are selected to the national team.  An additional three members are selected by the respective men's and women's selection committees.  Minimum time standards do apply, so it would be highly beneficial to work on your road performances (especially the 100K and 50 mile).  Final section procedures will be announced again, after the annual meetings in December. 

Annual USA Track & Field Meeting in Albuquerque, NM: Speaking of the USATF annual meeting, it is open to all interested parties.  The dates of the USATF meeting are Wednesday, November 29th running through Sunday, December 3rd.  The MUT subcommittee meeting is most likely going to be held on the Friday, December 1st (time to be announced).  If you are interested in
or live near Albuquerque feel free to attend, as your input is greatly appreciated on many of these matters.

-Kevin Setnes,
MUT Subcommittee member,
AUA Executive Board member,
Coordinator, USA 100km Team Program

October 10, 2000. For the second consecutive year, the Chancellor Challenge 100km, America's premier international ultramarathon, has featured an American winner in a surprise upset over a world-class foreign road running field.

In last year's inaugural running of the Boston event, local runner Jim Garcia ran down Belgian star Jan vandendriessche in the final meters of the 100,000 meter event for an unexpected American victory.

This time it was another local man, running his first race beyond the marathon, taking the measure of an even more stellar international field by a more commanding margin.

South African Shaun Meiklejohn, a former winner of both the Comrades ultra in his home country and the London-to-Brighton ultra in England, led the race at a furious pace for 75km, with European 100km champ Farit Ganiev of Russia giving chase.  Ganiev's countrymen Igor Tiupin (2nd in the 1998 World 100km) and Oleg Kharitonov (3rd in this year's World 100km) followed closely.  Biding his time at a more even pace, well behind for the first 50km, was American Dave Dunham.  A former winner of the Mount Washington uphill road race, and a mainstay of the USA
Mountain Running team, Dunham, a 2:19 marathoner, had restricted his best efforts in recent years almost exclusively to off-road hill climbing.

The inexperienced American caught the leaders just after 75km and pulled away, never faltering over this most demanding of international racing distances, for a stunning upset over the highly favored and vastly more experienced Russians and South Africans.

This year's world 100km champion (and defending Chancellor champion) Edit Berces of Hungary had an easy time dispensing of former two-time world ultra champ Valentina Shatyayeva of Russia, as both made it under the world-class 8-hour mark.  American Jennifer Devine took third.

Review the complete play-by-play coverage as the unfolded, find the final results, and see all the runners' splits, by following this link.

-Dan Brannen
American Ultrarunning Association

1 Dave Dunham, USA, 6:46:39 (course record), $3,000
2 Farit Ganiev, RUSSIA, 6:53:48, $2,000
3 Shaun Meiklejohn, SOUTH AFRICA, 7:00:01, $1,000
4 Igor Tiupin, RUSSIA, 7:02:47, $750
5 Jim Garcia, USA, 7:11:41, $600
6 Mihaly Molnar, HUNGARY, 7:18:07, $400
7 Mark Godale, USA, 7:26:16, $300
8 Vincente Vertiz Pani, MEXICO, 7:36:01, $200
9 Ian Torrence, USA, 7:39:06, $150
10 Chad Ricklefs, USA, 7:41:59, $100

1 Edit Berces, HUNGARY, 7:50:50 (course record), $3,000
2 Valentina Shatyayeva, RUSSIA, 7:58:48, $2,000
3 Jennifer Devine, USA, 8:22:58, $1,000
4 Ellen McCurtin, USA, 8:47:43, $750
5 Nancy Drach, USA, 8:53;16, $600
6 Holly Neault-Zinzow, USA, 9:01:50, $400
7 Suzanne Gagnon, CANADA, 9:26:54, $300
8 Katie Benson, USA, 10:05:51, $200
9 Sylvie Boisvert, CANADA, 10:26:38, $150
10 Ruth Michler, USA, 11:11:01, $100

October 4, 2000. THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING, THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING! Yes, the Russians really are coming this year, to the Chancellor Challenge 100km this Sunday in Boston.

For the first time ever on American soil, the legendary Russian 100km juggernaut (the Kenyans of ultrarunning) who have dominated the World 100km and the Comrades over the last half-decade, will be gracing us with their presence.

The Chancellor men's field includes the 3 Russian top-10 finishers from last month's World 100km: Oleg Kharitonov (3rd), Farit Ganiev (4th), and Igor Tiupin (8th; 4th in 1998).  The Chancellor women's field includes 2-time world 100km Champion Valentina Shatyayeva.

As for the home team, defending Chancellor Challenge Champion Jim Garcia and Mark Godale are both entered, but watch also for top American mountain runner Dave Dunham, making his ultra debut.  And trail 100 mile specialists Ian Torrence and Chad Ricklefs are in the field, too.  Other than the dominant Russians, the foreign contingent includes the South African pair Shaun Meiklejohn and Charl Mattheus (both former Comrades champs), top Belgian Jan vandendriessche, Mexican national champ Vincente Vertiz Pani, Hungarian Mihaly Molnar, and Canadian Clark Zealand.

The women's field, Shatyayeva included, is overshadowed by defending Chancellor Champ Edit Berces of Hungary, fresh off her stunning and overwhelming 7:25 victory in last month's world 100km.  Top American challenger is Daniele Cherniak, although watch for dark horse Californian Jennifer Devine.

The Chancellor Challenge 100km, run on a 10km loop course along the Charles River in Boston, will commence at 7:00AM Eastern Time Sunday, October 8.  The race will be covered live on the website of the American Ultrarunning Association (http://www.americanultra.org).

October 3, 2000. LIVE INTERNET COVERAGE OF CHANCELLOR CHALLENGE 100KM THIS WEEKEND. The American Ultrarunning Association will provide live coverage of the Chancellor Challenge 100km this weekend on its website (http://www.americanultra.org).

In little more than a year, the Chancellor Challenge has established itself as the premier international ultramarathon in the United States. Run on a 10km loop along the Charles River in Boston, the event, a fundraiser for the Jimmy Fund and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, featured a memorable, sprint finish between American Jim Garcia and Belgian Jan Vandendriessche in its inaugural running last October. Garcia, of Westford, Massachusetts, closing fast on the faltering Belgian in the final kilometers, did not take the lead until 20 meters
from the Finish, winning in 6:55:27, the fastest American time in two years.  Both men are returning for this year's event.

Last year's women's Chancellor title was won by Hungarian Edit Berces, who then went on to become World 100km champion just one month ago. She, too, will return to defend her title.  Berces should be challenged by 1999 runnerup, American Daniele Cherniak of Cohoes, New
York, and by two-time former world 100km champion Valentina Shatyayeva of Russia.

Also in the field are a pair of former champions of the 54-mile Comrades Marathon, the world's largest (over 14,000 starters and 12,000 finishers) and fastest (winning times averaging under 6 min/mile) ultramarathon.  South Africans Shaun Meiklejohn and Charl Mattheus would be the likely favorites in the men's race, were it not for a trio of Russians fresh off top-10 finishes in last month's World 100km title race.

The Russians are to ultrarunning what the Kenyans have been to road racing.  In any given recent year their men's A, B, and C teams (were they allowed to declare more than one team) could have swept the medal places in the World 100km Team competition.  The top 3 Russian finishers in the recent World 100km are all coming to Boston.  Oleg Kharitonov (3rd), Farit Ganiev (4th), and Igor Tiupin (8th) are expected to battle amongst themselves at the front for the individual title.

Although no threat to challenge the top runners, Frenchman Henri Girault will return to the Chancellor Challenge to make history once again.  The 53-year old Girault is hoping to complete his 437th race of 100km or longer.

The race, directed by Boston Marathon director Dave McGillivray, commences Sunday, October 8, at 7:00AM Eastern Time.  The men's winner is expected to finish around 1:30PM, the women's winner about an hour later.

Live updates will be provided throughout the race, and results immediately afterwards, at:



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