Ultra News for June 2001 - December 2001


The 50km distance has been infrequently contested in the last decade of USA Track & Field's Ultramarathon Championship program.  The 100km and 24-hour road events have been the cornerstones of the national program for the last decade.

That's about to change in a big way, as 50km USA Championship events will close out 2001 and kick off 2002 within 3 months of each other.

On December 29 the HUFF (Huntington ULTRA Frigid Fifty) 50km in Huntington, Indiana will host the first ever USA 50km Trailrunning Championship.  With trail ultrarunning now exceeding the road and track versions in popularity, the HUFF event will be the second USA trail-based national championship held this year (the first was the USA Trailrunning 50 mile held in the Cascade Mountains of Washington state in July).  Last year's HUFF provided a strong feel of the adventure the new breed of American trailrunners are looking for, as it was run in a foot of snow along the banks of the Wabash River.

A U.S. athlete purse of $2,500 is up for grabs.  Interested athletes should contact Race Director Mitch Harper (phone 219-436-4824; fax 219-436-8284; Huff50k@aol.com) or register online at:


To open up the 2002 national Championship season, the USA 50km Road Championship will be hosted on March 23 by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  The relatively flat road course will follow a 5-mile out-and-back configuration along the banks of the
Allegheny River in downtown Pittsburgh, the same as the one used for this year's USA 100km Championship.

A U.S. athlete purse of $3,200 is available, and USATF membership is required to participate in the event.  Interested athletes should contact Race Director Chris Gibson (phone 412-560-6406;
chrisgnc50@yahoo.com) or check the event website at:


The entire slate of USA 2002 National Championships (five events in 2002) will be announced shortly on this web page.

11/07/01: MUT Council of USATF in High Gear for Next Year

The MUT (Mountain/Ultra/Trail Running) Council of USA Track & Field is gearing up for its annual meeting at the national governing body's annual convention, to be held Nov. 27-Dec. 1 in Mobile, Alabama.  In preparation, MUT has updated its web page, hosted right here by the American Ultrarunning Association (click on 'MUT Council of USATF' in the column just to the left).  Featured are the Council's year 2001 Annual Report, and information on USA National Ultra Championships and the USA National Ultra Team for 2002.

10/14/01: 2001 USA National 50km Trail Championship hosted by the HUFF 50km in Huntington, Indiana, is scheduled for Saturday, December 29, 2001. Online entry and information is available at the HUFF 50km web site.

9/28/01: Request for National Championship Race Bids

September 28, 2001

The Mountain/Ultra/Trail Running Council (MUT) of USTAF Long Distance Running is accepting bids for National Championship races at the ultra distances.  The distances that can be awarded championship status are:

50 km road
50 km trail
50 mile road
50 mile trail
100 km road
100 mile trail
100 mile road
24 hour road/track

Not all distances will necessarily be awarded in a given year.  If you are a race director and are interested in hosting a National Championship race in the year 2002 or 2003, please contact your regional MUT representative (listed below) to see which distances are still open for championship status in the next two years.  Your MUT representative will supply you with a bid form and a copy of the selection criteria.  Completed bid forms should be received by November 20, 2001 to insure
review at the USATF Annual Meeting, which will be held Nov. 27 Dec. 1, 2001 in Mobile, AL.  The 2002 Championship schedule will be released in December 2001.  Further bids may be solicited at that time for race distances that have not been awarded.

Janice Anderson
1578 Menlo DriveKennesaw, GA  30152
770-794-9537(h)  770-433-8211 x17654 (w)

Theresa Daus-Weber
6970 Buckskin Drive #90
Littleton, CO 80125

Lorraine Gersitz
517 Lazy Creek Circle
Fullerton, CA 92831
714-526-5340 (h)  562-860-2451 ext 2414 (w)

9/16/01: Full coverage and complete results of the 2001 USA National 24 Hour Championship

9/12/2001: Contingency plans for AUA webcast of Olander 24-Hour

The AUA had planned to have three volunteers at Olander Park in Ohio to assist in officiating and to report the event on this website.  One member of the team needed to withdraw for a personal emergency unrelated to Tuesday's terror attacks, and another volunteer will be able to travel to Toledo only if airline service resumes.  Since the workload was planned for a minimum of two people, we are making contingency plans.

If at all possible, we will still report the event on this website.  Our goal was to report both commentaries and full standings most every hour and we may need to report less frequently.

In the unlikely event that have have technical problems with this site and cannot do what we want with the people available on site, we will resort to an alternate site at home.earthlink.net/~runallnight

The alternate site now has a minimal page asking viewers to attempt to use the primary web ste, americanultra.org

9/11/2001: Toledo Roadrunners prepare to proceed with USA 24-Hour Championship

Over one hundred and fifty ultrarunners, representing thirty one U.S. states and three foreign countries, are set to contest the fourteenth annual USA 24-Hour Run National Championship this weekend.  For the ninth consecutive year, the National all-day/all-night title event will be hosted by the Olander Park 24-Hour Run in Sylvania, Ohio.  The event is co-produced by the Toledo Roadrunners Club and the American Ultrarunning Association.  It runs from noon Saturday, Sept. 15 through noon Sunday, Sept. 16.

Eight former USA national champions headline the run for the national title, and they are facing the friendliest weather forecast in the history of the event.  Conditions are expected to be clear, with low humidity, daytime temperatures peaking in the low 70's, and nighttime readings in the high 40's.

The American headliner is Fort Myers, Florida dentist Sue Ellen Trapp, who has just moved into a new masters age-group by turning 55.  Despite her age, Trapp, the American record holder at 24 hours and world record holder at 48 hours, is the odds-on favorite for the open national title. If she takes the gold, she will extend her own record for being the most senior athlete ever to win a USA national championship title.  She will also become the winningest individual in any single USA national road race event, as she already owns 6 national 24-hour run gold medals.

Last year's champion and Trapp's arch-rival for most of the last decade, Susan Olsen of Burnsville, Minnesota, is sidelined with a hamstring injury and will not defend her title.

The men's race is a wide open shooting match.  Former champions Kevin Setnes of Eagle, Wisconsin (who set the U.S. record of 160.2 miles in winning here in 1993) and Mark Godale of Streetsboro, Ohio (who took improved the U.S. mark to 162.5 miles in 1999) will be in the hunt with fellow previous winners John Geesler of St. Johnsville, New York; David Luljak of Chevy Chase, Maryland; and Roy Pirrung of Sheboygan, Wisconsin.  Each having had his up's and down's over the previous two years, it is impossible to pick a favorite from this crowd.

Yet all may be running in the shadow of an anticipated return appearance by a foreign guest who is frequently regarded as the single greatest endurance athlete in history, the incomparable Greek Yiannis Kouros. Kouros showed up unexpectedly two years ago, and, accepted last-minute into the event as a guest, upstaged Godale's national record U.S. win by establishing a new American all-comers' record some five miles ahead of the young American.

Kouros likes the Olander Park 1.09 mile loop course, so this year he has announced his intention to come back to Ohio to attempt to better his own formidable World Road Record of 180.33 miles (average: under 8 minutes/mile for 24 hours of nonstop running).

The legendary Greek has already encountered an unexpected challenge to those plans, however, as his current whereabouts are uncertain and his travel route from Greece has been unexpectedly lengthened.  Kouros boarded his New York bound flight in Athens just before Tuesday morning's devastating terrorist attacks in the USA, and his itinerary has most likely been re-routed through Canada.

It also remains to be seen what effect the terrorist-impaired U.S. air travel system may have on the ability of some of the geographically diverse field of Americans to get to the event.

The event will be covered live on the website of the American Ultrarunning Association:


8/28/01: Rich Hanna - New American Hero

-by Dan Brannen & Kevin Setnes, AUA

Rich Hanna's silver medal run in last weekend's World 100km Title race was the tip of a classic American "Amazing Stories" iceberg.

Hanna climbed from 10th place to 2nd during the last half of the race.  In the  final kilometers, with a slim lead over defending world champion Pascal Fetizon of France, Hanna pushed himself over the edge. He collapsed and stumbled to the ground barely 10 yards before the finish line. With Fetizon  charging in, the American dragged himself across the line to secure his totally unexpected silver medal.

Last year at this time Rich Hanna was all but retired from competition.  In the mid-90s he was the most promising new American talent to move up to the ultradistances. Having run 2:17 to qualify for the 1996 U.S. Olympic Marathon  Trials, he easily won the 1994 USA 100km National Championship in his first  try at the distance. Later that year, in Japan he teamed with his friend and  training partner Tom Johnson and Bryan Hacker to put the USA men on the medal podium for the first time ever in the World 100km, running 6:45:55 to finish 13th behind Johnson's American-leading 9th, as they won team bronze medals.

The following year he successfully defended his U.S. 100km title, then went  back into speed training to prepare for the Olympic Marathon Trials. The result was a series of foot and leg injuries that kept him out of both the  1995 World 100km (where he served as support crew for his USA teammates who  took the team silver medal behind Johnson's individual American record  bronze) and the Olympic Trials.

After a frustrating year of ongoing injuries, his racing days appeared over.

In the meantime, Hanna co-founded Marathon Publishers, Inc., of which he is  now Executive Vice-President. He co-authored and published "The Ultimate Guide to Marathons," one of the most well received marathon books ever written.

Then, in the spring of 2000, after a five-year hiatus, Hanna began the long process of making a comeback to competition. It culminated in a return to the USA National 100km Championship last March in Pittsburgh, where he took the silver medal behind Jim Garcia to qualify for his second world 100km, delayed now by six years.

In the ensuing months, training tales emerged from the northern California ultra grapevine that Rich Hanna was back, better than ever. On Sunday in France, he proved the rumors true, and gave American distance running one of its most memorable comeback stories.

As one of Rich's friends from back home in Sacramento gushed after hearing the exciting news from France:

"This is a 'richly' deserved reward for countless hours of training and years of determination to regain his position as an Ultra champion.  It is also proof positive that nice guys do finish at the top.  When news of Rich's silver medal reaches his many friends and fans and the hundreds of marathon runners whom he has coached through the Sacramento Team In Training program, they will not be surprised. They will be thrilled for him and elated that a remarkable guy whom they love and respect has succeeded in achieving his long sought-after goal.

The American Ultrarunning Association salutes Rich Hanna, new Americn Distance Running Hero.

8/26/01: Rich Hanna takes Silver at World 100 km

In a huge surprise, American Rich Hanna took the silver medal today in the World 100km, held in Cleder, FRANCE.

Here are the top 10 individual results, and the top 3 national team results, followed by the American team's individual results:

World 100km, Cleder, FRANCE
August 26, 2001

1: Mikami, Yasufumi (JPN) - > 6h' 33 28 ''
2: Hanna, Rich (USA) - > 6h 43 ' 9 ''
3: Fetizon, Pascal (FRA) - > 6h 44 ' 48 ''
4: Guichard, Thierry(FRA) - > 6h 45 ' 47 ''
5: Gehin, Jean-Marie(FRA) - > 6h 46 ' 36 ''
6: Piveteau, Pascal (FRA) - > 6h 47 ' 23 ''
7: De Oliveira, Marcio Batista (BRA) - > 6h 48 ' 21 ''
8: Muller, Rainer (GER) - > 6h 52 ' 06 ''
9: Aubeso, Jorge (ESP) - > 6h 52 ' 34 ''
10: Blanchard, Bruno (FRA) - > 6h 55 ' 15 ''

1: Kolpakova, Elvira (RUS) - > 7h 31 ' 12 ''
2: Bychkova, Marina (RUS) - > 7h 38 ' 21 ''
3: Casiraghi, Monica (ITA) - > 7h 39 ' 42 ''
4: Schafer, Tanja (ALL) - > 7h 43 ' 40 ''
5: Sekiya, Akiko (JPN) - > 7h 50 ' 58 ''
6: Herry, Karine (FRA) 7h 54' 27' '
7: Sanderson, Danielle (GB) - > 7h 58 ' 16 ''
8: Reymonenq-Maggiolini, Maggali (FRA) - > 8h 02 ' 31 ''
9: Lario, Alzira (POR) - > 8h 10 ' 19 ''
10: Beaulieu, Sylvie (FRA) - > 8h 13 ' 23 ''




2: Rich Hanna, 6:43:09
13: Howard Nippert, 7:01:36
64: Jim Garcia, 7:40:24
79: Bob Sweeney, 7:48:05
DNF: Tom Johnson
DNF: Dave Dunham
Also competing but not on USA National Team: Eric Clifton, 7:55:06

*Daniele Cherniak, 8:18:18
*Jennifer Devine-Pfifer, 8:25:26
*Nikki Kimball, 8:32:38
*Anne Riddle, 8:45:59
Also competing but not on USA National Team: Ann Heaslett, 8:59:51
*Christy Cosgrove, 10hr+
*DNF: Chrissy Ferguson

-- Gordon Chace, transcribing information relayed from Lin Gentling to Dan Brannen

8/23/01: USA Ultra Team set for World 100km This Weekend

The USA 100km Team is set to compete in the 2001 World100km, to be held August 26 in Cleder, France. The event is the longest annual World Title footrace. The twelve member American team (6 men and 6 women) are setting their sights on team medals.

The USA men have a talented newcomer in Dave Dunham, Bradford, MA who set the new American record for 50km in Chicago, this past April.  Dunham clocked 2:57:37 for half the distance he will have to contest in Cleder. Joining Dunham are a talented twosome from California, 1994 and 1995 USA 100km Champion Rich Hanna of Sacramento and Tom Johnson from nearby Loomis, California.  Johnson, now 42, is the current American record holder for the 100km distance, with a time of 6:30:10.  Johnson set the record, while capturing the individual bronze medal and leading the American men to the team silver medal in 1995 in Winschoten, The Netherlands.  Rounding out what many consider to be the USA men's strongest squad ever is 7-time national team member, James Garcia of Westford, MA, the 2001 National 100km Champion; Howard Nippert of Blacksburg, VA, the previous year's national champ; and Bob Sweeney of Ryebrook, NY.

The USA women will be led by current national Champion, Anne Riddle of Asheville, NC.  Riddle, heading to her first World 100km, has recently been slowed by a leg injury, but is set to run the 62.1 mile distance.  Teaming with her are veterans Chrissy Ferguson, Conway, AR, and Daniele Cherniak, Cohoes, NY.  Nikki Kimball, Waterford, NY is a versatile newcomer to the team having finished 2nd at this year's 100km National Championship.  Her background includes more than just road running, as this year she became the first American woman to be named to both the USA National 100km and Mountain running teams.  Coincidentally, Dave Dunham has accomplished the same distinction for the men.

Rounding out the women's squad are Jennifer Devine, Sacramento, CA, and Christy Cosgrove, Boxford, MA.  Notably absent is the 2000 American Ultrarunner of the Year, Deb (Bollig) Mattheus of Boulder, CO, who upset the field to take second place at this years Comrades Marathon (89km) in South Africa. Comrades is widely regarded to be one of the most competitive ultramarathons in the world.   Mattheus withdrew from the team in early August having not fully recovered from the Comrades effort in June.

Check back here this coming weekend for updates from Cleder, France and the World 100km! 

8/20/01: Full reports and results of the 2001 National 50 Mile Trail Championship run at the White River 50 near Mt. Rainier National Park on July 28, 2001are now available here!


The 2001 USA National 50 Mile Trailrunning Championship is set for Saturday, July 28 on the White River course at Crystal Mountain, Washington.  The depth of quality in both the Men's and Women's fields is, simply stated, unmatched in the history of American off-road ultrarunning.

The West region, long known to have some of the finest trail ultrarunners in the country, could very well dominate this national championship.  Eric Clifton, Ann Trason, Luanne Park, Tim Twietmeyer, Scott Jurek and Nate McDowell are just some of the talented ultrarunners scheduled to compete from the west.

In the 2000 USA 50 Mile Trailrunning Championship, held on Wisconsin's Ice Age Trail, the Midwest men swept the top three medal spots with an overwhelming performance on their home course.  That top-heavy dominance, however was offset by little known Coloradan Dusty Olson (4th) and the top two women, Luanne Park and Deb Bollig, enabling the West to upset the favored Midwest to win the American Regional Trail Challenge.

Last years Men's national champion, Dan Held of Waukesha, Wisconsin (also selected by both USATF and by Ultrarunning Magazine as the top American ultrarunner of 2000) has withdrawn from this years event with a foot injury that will probably sideline him for the remainder of the season. Held literally destroyed the competition last year by holding back in the first 25 miles and then outrunning his next 5 closest competitors by an average of more than a minute per mile over the second half of the course.

Last year's women's champion, Luanne Park of Redding, California is back to defend her title.  She'll be challenged by 1999 national trail champion Amanda McIntosh of San Antonio, Texas and by Ann Trason of Kensington, California.

The East Region has had little representation at the trail championships in recent years. This year, however, they have quite possibly the most talented runner in the field in Dave Dunham.  Dunham, the first American male to be named to both the USA National 100Km and National Mountain running teams in the same year, combines all of the skills necessary to win the trail championship.  This spring in Chicago, he out-dueled Held to set the official American record at 50 kilometers on the road.  His time of 2:57:29 equates to a 5:43 per mile pace.

The South brings its own start power in the person of Courtney Campbell of Berryville, Virginia.  Campbell is one of the dominating figures on the east and southern trail racing stage.  He will be tested in this trip to the Pacific Northwest, yet has the strength and masterful trail technique to handle the challenges of the demanding White River course.

The host White River course is set in the idyllic shadow of Mt. Rainier, offering spectacular views.  Over the 50 mile distance the race rises and falls a staggering 17,400 feet.  The course terrain features rolling ridges, ridge tops, northwest forest, several sections of technical trails and of course several demanding climbs and challenging descents.

The American Ultrarunning Association (AUA), in conjunction with the USA Ultra Team Program of USATF, sponsors the American Regional Challenge (ARC) team competition, held at each of the USA National Ultra Championship events.  This competition brings all areas of the country together in a highly competitive team format, determining which region of the country has the best all-around ultrarunners at that particular event.

The ultrarunning ARC will be held at the major national championships throughout the year. The 2001 series includes The USA National 100K Championship (GNC, Pittsburgh; March), USA 50 Mile Trailrunning Championship (White River, Crystal Mountain, WA; July), the USA 24 Hour National Championship (Olander Park, Sylvania, OH; September) and the USA 50Km Trailrunning Championship (Indiana; December).

The ultrarunning ARC breaks the country up into four distinct regions; the East, the Central, the South and the West.  Each region's top 3 men and top 2 women will combine their scoring places (cross country scoring) to see who has the lowest aggregate score.  The team with the least amount of points is the winner.

 The regional breakdown by state is as follows:

 East: ME, NH, VT, MA, CT, RI, NY, PA, NJ, WV, MD, DE
 Central: OH, MI, IN, IL, WI, MN, IA, MO, ND, SD, NB, KS
 South: VA, KY, TN, NC, SC, GA, FL, AL, MS, LA, AR, OK, TX
 West: CA, OR, WA, ID, MT, WY, NV, UT, CO, AZ, NM, HI, AK

On Saturday over $10,000 in prize money is being offered by the host White River event to the competitors with thanks to the Foot Zone of Seattle, Montrail, Patagonia and Mercedes Benz.  For more information on the race, call the Race Hotline: 206-325-4800.

Results of the top individual finishers and the ARC competition will be posted on the AUA website (http://www.americanultra.org) immediately following the race Saturday evening.

 -Kevin Setnes and Dan Brannen,
 American Ultrarunning Association

American Deb (Bollig) Mattheus of Boulder, Colorado, continued her meteoric, 2-year rise towards the top of the ultrarunning world today by finishing second to Russia's Elvira Kolpakova in South Africa's 89km Comrades Marathon, the world's largest and most competitive ultramarathon footrace.

German Maria Bak, the defending champion, set a torrid early pace, only to falter in the second half of the race as Kolpakova, last year's World 100km silver medalist, took over and ran away to decisive victory.

Mattheus' runnerup finish was as much of an upset as the winner's victory, as the American's best previous best performance was a tenth place finish at last year's World 100km event in The Netherlands.  She is scheduled to head up a much improved USA women's team in this year's World 100km, set for August 26 in Cleder, France.

South African Andrew Kelehe won the men's race, pulling away from runnerup Leonid Shvetsov or Russia in the second half of the race.



              1  Andrew Kelehe, RSA        5:25:51
              2  Leonid Shvetsov, RUS    5:26:28
              3  Vladimir Kotov, BLS        5:27:21
              4  Alexei Volgin, RUS        5:27:40
              5  Fusi Nhlapo, RSA        5:30:38


              1  Elvira Kolpakova, RUS    6:13:53
              2  Deb Mattheus, USA        6:23:04
              3  Marina Bychkova, RUS    6:24:20
              4  Maria Bak, GER        6:25:48
              5  Maria Venancio, BRA        6:39:03

              -Dan Brannen


For the first time ever, the American Ultrarunning Association (AUA) will be keeping annual lists of certified Road and Track ultramarathon performances by Americans at all standard distances up to 1000 miles. 

For this year's inaugural list to date, click http://www.americanultra.org/performances/criteria.asp

Certified performances are those which have been verified to have met the official recordkeeping criteria established by USA Track & Field.

The performance lists will be updated throughout the year, as we receive results and are able to verify that they meet recordkeeping criteria.

American ultramarathon race directors whose events meet recordkeeping standards are encouraged to send us complete results as soon as possible after their events are held.  To send results or for further information, contact Ed Parrot of the AUA Technical Committee at edndana@pacbell.net. 

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