USA 24 Hour Championship 
at Olander Park
Sylvania, OH
September 16-17, 2000

Hosted by the Toledo Road Runners


 
Welcome to the 2000 USA National 24 Hour Championships, hosted by the Olander Park 24 Hour Run and the Toledo Road Runners! Updates will be made throughout the race at this location and the current standings will be loaded in the frame below.

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A special thanks ... ... ...
To the RRCA for the use of their website over the last several years. This is the first time we've hosted the page on the AUA site.  We hope that we can retain the good coverage that has occurred in the past.  Thank you again RRCA

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Followup: Individual Age-Group and Team Results

2000 USA 24-Hour National Championship,
Olander Park, Sylvania, OH
16-17 September, 2000

INDIVIDUAL AGE-GROUPS (must meet minimum distance standards to score)

MEN 40-44
1 John Geesler, St. Johnsville, NY, 157.95 miles
2 David Luljak, Chevy Chase, MD, 148.18 miles
3 Eric Clifton, Albuquerque, NM, 127.55 miles

WOMEN 40-44
1 Susan Olsen, Burnsville, MN, 122.0 miles
2 Sandy Powell, Greenville, VA, 116.44 miles
3 Elizabeth Fischer-Drew, Minnetonka, MN 110.0 miles

MEN 45-49
1 Ray Zirblis, Montpelier, VT, 107.41 miles

WOMEN 45-49
1 Fenny Roberts, Salem, OR, 100.87 miles
2 Lan Levet, Pollock Pines, CA, 94.25 miles
3 Laura Gough, Plymouth, IN, 92.93 miles

MEN 50-54
1 Roy Pirrung, Sheboygan, WI 134.59 miles
2 Ed Dodd, Collingswood, NJ 116.14 miles
3 Michael Brooks, Danville, ME, 103.35 miles

WOMEN 50-54
1 Jean Gerstein, So. Russell, OH, 101.15 miles
2 Pat Lehman-Jedrek, Ft. Wayne, IN, 91.45 miles

MEN 55-59
1 Frank Probst, Burke, VA, 118.02 miles
2 Newton Baker, Montpelier, VT, 115.05 miles
3 Javier Cendejas, Louisville, KY, 108.20 miles

WOMEN 55-59
1 Eileen Eliot, Hollywood, FL, 107.51

MEN 60-64
1 Ed Rousseau, Minneapolis, MN, 105.82 miles
2 Charlie Raper, Maryville, TN, 97.09 miles
3 Richard Sitter, Erie, PA, 90.16 miles

WOMEN 60-64
1 Louise Miklovic, Maumee, OH, 82.02 miles
2 Virginia Farneman, Powell, OH, 79.15 miles

MEN 65-69
1 Richard Fedion, No. Conway, NH, 89.46 miles
2 George Isom, Louisville, KY, 79.64 miles

MEN 70-74
1 Richard Cozart, Panama City, FL, 78.65 miles

MEN 75-79
1 Carlton Mendell, Portland, ME, 81.82 miles
2 Howard Henry, Plymouth, IN, 68.73

USATF ASSOCIATION CLUB TEAM RESULTS

MEN
1 Broadway Ultra Society, New York, 366.48 miles
(David Luljak, Ed Dodd, Neil Weygandt)
2 Green Mtn. AA, Vermont, 338.1 miles
(Bob Emmons, Newton Baker, Ray Zirblis)
3 Toledo Road Runners, Ohio, 312.61 miles
(Aaron Leitner, Tom Villagomez, Ed Stuart)

WOMEN
1 ALARC, Minnesota, 337.63 miles
(Susan Olsen, Elizabeth Fischer-Drew, Jamie Huneycutt)
2 Cherokee Road Runners, Kentucky, 179.02 miles
(Brenda Gutmann, Carol Westerman, Donna Gaylord)

USA ARC REGIONAL TEAM COMPETITION
(top 3 men plus top 2 women from each region)
1 CENTRAL
(Roy Pirrung, Susan Olsen, John Nichols, Aaaron Leitner, Elizabeth Fischer-Drew)
2 SOUTH
(Scott Eppelman, Frank Probst, Sandy Powell, Javier Cendejas, Eileen Eliot)
3 WEST
(Eric Clifton, Fenny Roberts, Jan Levet, Dennis Barett, Darrell Curtis)
(EAST did not field a full team)
 
 

3:00PM: FINAL INDIVIDUAL RESULTS NOW AVAILABLE....  Hit "Reload" or "Refresh" on your browser to see the complete, final results in the lower frame now.  Stay tuned. Soon we will post the USA National Campionship age-group results, the Club team results, and the ARC Regional Team results.

-Dan Brannen

24:00: THE 2000 US 24 HOUR CHAMPIONSHIP IS COMPLETE.... A special thanks to Gary Madrzykowski  and Steve Marvin and the entire crew at Olander Park for allowing us to use their facilities. 

Final results will be posted after a delay.  We inadvertently uploaded an empty file and will need time to get to Paradigm Technologies main scoring system so we can upload it again. A more detailed listing of the the USATF Individual Age Group Results, the USATF Club Team Competition and the ARC Regional Team Competition will follow soon thereafter.  For the time being, here are the top ten:
 

Men:

John Geesler 157.95
David Luljak 148.18
Scott Eppleman 137.17
Roy Pirrung 134.59
Eric Clifton 127.55
Chip Merrow 122.19
John Nichols 118.42
Frank Probst  118.02
Ed Dodd 116.14
Bob Emmons 115.64

Women:

Sue Olsen 122.0
Sandy Powell  116.44
Elizabeth Fischer-Drew 110.0
Eileen Eliot 107.51
Jamie Huneycutt 105.63
Jean Gerstein 101.15
Fenny Roberts 100.87
Jan Levet 94.25
Laura Gough 92.93
Pat Lehman-Jedrek 91.45

Also, note that Elizabeth Fischer-Drew did successfully move into the third women's position.

-- live from Sylvania, Jay Hodde, Dan Brannen, and Gordon Chace for the AUA.
 

23:00HOURS: Positions haven't changed over the last hour and we are busy preparing for the final gun in less than an hour.  We will have the final totals posted on the site as soon as we can get them tallied from the scoring tent.

-live from Sylvania, Jay Hodde (AUA)
 

22:00HOURS: The women's gold and silver medal positions appear to be sewn up by Susan Olsen and Sandy Powell.  The real race lies for the bronze medal, as Eileen Eliot is being challenged in this late hour by Elizabeth Fischer-Drew.  The temperatures have climbed stedily over the last hour and it is beginning to get warm under the bright sun.

On the men's side, the top four positions have pretty much been decided, barring any unexpected occurrences.  The real question is this: Will Susan Olsen overtake Eric Clifton to vault her into the top 5 overall?  With Bob Emmons finished for the day having injured his knee, a very strong Olsen only trails a struggling Clifton by two laps.

-live from Sylvania, Jay Hodde (AUA)
 

21:00HOURS: No shakeups at the top, other than Scott Eppelman apparently stamping his mark of ownership on the bonze medal ahead of Roy Pirrung.  Geesler looks unbeatable, Olsen IS unbeatable.  Fast-closing Chip Merrow breaks into the top 10 for the first time.

-live from Sylvania, Dan Brannen (AUA)
 

20 Hour Regional Team Update:  What a perfect illustration of the unpredictability of the last half of a 24-hour run.  The regional team competition standings are about the same as they were 5 hours ago, but the players are dramatically different!  The Central region still leads the South by what appears now to be an insurmountable lead of 4+ miles.  Sue Olsen is now ahead of all the Central's men except old vet Pirrung.  For the South, the top two men, Scott Eppelman and 57-year old Frank Probst, weren't even in their scoring ranks 5 hours ago.  The scorers now are:

CENTRAL: Roy Pirrung, Sue Olsen, Aaron Leitner, Tom Andrews, Elizabeth Fischer-Drew.

SOUTH: Scott Eppelman, Frank Probst, David Jones, Sandy Powell, Eileen Eliot.

20:00Hours: OLSEN MOWES DOWN THE MEN....  After a decade of running in the shadows of some of the best ultra women in history (despite still being one of the best in the world), Sue Olsen is finally shining in her own limelight.  She is now carrying the mantle of the injured Trapp, storming through the ranks of the top 10 men in the closing hours.  The 43-year old who gave birth to her son John Miles the day after running an ultra 5 years ago (and a week after running a 4:09 marathon while over 8 months pregnant) is famous locally as the woman who runs with a perpetual smile.  Having fnished as runnerup in this national championship event 6 different times, her gold medal here will be a uniquely cherished treasure.

John Geesler is the man of the morning.  Few American ultrarunners are capable of racing with such singular purpose and relentless drive through extreme fatigue.  He looks like he's carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders, but he somehow manages to hold his increased pace over the course of hours.  He is a good bet to take his second national championship title.

David Luljak is in a very unusual position: putting the final touches on one of the most remarkable world-class 24-hour runs in history, yet stumped by the frustration of not being able to close in on the treasure his incredible pacing effort should yield.  Luljak began the race at a pace of 9 minutes per mile, leaving him off the competitive radar screen early.  Six hours into the race, he lay only in 17th place.  He has run for 20 hours nonstop, and his overall, cumulative average pace now is 9:15 per miles.   He covered 65 miles in the first 10 hours.  He has covered 64 miles in the next 10 hours.  Yet he has been unable to close the last 3-mile gap to the leader.

Bob Emmons, having moved brilliantly into the top 3, has been forced to retire with a knee injury.

-live from Sylvania, Dan Brannen (AUA)
 

19:00Hours: OLSEN MOVES INTO THE TOP TEN.... The big story of the last hour is the continued, unrelenting pace of Susan Olsen, who continues to lead the women's race by over nine miles.  During the last hour, she broke into the top ten overall and now runs in eighth place with a total of 101.46 miles.  The sun is now up, but its heat has yet to reach the park.  It's still cool, and runners remain bundled up in their night-weather gear.  The remainder of the women's race remains unchanged.

On the men's side, Luljak continues to shadow Geesler by two miles.  Bob Emmons, running in third, has dropped back an additional two miles over the last hours and has taken a short break to combat fatigue.  It is unclear at this point how long he'll be down and out of the race.  Every minute that he is resting is critical, as Scott Eppelman continues to look strong running in shorts and a long sleeve t-shirt.  Eppelman continues to trail Emmons by five miles.

-live from Sylvania, Jay Hodde (AUA)
 

18:00Hours: A COLD AND WINDY MORNING.... is making conditions really rough for a lot of extremely tired runners right now.  The low temperatures throughout the night have held in the low 50's, but the soothing calmness that was characteristic of most of the night has given way to a stiff breeze coming off the lake.  It's cold!

The leaders are generating heat of their own, as the battle for position in the men's race continues to be the biggest event of the morning thus far.  Geesler is turning in a strong performance, averaging just under 8:30 per loop over the last hour.  Luljak remains steady, three miles down and running a pace equal to that of Geesler.  Who will run into trouble first?  Will either Geesler or Luljak start to fade when the sun comes up, or will they gain strength from the sun's warming rays? 

The toughest part of the night has also seen Clifton fade to fourth behind Bob Emmons.  Scott Eppelman has stayed on the course in the last hour, turning in strong laps as he went from 9th place to 5th in less than 60 minutes.  The men's top ten has started to spread out now with some of the top runners opting for prolonged breaks in the coldest part of the day.  Roy Pirrung has battled drowsiness for most of the night; Aaron Leitner walked a lap and has retired for a nap; John Nichols has also taken an hour break.

The women's race continues to be firmly held by Susan Olsen, Sandy Powell and Eileen Eliot.  On the distaff side, the real race is for 6th, 7th, and 8th place, where Fenny Roberts, Jan Levet, and Jean Gerstein are all battling it out with 76.37 miles.

-live from Sylvania, Jay Hodde (AUA)
 

17:00Hours: GEESLER, OLSEN REMAIN IN COMMAND.....  The women's leaderboard remains unchanged as Susan Olsen continues to dominate the early morning hours.  Sandy Powell remains several laps back, but has been able to retain her lead over third place runner, Eileen Eliot. Elizabeth Fischer-Drew leads Jamie Huneycutt and Fenney Roberts by just over a mile.  These six runners hold a significant lead over the rest of the women's field.

After a long break, Eric Clifton is back on the roads, but his rest break cost him his lead and an additional place; he now runs third behind John Geesler and David Luljak.  Clifton nows shares the lap with Bob Emmons, who has also covered 104+ miles.  As has been the case for pretty much all of the night, the remainder of the men's top ten is a tight race with the next 6 places all within a few laps of each other.

-live from Sylvania, Jay Hodde (AUA)
 

16:00Hours: The field of runners has been rejuvinated after a down period where everyone appeared to be running in a trance-like state.  The emotion is back and the tenson continues to build!  The women's field continues to be led by Susan Olsen, who continues to hold a commanding lead over Sandy Powell and Eileen Eliot.

In the men's race, John Gessler surged after passing Eric Clifton early in the hour and has opened his margin to over three miles.  Chris Gibson, after passing the 100-mile mark shortly after these standings were printed, has retired from the race.  There is still considerable shuffling going on between the men.  No one has a clear advantage now, as everyone seems to be surging and struggling at different times.  It continues to be a close race that will, undoubtedly, begin to heat up with the rising of the sun.

-live from Sylvania, Jay Hodde (AUA)
 

NEW RACE LEADER: John Geesler took the lead from Clifton at the 15:06:00 mark while Clifton was down for a massage.

15:00HOURS: In the women's race over the last hour, Elizabeth Fischer-Drew has continued to gain on the top of the women's field.  She is now running in a very strong fifth place and will soon surpass Trapp for fourth.  Olsen continues to hold an 8 mile lead.

On the men's side, Aaron Leitner has backed off from his blistering pace but is still running a very strong race in fourth place.  The whole men's field continues to gain on Clifton who has just surpassed the 100-mile mark and has opted to take a short break for a massage.

-live from Sylvania (yes, I'm still here and awake), Jay Hodde (AUA)
 

CENTRAL REGION TAKES TEAM LEAD.... In the 14th hour the Central region, now led by Aaron Leitner, has overtaken a falteting South by 3 miles.  Scott Eppelman and Sandy Powell now move into scoring positions for the first time for the Southerners.
 

14:00HOURS:  TRAPP IS OUT!!!  The end of an era.  After struggling against all odds to do what her body just wasn't ready to do, Sue Ellen Trapp has just lost her first 24-hour race in over a decade.  Finally she had to admit that she shouldn't be running nonstop on a knee which isn't ready to do that.  She made the wise decision to retire from the race after more than half of day of valiant but futile effort.

What a day, what an opportunity for Sue Olsen.  Nothing should now stop her from becoming the new golden girl of the event.  Sandy Powell is now free and clear in second place, with Eileen Eliot now solidly in possession of third.

BARNBURNER IN THE MEN'S RACE:  In general, the men's division of the USA 24-hour features hard 12-hour efforts followed by a contest to see who can "hang on for dear life" the best.  But this year has presented a unique, new face in the men's race.  It is now emerging as a contest of "slow and steady" tortoises, who are metamorphosing into hares after cautious openings.  All hell is breaking loose and the front of the race is in turmoil.  Eric Clifton is struggling, faltering mightily, and John Geesler smells blood.  Geesler is now almost within 2 miles of the leader, and it seems inevitable that the former champion  will assume the lead within the next 2 hours.

Chris Gibson is actually not running badly, but is getting gobbled up by a smooth-striding David Luljak, who in turn in being chased by a new "man possessed."  That is local journeyman Aaron Leitner, who has been tearing around the lake for the last 2 hours, bare-chested while everyone else is bundling on jackets as the temperatuer drops into the 40's.  Leitner is the fastest man on the course by about a minute per mile.

Dink Taylor is now joining his teammate DeWayne Satterfield in a downward spiral, and David Jones will soon become the top Southerner.  Bob Emmons has now picked up 2 more places, overtaking Pirrung and Nichols.  Pirrung has been forced to take a few brief naps to battle overwhelming sleepiness.

Thus stands an exciting and, in national championship competition, unprecedented men's top-10 slugfest.  Just at a time when the serious competition usually winds down for a while and the top runners go on "automatic pilot," the event now more resembles the start of a cross-country race.

How long can this continue?

-quite live from Sylvania, Dan Brannen (AUA)
 

13:00HOURS: John Geesler has passed Chris Gibson and is starting to close in on Eric Clifton, who had a bad hour.  David Luljak is chasing down Dink Taylor, as both put pressure on Gibson.  Aaron Leitner and David Jones are locked in a spirited battle a few miles behind.  Another 2-man duel is taking place a mile behind them between Roy Pirrung and John Nichols, with Bob Emmons now breaking into the top 10 as DeWayne Satterfield starts to fall apart.

Despite Sue Ellen Trapp's best efforts, Sue Olsen is simply pulling away, and may soon have her first national title in the bag.  At this point, Olsen looks better than anyone on the course.  It would now take Trapp at her best to bridge the 6+ mile gap to the leader, and the Florida dentist is far from her best.  In fact, Trapp is now threatened from behind by a new factor: Virginian Sandy Powell, who has passed Eileen Eliot to move into the top 3.

It may be time for most folks to go to sleep, but all these runners are keeping one another wide awake!

-live from Sylvania, Dan Brannen (AUA)

HALFWAY REGIONAL TEAM REPORT:  The Central Team continues to close the gap, and is now almost within 3 miles of the leading southerners.  Amazingly, Sue Ellen Trapp is now lead woman for the South.

(NOTE: a previous report in this space erroneously reported that Central had taken the lead.  Our mistake: we missed one runner in the tally.)

-live from Sylvania, Dan Brannen (AUA)
 

MIDNIGHT: HALFWAY!!! Still working out the technical bugs, we should be back to normal now.  The latest posting of the competitive standings below was actually not as of 11 hours into the race, but was posted as of just before halfway.  We're now back on track with a 12-hour posting.

The big development during the last hour was in the person of one man, former national champ David Luljak.  Nowhere to be found in the early standings, Luljak crept up steadily on the leaders and then literally charged through the last hour to move into the top 5.  If he can maintain this momentum through the second half (which should be no problem, considering that he has become a successful multi-day runner since his victory here 3 years ago), he could terrorize the quartet ahead of him.

-live from Sylvania, Dan Brannen (AUA)
 

11:00PM: WE'RE BACK!  We'll by-pass the 10-hour standings and go right to the 11-hour results below.  The total distances have now been adjusted due to a minor technical glitch which actually had our first 9 hours worth of standings slightly off in total distance.  Competitive placings remain unchanged.  What happened was this:  due to a re-design and re-paving of one section of the course a few months ago, the Olander Park loop was remeasured and recertified at 0.02 mile shorter than it had been for the last decade.  The new lap distance was programmed into the event's computer system.  However, some of the computer software somehow retained the old course distance, and the updates we had been delivering to you were calculated using the old, longer course distance.  In reality, for example, by 9 hours into the event (our last standings report), the leaders had actually run about 2 miles less than we were reporting.

Todd Herzog of Paradigm Technologies jumped right in to re-program the errant software, and all of the official distance standings have now been corrected and are accurate.

During the 10th and 11th hours of running, a couple of developments to report:

Race leader Eric Clifton successfully fended off a challenge from Chris Gibson and is once again running away from the field.  Clifton is in good form and good spirits, and seems to have successfully redirected his energies to a new goal of winning the full 24-hour event with the greatest possible distance.

John Geesler and Dink Taylor are running strongly, and both appear poinsed to overtake a drifting Gibson.

There's lots of shuffling among the rest of the top 10, and the proven veterans (David Luljak, Tom Andrews, Scott Eppelman) are closing in on all of them.  After the top 4, there's about a dozen guys who appear to be in for some interesting scuffles as we approach the second half of the race.

Sue Olsen is now in command of the women's race, and must surely sense the strong possibility of the victory which has so frequently just eluded her.  However, the big news on the distaff side is Sue Ellen Trapp's rise from the ashes to take over second place.  For hours, Trapp had to take the race literally a lap at a time, with frequent walking and massage breaks.  But the hands-on medical attention seemed to stem, and even reverse, the tide of breakdown of her right knee.  Remarkably, as few athletes but she could, she is mounting a challenge to re-claim her title despite struggling with a less-than-cooperative biomechanical structure.  But Olsen has over 4 miles on her, and Olsen is one of the few long-range ultrarunners in the world who can come close to holding her own with Trapp over the second half of a 24-hour run.  And each is well aware of the other's strength.

Behind the lead pair, Sandy Powell is moving best, and is now closing on Eileen Eliot to challenge for the bronze.

-live from Sylvania, Dan Brannen (AUA)
 

10:00PM TECHNICAL GLITCH TO DELAY...  A technical glitch is going to delay the race updates and standings for the 10:00 update.  We will stay on top of the situation and resume scheduled updates as soon as we can.

-live from Sylvania, Jay Hodde (AUA)
 

9:00PM Shake-up in the WOMEN'S RACE...  The sun is down and the temperatures are playing a bigger role now, more than ever.  Almost all of the runners have changed into warmer clothes now.  Your reporters, still hanging out in the scoring tent, have cold hands and are ready and waiting for the next pot of hot chocolate (well, at least this one is).  The men's leaders continue on their paces with little change in place or position.

ON THE WOMEN'S SIDE, however, Susan Olsen has passed Kathy Youngren to take close to a three lap lead on the women's field.  The remaining top five women continue unchanged, hungry to overtake a slowing Youngren, but gaining little ground on Olsen in the process.

-live from Sylvania, Jay Hodde (AUA)
 

8:00PM Regional Team Update Addendum: Central and South continue to duke it out, and the regional competition is providing additional inspiration to the two duelling teams.  In a tribute to ultra longevity, the two national champions from the very first USA National 24-hour (Atlanta, Georgia, 1988) Roy Pirrung and Eileen Eliot, are now key factors in the year 2000 regional competition.  Pirrung is running second man for Central, having just been passed by John Nichols, and Eliot is running second woman for the South, having pulled clear of Trapp.  Aaron Leitner has also moved up into the scoring realm, having overtaken Tim Johnson as third man for Central.  Our initial team standings report inaccurately stated the difference between the teams (due to a temporary bout of dyslexia on the part of your reporter).  It was more like a 10 mile advantage for the South (instead of the reported 6).  But Central has closed the gap by a mile in the last hour, mostly due to Nichols and Leitner.

-live from Sylvania, Dan Brannen (AUA)
 

8:00PM: GIBSON AND CLIFTON RUN TOGETHER.... but a mile apart.  Eric Clifton and Chris Gibson, running 1-2 in the men's race, have spent the better part of the last hour running within sight of each other, Gibson only slightly more than a mile behind the leader.  At this point, it appears that Clifton's quest for the 100-mile record is unattainable, so he must set his sights on Roy Pirrung's age group record of 13:15:50 that has held since 1989.  Pirrung himself has let us know of his own aspirations: To break the men's 50-54 age group record at 12 hours held by Ralph Balsamo (118.237 kms), and to aim for his own 100-mile mark of 15:39:18, set at Olander Park in 1999.  Pirrung is well on his way, but still has a long way to run under clear, cool skies.

In the women's race, Pallie Jones has retired for the evening, allowing some of the other women to move up.  While Youngren, Olsen and Eliot remain in the top three positions and Trapp continues her steady pace in fourth, Sandy Powell holds fifth place by one mile.  Youngren, only 25 years old, appears to be getting some of her support from the presence of her husband, Robert, who is also in the race and has considerable ultrarunning experence for his youth (also 25 years). 
 

-live from Sylvania, Jay Hodde (AUA)
 

7:00PM: COOLNESS SETS IN....  The sun is at tree level right now, and while the wind has subsided from its gustiness this afternoon, the real challenge that is becoming a concern is the drop in the temperature.  Runners are already beginning to don light gloves and jackets in preraration for this evening's chill.  Pototoes have arrived for a light dinner and many runners have taken a break as dinnertime passes. 

On the course, Clifton appears to have recovered slightly, continuing to run the 1.09 mile loop in under 9 minutes each.  However, Chris Gibson is moving even faster, and has now completely unlapped himself from the leader.  For the first time since the start of the race, someone is within a lap of Clifton.

Trapp is back out on the loop and looks good in spite of her obvious discomfort.

ELIOT MOVING UP: Eileen Eliot is moving up through the women's field.  Our 6 hour report erroneously listed Pallie Jones as the current 2nd scoring woman for the South team.  Jones, the earlier leader, has slowed dramatically and is falling back.  Behind race leader Kathy Youngren, Eliot is now lying 3rd overall and is in fact the #2 female scorer for the leading South team.

-live from Sylvania, Jay Hodde and Dan Brannen (AUA)
 

6:00PM: FAVORITES FALTER.....  Eric Clifton and Sue Ellen Trapp have seen their hopes fade in this fateful hour.  Clifton, unable to hold the necessary but increasingly difficult pace for a new American 100 mile record, faltered and slowed dramatically for a few laps, then regrouped and refocused: possibly on the Men's 40 masters 100 mile record, possibly just on winning the race.  Trapp is becoming undone by the right knee on which she had anterior cruciate ligament repair surgery (from a freak, non-running accident) in February.  The knee is buckling under her, and she is forced to take walking breaks, something which she usually doesn't do until the 22nd hour.  Her hopes of an unprecedented 7th national championship victory are fading fast, as she is forced to let the quartet in front of her pull away. Just as we close this 6 hour report, Trapp has temporarily retired to the medical quarters for therapeutic massage.

IT'S SOUTH VS. CENTRAL IN REGIONAL TEAM RACE....  one quarter of the way through the event, the  team competition has already boiled down to a 2-region race.  In our regional team scoring which counts the top 3 men and top 2 women, the evenly-matched South and Central regions are in a close battle, which is likely to continue all through the night.  The East, fielding only  a single woman in the event, was out of the race from the start, despite its strong men's team.  The West, despite having Clifton out front and the distaff duo of Jan Levet and Fenny Roberts running well, have no backup depth and are way out of the running.

Southerners Dink Taylor, DeWayne Satterfield, David Jones, Kathy Youngren, and Pallie Jones now lead the Central quintet of Roy Pirrung, John Nichols, Tim Johnson, Sue Olsen, and Elizabeth Fischer-Drew by less than 6 miles total.  Although most of the currently-scoring Southerners are relatively inexperienced at the 24-hour event, most of them are also running with caution and poise.  And they have tremendous depth behind them, with veterans such as Frank Probst, Pat Binienda, Scott Eppelman, Eileen Eliot, Sandy Powell, and Jamie Huneycutt waiting to fill any faltering shoes.  The Central squad, meanwhile, has the rock-solid, vastly exprienced duo of Pirrung and Olsen out front.  Both are running strong, and Olsen is likely to get a big psychological boost from the likely demise of Trapp, opening the way for the Minnesotan's probable first national title (after winning 6 silver medals).  However, although the Central team has good backup from Tom Andrews, Aaron Leitner, and Robin Fry on the men's side, they have very little depth on the women's side, and will need Fischer-Drew, or possibly Laura Gaugh, to hang on through the course of the event, now that former national champ Bonnie Busch has dropped way back.

It could be a veeeerrrrrry interesting night.....

-live from Sylvania, Dan Brannen (AUA)
 

5:30PM: Going into the early evening, Clifton continues to lead the men's field with over 40 miles to his credit. The wind is finally starting to abate and the sun is starting to set behind the trees that line the western side of the lake.  Unlike the last two years which were oppressively hot on Saturday afternoon, leading to several heat-related drops, this year we've seen no early casualties due to the weather.  Clifton is followed in order by Chris Gibson, John Geesler, and southern runners Taylor and Satterfield, all of whom look steady and strong.

In the women's race, Sue Ellen Trapp appears to be struggling.  Even though she has not fallen from her position in 5th place, she has begun to walk.  Kathy Youngren continues to lead the women's event, more than a lap in front of second place Susan Olsen and third place Pallie Jones.  Eileen Eliot continues in 4th.

-live from Sylvania, Jay Hodde and Dan Brannen (AUA)
 

4:00PM: Clifton continues to lead the men's field, passing the 31.6 mile lap in 3:37:33.  His pace has only slowed slightly during the first four hours of this Championship event; he continues to look strong as he passes through the scoring tent after every 1.091 mile lap.  Chris Gibson continues to lead a strong second place effort, just under 3 laps behind. As expected, David Bruning has dropped back significantly and continues in his plan to only run 50 miles. 

John Geesler, running in third place a lap behind Gibson, holds a minute advantage over Roy Pirrung and the Alabama duo of Dewayne Satterfield and Dink Taylor.

The women's race has shown a change in leadership! Kathy Youngren now leads for the women, a lap ahead of Pallie Jones and Sue Olsen.  Another lap behind, Sue Ellen Trapp continues her metronomic pace along with Eileen Eliot, rounding out the top positions for the women.

The weather continues to hold, partly sunny and cool with occasional strong wind gusts coming from over the water.  While the weather is almost ideal for running this afternoon, I've been forced to put on a light jacket and sit on my hands while I shiver and score laps (don't worry folks, it's not that bad, but with the lows tonight expected in the mid-40's, I'm trying to sound prepared). 

-live from Sylvania, Jay Hodde (AUA)
 

3:00PM: After 3 hours of racing, Eric Clifton continues to lead the men's field, followed by Bruning, Geesler, 
and Pirrung a few laps back.  Can Clifton continue this pace in his bid to break Rae Clark's American 100 mile record, and will he be fast enough to break Andy Jones's all-comers record (the fastest time run on American soil) of 12:05:43 which Jones set here on this course back in 1997?

The weather continues to be partly sunny and cool, making the conditions perfect for some fast running -- with the exception of the brisk westerly wind blowing across the lake.

On the women's side of the race, Pallie Jones, Susan Olsen, and Kathy Youngren continue to battle for first on the lead lap, followed by Eileen Eliot and defending national champion Sue Ellen Trapp less than a lap down.

-live from Sylvania, Jay Hodde (AUA)
 

2:00PM:  Eric Clifton continues to fly around the lake.  He's let word leak out that he is aiming for Rae Clark's American 100 mile record (12:12:19).  The actual second place runner at this stage is David Bruning, but he's made it clear to the scorers that he only intends to complete a fast 50 miles, and then quit for the day.  There are no appreciable differences in the individual placings since the first hour.  A brisk breeze continues to blow across the lake, but with the sun still shining brightly, it's not causing the runners too much concern.

After two hours of running, the men's regional team race is shaping up just as we expected, with the East, Central, and South teams all running about dead even.  On the women's side, the South has jumped out to a huge early lead.

-live from Sylvania, Dan Brannen (AUA)

Sept. 16, 1:00PM:  And they're off!  165 Runners set out around Olander Lake at 12:10PM today under Sunny skies.  After a technical briefing by the Toledo Roadrunners Club's computer wizard, Todd Herzog, and a warm welcome and introduction of past champions by Race Director Tom Falvey and his wife Alice, the field assembled at the Starting Line and began their all-day/all-night foot journey is a festive atmosphere.  The air is cool and crisp, the humidity is low, but an early morning breeze has begun to get a bit gusty, the only possibly negative aspect of the weather.  As expected, race favorite Eric Clifton ran away from the field immediately, and is lapping the lake at a pace of 6:30 per mile.  Roy Pirrung and John Geesler have situated themselves at the front of the chase group, with Alabamans Dink Taylor and DeWayne Satterfield a short distance behind.

Pallie Jones leads the women, all of whom have started conservatively.  Sue Olsen is cruising at just under 9 min/mile pace, a few minutes behind Jones, with Kathy Youngren, Bonnie Busch, Sue Ellen Trapp, and Eileen Eliot not far behind.

We'll post the initial overall standings after the first 2 hours of running.

-Live from Sylvania, Dan Brannen, AUA

September 16, 11:00AM - ARC Regional Team Competition Preview

A gorgeous, sunny day here at Olander Park, but the temperature is not supposed to get past the mid-60's.  The excitement is building as the 160+ entrants stake out their turf claims alongside the newly-paved 1.09-mile lap around Olander Lake.  Our ongoing live coverage is brought to you by the American Ultrarunning Association, care of Jay Hodde, Gordon Chace, and Dan Brannen (and Gordon is doing double-duty by running in the race too!).

The ARC Regional Team competition should be as exciting as the individual races.  The women's team contest will be strictly a 2-region affair, with Sue Ellen Trapp's South team favored over Sue Olsen's Central squad.  The ladies from the South have the edge in depth, with Eileen Eliot and Jamie Huneycutt backing up Trapp.  Elizabeth Fischer-Drew is the Central's best bet behind Olsen.

The men's team competition will be intriguing, and is likely to swing wildly from afternoon to evening to deep of night to dawn.  The east has a solid 1-2 punch with former National Champions David Luljak and John Geesler.  But the top Central pair, Roy Pirrung and Tom Andrews, should be able to match them stride-for-stride.  Lacking such experienced, veteran all-day runners, the South nevertheless has probably the most solid depth, with Scott Eppelman, DeWayne Satterfield, Dink Taylor, Bob Youngren, and Jim Emig all capable of a top-5 performance.

The West team is definitely a dark horse, despite Eric Clifton being the pre-race favorite.  Behind Clifton, Darrell Curtin and Jordan Ross will have to run very well in order for the West to have a chance against the depth of the 3 other teams.

One hour to the start!
 

September 15, 8:00 PM

Six former champions, including the defending national women's champion, are returning tomorrow to Olander Park in Sylvania, OH, for the 2000 USA National 24 Hour Championship.  The race will start at noon EDT.  The weather this evening is clear and cool, with lows tonight expected in the mid-40's.  Highs tomorrow are expected to reach no higher than 65 degrees under partly sunny skies.  There is only a slight chance of rain for the duration of the race.

This is Olander Park's 12th race; it is the 8th consecutive year that the park and the Toledo Road Runners have hosted the National Championship.  There are over 160 runners currently registered in the starting field, making it one of the largest ever.

Past National Champions registered in this year's starting field include: Sue Ellen Trapp, Ft. Myers, FL, the current American women's record holder in this event (145.3 miles); David Luljak, Chevy Chase, MD; John Geesler, St. Johnsville, NY; Roy Pirrung, Sheboygan, WI; Eileen Eliot, Hollywood, FL; and Bonnie Busch, Bettendorf, IA. 

Over 35 American records have been set at Olander Park since 1993.  In 1997, Canadian Andy Jones set a world 100 mile record of 12:05:43 here.  Yiannis Kouros, of Athens, Greece, set the time-time North American "all comers" record of 167.4 miles at the 1999 event, and Mark Godale, of Aurora, OH, set the American Road 24 hour record of 162.5 miles here last year.

Weather conditions could lead to some fast times and record distances this weekend.  We'll keep you posted throughout the course of the day.
 

Update on Tuesday, September 12

1. Weather: After one of the wettest summers in recent memory (I know because my grass is green) this weekends weather looks like it is going to be perfect fall weather.  Saturday will be partly cloudy with a high in the mid to upper 60's.  It should be a cool night with a low in the upper 40's.  Same forecast for Sunday.

2. Web Site: Dan Brannen & Co will be doing live updates on the internet at  www.Americanultra.org during the event as well as posting interium standings for your fans at home to watch.

3. Schedule of Events:

Friday  6:00-8:30 Registration/Packet Pickup & Pasta Dinner at Neiderhouse Hall in Olander Park.  Neiderhouse Hall will be closed to everyone until registration opens at 6:00, so if you show up early, go take a warmup lap around the park.

Saturday 9:00 Packet Pickup

Saturday 11:20 Pre-race Competitior Meeting

Saturday 12:00 Race Start


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