USA 24 Hour Championship 
at Olander Park
Sylvania, OH
September 14-15, 2002

Hosted by the Toledo Road Runners

Welcome to the 2002 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.   Use your "reload" button on your browser to determine if there is a recent update.


Sylvania, Ohio, Sept. 14-15, 2002

John Geesler of St. Johnsville, New York made history today, becoming the first American man to win the  USA 24-Hour Run Championship three times at the Olander Park 24-Hour in Sylvania, Ohio with 137.52 miles. Geesler outlasted a pair of brothers, Mark and Steve Godale, who took the silver and bronze medals, respectively.

Ann Heaslett of Madison, Wisconsin took her second national crown of the year, following her trail 50 mile national title in July with the women's win here in her first attempt beyond 100 miles. Heaslett, compiling 128.55 miles, bested Sandy Powell, silver medalist, and 7-time defending national champion Sue Ellen Trapp.

Conditions were difficult for the runners, as Saturday daytime temperatures in the mid-80's with oppressive humidity gave way to a night of sporadic showers and thunderstorms. Many of the pre-race favorites faltered in the physiologically taxing conditions.

Oblivious to all the Americans (the starting field of 167 was the largest ever for a 24-hour race) was special guest Yiannis Kouros of Athens, Greece. Kouros, virtually unchallenged as the world's best all-day ultrarunner for almost 20 years, ran alone immediately from the start, never stopping, never walking, never faltering from a relentless, metronomic pace. He constantly pulled away from the field, amassing a final total of 172.37 miles, bettering his own U.S. all-comers record (set in this event three years ago) by nearly 5 miles.

In the USA Masters championship division, a noteworthy performance was turned in by Ray Piva, age 75, of California. Piva set age-group world records of 23:01:56 for 100 miles and 105.02 miles for 24 hours.

-Dan Brannen
American Ultrarunning Association




 1. Yiannis Kouros (guest: GREECE), 172.37 miles
 2. John Geesler (USA National Champion), 137.52 miles
 3. Mark Godale, 133.10 miles
 4. Stephen Godale, 130.66 miles
 5. Scott Ludwig, 129.06 miles
 6. Tim Shea, 125.28 miles
 7. Jeff Hagen, 124.07 miles
 8. Roy Pirrung, 122.69 miles
 9. Dennis Deane, 118.91 miles
 10. Newton Baker, 116.35 miles
 11. Bob Oberkehr, 112.97 miles
 12. Ed Rousseau, 110.69 miles
 13. John Nichols, 110.19 miles
 14. Fred Davis, 109.10 miles
 15. Ray Zirblis, 108.64 miles
 16. Robin Fry, 107.78 miles
 17. Frank Probst, 105.82 miles
 18. Ray Piva, 105.02 miles
 19. Ed Dodd, 104.73 miles
 20. Byron Lane, 104.46 miles


 1. Ann Heaslett (USA National Champion), 128.55 miles
 2. Sandy Powell, 124.87 miles
 3. Sue Ellen Trapp, 113.46 miles
 4. Junko Leerink (guest: JAPAN/CT), 110.19 miles
 5. Jamie Huneycutt, 106.32 miles
 6. Bonnie Busch, 106.21 miles
 7. Sylvie Boisvert (guest: CANADA), 104.73 miles
 8. Christine Markham, 103.64 miles
 9. Debbie Jones, 96.33 miles
 10. Christine Crawford, 95.19 miles
 11. Lisa Stranc, 90.55 miles
 12. Andrea Nichols, 88.37 miles
 13. Julie Schroeder, 87.28 miles
 14. Lorraine Bunk, 86.18 miles
 15. Beth Simpson, 86.18 mile
 16. Sue Yates, 83.14 miles
 17. Barb Sousa, 82.96 miles
 18. Pat Lehman-Jedrek, 81.82 miles
 19. Janis Clay, 80.73 miles
 20. Fenny Roberts, 78.55 miles



 1. Cleveland S.E. Runners Club, 369.84 miles
 (Mark Godale, Stephen Godale, Robin Fry)

 2. GMAA Vermont, 348.02 miles
 (Newton Baker, Tim Shea, Ray Zirblis)

 3. Toledo Road Runners, 313.11 miles
 (John Nichols, Tim Villagomez, Larry Whitaker)


 1. Badgerland Striders "A", 300.02 miles
 (Ann Heaslett, Beth Simpson, Lorraine Bunk)

 2. Badgerland Striders "B", 274.95 miles
 (Bonnie Busch, Christine Crawford, Kathryn Dunn)

 3. Badgerland Striders "C", 214.92 miles
 (Julie Schroeder, Betty Schraith, Kris Hinrichs)


 (Medalists must meet minimum mileage standards)

 MEN 40-44
 1. 2. John Geesler, 137.52 miles

 WOMEN 40-44
 1. Jamie Huneycutt, 106.32 miles
 2. Bonnie Busch, 106.21 miles

 MEN 45-49
 1. Scott Ludwig, 129.06 miles
 2. Dennis Deane, 118.91 miles
 3. Bob Oberkehr, 112.97 miles

 WOMEN 45-49
 1. Sandy Powell, 124.87 miles
 2. Julie Schroeder, 87.28 miles

 MEN 50-54
 1. Roy Pirrung, 122.69 miles
 2. Fred Davis, 109.10 miles
 3. Robin Fry, 107.78 miles

 WOMEN 50-54
 1. Christine Markham, 103.64 miles
 2. Debbie Jones, 96.33 miles
 3. Sue Yates, 83.14 miles

 MEN 55-59
 1. Jeff Hagen, 124.07 miles
 2. Frank Probst, 105.82 miles
 3. Ed Dodd, 104.73 miles

 WOMEN 55-59
 1. Sue Ellen Trapp, 113.46 miles
 2. Pat Lehman-Jedrek, 81.82 miles

 MEN 60-64
 1. Newton Baker, 116.35 miles
 2. Ed Rousseau, 110.69 miles
 3. Mike Haviland, 98.19 miles

 WOMEN 60-64
 1. Lorraine Bunk, 86.18 miles

 MEN 65-69
 1. Dieter Walz, 98.19 miles
 2. Richard Fedion, 81.82 miles

 WOMEN 65-69
 1. Emma Blascovitch, 66.55 miles
 2. Virginia Farneman, 66.55 miles

 MEN 70-74
 1. Sam Soccoli, 86.18 miles
 2. William Workman, 83.72 miles
 3. Richard Cozart, 81.54 miles

 MEN 75-79
 1. Ray Piva, 105.02 miles
 2. Paul Gionfriddo, 81.28 miles
 3. Burt Carlson, 65.46 miles

 MEN 80-84
 1. Carlton Mendell, 63.27 miles


Noon, Sunday: FINISH!  It's Over!

[All distances reported below are NOT COMPLETE.  Final, partial-lap distances are still being calculated]

Yiannis Kouros, new official USA All-Comers Record:  172.37+ miles.

John Geesler, first American man to win 3 USA National 24-Hour Championship titles: 137.46+ miles.

Ann Heaslett, winning her first national title, finishing 6th overall: 127.64+ miles.

Ray Piva: new WORLD Men's 75-79 age-group records:  100miles, 23:01:56; 24 Hours: 104.73+ miles (finishing 24th of 167 starters).

Jeff Hagen: new American Men's 55-59 age-group record: 123.28+ miles.

Lorraine Bunk: new American Women's 60-64 age-group records at 12 hours and 24 hours.

Sam Soccoli: new American Men's 70-74 age-group records at 100km and 12 hours.

A light rain fell steadily through the final 2 hours, then evolved into light mist for the finish.

UNOFFICIAL top finishers:

1.Yiannis Kouros, 172.37+ miles (guest: GREECE/AUSTRALIA)
2. John Geesler, 137.46+ miles (USA National Champion)
3. Mark Godale, 133.1+
4. Stephen Godale, 129.8+
5. Scott Ludwig, 128.7+
6. Tim Shea, 124.37+
7. Jeff Hagen, 123.28+
8. Roy Pirrung, 122.19+
9. Dennis Deane, 118.91+
10. Newton Baker, 115.64+

1. Ann Heaslett, 127.64+ miles (USA National Champion)
2. Sandy Powell, 124.37+
3. Sue Ellen Trapp, 113.46+
4. Junko Leerink, 110.19+ (guest: JAPAN)
5. (?) Bonnie Busch, 105.82+ (subject to final partial lap distance)
6. (?) Jamie Huneycutt, 105.82+ (subject to final partial lap distance)
7. Sylvie Boisvert, 104.73+ (guest: CANADA)
8. Christine Markham, 103.64+
9. Debbie Jones, 96.0+
10. Christine Crawford, 94.91+

Full results, including USA Masters 5-year Age-Group Championships and USATF Club Team Competition, to follow.  Stay tuned.....

10:00AM Sunday:

Kouros continues metronomically, apparently on his way to a new U.S. All-comers record of about 172 miles.

Mark Godale just burned up the last hour, relegating brother Steve to the bronze medal.  Mark is now a full lap up on Steve.  Geesler is now a sure bet for his 3rd national title.  Hagen has now passed Pirrung to move into 6th place overall.  He is now running faster than everyone except Kouros, and appears to have a real shot at the U.S. Men's 55-59 record of 121 miles.  For the first time, Dennis Deane has moved into the top 10.

Heaslett is now looking a little better and it seems she will hold Powell off for the national crown.  Trapp and Leerink are still locked in their see-saw battle, Trapp now having the edge by a few minutes.  Jamie Huneycutt has now moved into the final prize money spot, having just passed Bonnie Busch.  Last year's 6th place woman, Debbie Jones, has just squeezed into the top 10.

Lorraine Bunk appears to have retired, having set a new women's 60-64 age-group record with 4 hours to spare.  Ray Piva also got his 75-79 age-group record with the same amount of time remaining, but he's pressing on as hard as he can for Ernie Warwick's World age-group record of 103+ miles.  He is barely on pace, and may just shave it by minutes.

A steady, light rain is now falling from clouds so thick they are giving an evening tinge to the event.

We probably won't be able to report again until an hour or so after the race.  Final partial-lap distances are very labor-intensive to compile, so all of our resources will go into that important task once the clock strikes 24:00:00.  But stay tuned, we'll get the final results up as soon as we can.

STANDINGS at 22:00:00

1. Kouros, 179.3
2. Geesler, 125.46
3. Mark Godale, 123.3
4. Steve Godale, 122.2
5. Ludwig, 118.9
6. Shea, 115.6
7. Hagen, 112.4
8. Pirrung, 112.4
9. Dennis Deane, 109.1
10. Oberkehr, 106.9

1. Heaslett, 116.7
2. Powell, 113.5
3. Trapp, 108.0
4. Leerink, 108.0
5. Huneycutt, 97.1
6. Busch, 97.1
7. Markham, 97.1
8. Boisvert, 93.8
9. Crawford, 88.4
10. Debbie Jones, 87.3

-Dan Brannen, now with less than 2 hours to the FINISH.

8:00AM Sunday:

Just as he did a few years ago when Dave Luljak threw a similar late-race challenge at him, John Geesler has risen to the occasion of fending off the surprising Steve Godale, who in turn is maintaining a one-lap cushion on his more famous brother.  Geesler now has a 3-lap protection buffer on his third national title, and no one on site is betting against him.

More than 30 miles ahead, running a separate race all by himself, Yiannis Kouros glides along as if he could simply run forever.  He remains on target to break 170 miles.

Employing his patented even-pacing technique (which always gives the appearance of being a late-race surge), 55-year old Jeff Hagen has now climbed into the top 10.

Ann Heaslett is showing signs of wear, and Sandy Powell, now less than 4 miles back in second, is actually moving faster than the leader now.  It appears Heaslett has enough cushion to take her first national title, but 4 hours more after 20 in motion can often be a curse to first-timers.  There's a chance the women's race could suddenly become very interesting.

Leerink too is losing energy, and veteran Sue Ellen Trapp is closing fast on her for third place.

The temperature is in the low 60'sF, with a low, thick cloud cover.  The humidity is heavy and palpable.


1. Kouros, 146.2 miles
2. Geesler, 115.6
3. Steve Godale, 112.4
4. Mark Godale, 111.3
5. Ludwig, 108.0 (a lap-sheet review found 2 missing laps, which have now been added in)
6. Shea, 105.8
7. Pirrung, 102.6
8. Hagen, 101.5
9. Nichols, 100.4
10. Oberkehr, 99.3

1. Heaslett, 106.9
2. Powell, 103.6
3. Leerink, 99.3
4. Trapp, 99.3
5. Busch, 89.5
6. Markham, 89.5
7. Huneycutt, 88.4
8. Boisvert, 84.0
9. Bunk, 84.0
10. Crawford, 82.9

-Dan Brannen, reporting for AUA

6:00AM, Sunday, Sept. 15:

Kouros' very gradual slowdown curve now has him running at about 9 min/mile pace.  He still has not only not stopped once, he has virtually not broken stride for 18 straight hours, while grabbing something to eat or drink virtually every lap.  Even with a continued gradual slowdown, he has a very good shot at breaking his U.S. all-comers 24-hour record of 167+ miles, and even a good chance of going over 170 miles.

The U.S. men have not fared well through the night.  It has been a grim parade, with no American men breaking 17 hours for 100 miles.  This is about the poorest group pace in the 14-year history of this championship event--a tribute to the varied challenges of mother nature.... and to Kouros in contrast.

Steve Godale continues to be the big surprise of the race, hanging within 2 miles of lead American John Geesler.  If Geesler can hold of the Godale brothers, he will become the first American man to win 3 national 24-hour titles.  Kevin Setnes, who looked invincible for the first 12 hours, now struggles to remain in the top 10.  And Bob Oberkehr has moved into the top 10 for the first time.

Ann Heaslett has moved into the top 5 overall, and Sandy Powell has begun to put some daylight between herself and the pair of Junko Leerink and Sue Ellen Trapp.  All night Powell has successfully prevented Heaslett from getting a lead of much more than 4 miles.  Trapp has been unable to muster her patented, relentless surge through the night.  Are we seeing the passing of a generation, or just an off race?

Frank Probst finally faltered after 17 hours, giving Jeff Hagen an opportunity to pull away to a 4+ mile lead in the Men's 55-59 race.  Ed Rousseau is still giving Newton Baker a race in the Men's 60-64 division.  75-year old Ray Piva and 61-year old Lorraine Bunk are still on pace for age-group records, and still have a chance to crack the 100-mile mark.

18 Hour standings

1. Kouros, 133.1 miles
2. Geesler, 103.6
3. Steve Godale, 101.5
4. Mark Godale, 100.4
5. Ludwig, 96.0
6. Setnes, 94.9
7. Shea, 94.9
8. Nichols, 94.9
9. Pirrung, 92.7
10. Oberkehr, 91.6

1. Heaslett, 98.2
2. Powell, 93.8
3. Leerink, 91.6
4. Trapp, 90.6
5. Busch, 81.8
6. Markham, 80.7
7. Huneycutt, 79.6
8. Bunk, 77.5
9. Boisvert, 77.5
10. Crawford, 75.3

-Dan Brannen, waiting for the sunrise, reporting for AUA

4:00AM, Sunday, September 15:

Intermittent thundershowers have continued throughout the night and have slowed the field considerably. Here's the top of the field as the early morning hours continue to pass:

16 Hours

1 Kouros, 120.0 miles
2 Setnes, 92.7 miles
3 Geesler, 92.7 miles
4 Mark Godale, 90.6 miles
5 Steve Godale, 90.6 miles
6 Ludwig, 87.3 miles
7 Nichols, 87.3 miles
8 Shea, 85.1 miles
9 Pirrung, 67.6 miles
10 Oberkehr, 81.8 miles

1 Heaslett, 88.4 miles
2 Powell, 84.0 miles
3 Leerink, 82.9 miles
4 Trapp, 82.9 miles
5 Boisvert, 73.1 miles
6 Busch, 73.1 miles
7 Markham, 73.1 miles
8 Bunk, 72.0 miles
9 Huneycutt, 70.9 miles
10 Crawford, 70.9 miles

-Jay Hodde, live for the AUA


Brief Update:  Rudy Afanador, cramping badly, has been forced to make an extensive visit to the medical tent.  He has fallen from 2nd to 8th place in the space of less than an half hour.  No other major shakeups in the past hour.  The light rain turned to a heavy downpour for about 15 minutes, but now it has stopped.

We will probably be taking an extensive break for a few hours.  We will return sooner if anything noteworthy transpires.

Sleepy in Sylvania..... Dan Brannen & Jay Hodde, AUA


Halfway, and a gentle rain has just started to fall.  Kouros continues to run away, and Kevin Setnes has built himself a huge cushion as a hedge against his odds of becoming the first American man to take 3 National 24-hour titles.  John Geesler has closed to within a lap of Rudy Afanador.  Steve Godale has come alive and has moved up to within a half-lap of his more famous brother, the pair both on the same lap as John Nichols, who nominally holds third place at halfway.  Ludwig, Pirrung, and Donovan round out the top 10.

Ann Heaslett has given not a hint of a weak spot and continues to run away from the women's field.  Over 4 miles behind, Leerink, Trapp, and Powell continue to jockey amongst themselves.  The trio have been on the same lap for over 6 hours.  Canadian Sylvia Boisvert holds 5th place, but 61-year old Lorraine Bunk is charging through the distaff field and closing fast on the top 5.  She has just bettered the American Women's 60-64 age-group record for 12 hours by 9 miles.  Bonnie Bush, Christine Markham, Julie Schroeder, and Jamie Huneycutt fill out the rest of the top 10.

In the men's 55-59 division, Frank Probst and Jeff Hagen are waging a neck and neck battle, Probst barely leading at halfway with 63.3 miles.

Newton Baker and Ed Rousseu have locked horns in similar combat in the Men's 60-64 division.  Baker has a 2-mile advantage with 100km at 12 hours.

75-year old Ray Piva is well placed to take down the American Men's 75-79 age group record for 24 hours, and he could possibly hit 100 miles before the race ends.  He has run 53.5 miles at halfway.

12 Hours

1 Kouros, 92.7 miles
2 Setnes, 77.5 miles
3 Afanador, 70.9 miles
4 Geesler, 70.9 miles
5 Nichols, 69.8 miles
6 Mark Godale, 69.8 miles
7 Steve Godale, 69.8 miles
8 Ludwig, 68.7 miles
9 Pirrung, 67.6 miles
10 Donovan, 66.6 miles

1 Heaslett, 68.7 miles
2 Leerink, 64.4 miles
3 Trapp, 64.4. miles
4 Powell, 64.4 miles
5 Boisvert, 57.8 miles
6 Bunk, 57.8 miles
7 Busch, 57.8 miles
8 Markham, 56.7 miles
9 Schroeder, 56.7 miles
10 Huneycutt, 55.6 miles

-Dan Brannen, AUA

11:00PM, EST:

Our technical problems continue, but we're making due. It does NOT look like we will have the ability to upload hourly results of the entire field; we're truly sorry, but there's nothing we can do during the race.

We have spent the last 2 hours pouring over lap sheets from the first 9 hours to make sure our updates on the web are accurate. Thus, some of the changes we've made due to early computer glitches (understand that our first results were pulled from a moving computer screen because the printer stopped working) have resulted in place shifts that are reflected below.  I finally have my first hard copy print out of the day!

In the women's race, Reichert has decided to retire after running 52+ miles. Heaslett is continuing to look strong and relaxed and is about 5km ahead of the rest of the field.  The men's race has opened up, with Kouros and Setnes pulling away from third place Rudy Afanador.


1. Kouros       78.6
2. Setnes       67.6
3. Afanador     61.1
4. M. Godale    61.1
5. Geesler      60.0
6. Nichols      60.0
7. S. Godale    60.0
8. Ludwig       58.9
9. Pirrung      57.8
10. Donovan     57.8


1. Heaslett          57.8
2. Leerink           54.6
3. Trapp             54.6 
4. Powell            53.5
5. Reichert          52.4
6. Crawford          50.2
7. Boisvert          49.1
8. Busch             49.1
9. Bunk              48.0
10. Schroeder        48.0

-Jay Hodde, reporting live for AUA

9:20PM, EST:

Well, we're behind, but we're here!  Giving you the eight hour placings with a bit of an update over the first nine hours of the race . . . 

In the women's race, Jody Lynn Reicher has started to stiffenup a bit and has taken a short massage break. Ann Heaslett, as a result, has taken over the lead of the women's race and looks fantastic, running very smoothly and enjoying the lowers temperatures (currently in the low-70's). The sun has now set and the rain appears to continue to hold off; we're lucky -- thunderstorms have knocked out power to at least 2 neighboring communities. It is still very humid.

Kouros is way out front in the men's race, and continues to look strong in his bid to break world records at both the 150km and 200km distances.  Closer to reality . . . . Setnes is closing gradually on Afanador, perennial contenter John Geesler holds to 4th, while unknown Scott Ludwig continues to move up and look strong.


1. Kouros       63.3
2. Afanador     55.6
3. Setnes       55.6
4. Geesler      51.3
5. Ludwig       51.3
6. M. Godale    51.3
7. Nichols      50.2
8. Donovan      49.1
9. Shea         48.0
10. Pirrung     48.0


1. Heaslett          48.0
2. Reicher           46.9
3. Powell            44.7
4. Leerink          44.7
5. Trapp             44.7
6. Boisvert          43.6
7. Crawford          42.5
8. Busch             42.5
9. Bunk              40.4
10. Markham          40.4

8:40PM, EST:

View some early images from the race! [Link provided above]

6:45PM, EST:

Kouros passed the 50 mile mark in just over 6:15 and continues to run strong in front of the men's field. 2001 USA National 24 Hour Champion, Rudy Afanador, continues to hold the front position for the US men, with former gold medalist, Kevin Setnes, less than a full lap behind. The sun is out once again, but thunderstorms continue to dot the radar around the area. 

The women's field continues to be in a very tight race, with Reicher and Heaslett out front and a very tight race for third position between former champion Sue Ellen Trapp, Sandy Powell, and Japanese citizen, Junko Leerink.  Leerink, originally from Japan, is no newcomer to the US race circuit. Living in Connecticut, Leerink won the 2002 FANS 24 hour run in Minneapolis, MN, this year with a total of 110 miles over perinnial contender, Susan Olsen (temperatures at FANS this year were close to 100F!). 


1. Kouros       48.0
2. Afanador     43.6
3. Setnes       42.5
4. M. Godale    40.4
5. Geesler      39.3
6. S. Godale    38.2
7. Donovan      38.2
8. Nichols      38.2
9. Worts        37.1
10. Shea        37.1


1. Reicher           39.3
2. Heaslett          37.1
3. Trapp             33.8
4. Powell            33.8
5. Leerink           33.8
6. Busch             32.7
7. Boisvert          32.7
8. Crawford          32.7
9. Bunk              31.6
10. Markham          30.6

5:55PM, EST:

Unfortunately, we are still unable to provide standings for the entire field.  However, we've attemped to piece together the top 10 men and top 10 women after the first 5 hours. Reicher and Kouros continue to lead the field going into the evening hours. It has cooled off drasstically in the last hour, and a gentle wind is blowing.  No rain, yet!


1. Kouros       39.2
2. Afanador     37.1
3. Setnes       36.0
4. M. Godale    33.8
5. Geesler      33.8
6. S. Godale    32.7
7. Donovan      32.7
8. Nichols      31.6
9. Worts        31.6
10. Pirrung     31.6


1. Reicher           32.7
2. Heaslett          31.6
3. Trapp             28.3
4. Powell            28.3
5. Boisvert          28.3
6. Crawford          27.2
7. Busch             27.2
8. Markham           26.2
9. Huneycutt         25.1
10. Lehman-Jedrick   25.1

-Jay Hodde, for the AUA

4:30PM, EST:

Yes, folks, we're still here at Olander Park.  Technical difficulties have besieged our computer scoring system, making it impossible to provide complete race standings for an indefinite period of time.  All of the laps are being recorded and logged in the main computer, but we're currently unable to get them into a file to upload to this webcast.  We'll continue to work on the problem, and hopefully it will be sorted out in a few hours.

Meanwhile the first report on the race itself:  Yiannis Kouros shot out all alone from the starting gun and has been running steady 7 minute miles for over 4 hours.  Kouros ran past the marathon point in 3:05, with defending USA national champ Rudy Afanador less than a mile behind.  Following close upon Afanador were former champions John Geesler and Kevin Setnes.  Right behind them is another foreign guest, Richard Donovan, who just flew in from his Irish homeland two days before the race.  About another mile back are Scott Ferrari and the Godale brothers, Mark and Steve.

No surprises in the women's race, with Jody-Lynn Reicher out very fast, running 7:45 per mile for the first three hours.  Running easily in second, about a mile behind, is Ann Heaslett.  Almost two miles further back is former national champ Bonnie Busch, with Sue Ellen Trapp and Sandy Powell about another half mile down, rounding out the top 5.

The weather is playing games with everyone today.  Is has been very humid, with a high temperature of 85F degrees.  However, there has been a steady, stiff wind, sometimes gusting close to 30mph.  The cloud cover has been thick, and rain has been threatening for the past hour.  A line of thunderstorms has been sweeping steadily through the area, causing ominous thunderclaps.  However, so far it has remained about a mere half-mile to the south of the race site.

-Dan Brannen, reporting live for AUA

Saturday, September 14: 12:30 EST, Just after the race start

A warm, sunny, and humid morning has met a field of runners that has swelled to over 180 registered participants. Highs are now expected in the mid-80's, but the rain is supposed to hold off for the next few hours, at least. 

This morning following the race briefing and introductions of the former 10 USA National Champions and foreign visitors, including world record holder for 24 hours, Yiannis Kouros, the field paused for photographs, a short prayer, and a singing of the National Anthem.

Race start was delayed for approximately 12 minutes as the ceremonies were completed, leaving the official start of the race at 12:12 EST.

Updates will continue throughout the afternoon, and current standings will be uploaded to the lower frame as they become available.

-Jay Hodde, reporting for AUA

Friday, Sept. 13, the night before the race.....

A record field of 175 is entered for tomorrow's race.  The field now includes world record holder Yiannis Kouros of Greece, and former 2-time USA National champion Kevin Setnes, the latter bringing the total of formers USA national champions in attendance to 10.  A very interesting dark horse has been added to the women's field: Ann Heaslett, one of the top Americans this year from 50km through 100 miles, will be running her first 24 hour.  Even defending champion Sue Ellen Trapp exclaimed tonight, "Wow, what a women's field!"

The weather forecast is all over the place:  it could be as hot as the mid-80's during the day, and one report forecasts high winds.  Various other reports call for late afternoon and overnight precipitation, ranging from light showers to thunderstorms running into Sunday.  All reports agree that it will drop into the 50's overnight, and will only rise into the mid-60's (with heavy cloud cover) Sunday morning.

-Dan Brannen, reporting for AUA

September 5, 2002

Nine former champions, including the defending female and male champions, are returning to the Olander Park USA 24-Hour National championship, which starts at noon, Saturday, September 14.  As of September 4, ultrarunners from 25 states and Canada are entered.  Of this total 21% are female and 66% of all runners predict they will complete 100+ miles.

This is the 14th Olander Park 24-Hour Race and the 10th consecutive year it has been the US Track and Field Association’s National Championship.  The 1998 field of 166 ultrarunners was the largest ever in the world.

In 1993, Kevin Setnes of Eagle, WI, set the American road record of 160.4 miles in 24 hours at Olander Park.  That same year, Sue Ellen Trapp Ft. Myers, Fl, set the American women’s record (road and overall) of 145.3 miles at Olander Park.  That still stands and Trapp, now 56, has won this USATF National Championship 7 times and is 6 wins in 7 tries at Olander Park.  Trapp has been on several national long-distance running teams.

Other returning champions, beside Trapp are Rudy Afanador, Long Island 151 miles, 2001; John Geesler, St. Johnsville, NY, 147 miles, 1995 and 157 in 2000; Tom Possert, Cincinnati, 142 miles, 1992; Roy Pirrung, Sheboygan, WI, 148 and 145 miles, 1988 and 1991.Sue Ellen Trapp, 136 in 1991, 126 in 1994 & 137 in 1996, 133.5 in 1999, and 126 in ’01, Bonnie Busch, Bettendorf, IA, 132 in 1995.

This USA Championship was first held in Atlanta in 1988, NYC in 1989, and Portland in 1990 and 1991, and Sacramento in 1992.  Only in Portland was it run on a track.  Prize money was never awarded until this event came to Olander Park.  The top 5 males and females earn prize money here, with $500 going to the overall champions.  In addition Milcor and the Broadway (NY) Ultra Society are each offering $1,000 to any male or female who sets a world record for total distance.

The Alley Pond Striders, Queens, NY, are $200 to any male or female who sets an American record for total distance.

The Toledo Road Runners Club will award $100 to the runner who came the longest distance (from Toledo) and runs at least 100 miles.

Runners are fed and drinks are furnished throughout the 24 hours, although many bring their own special foods, drinks and crews.  Massage therapists stay on site, as does Sports Care from ProMedica.

Ultrarunners consider Olander Park a PR course because of the scenery and unique computerized scoring system.

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 at Olander Park.  Yiannis Kouros, 46, of Athens, Greece, set the all-time N. American record of 167.4 miles at Olander Park.  Mark Godale, 32, of Aurora, OH, set the American record of 162.5 miles at Olander Park in 1999.  Both Kouros and Godale will be shooting for 180.4 miles, the world road record.  Kouros is expected to enter on race day and go for the 150K or 200K world record.

Sue Ellen Trapp, the Florida dentist, had major knee surgery in 2001 but is looking forward to again winning here.  Five years ago, she set the women’s 48-hour world record (234 miles) in France.  She looks for stiff competition from Jody Lynn Reicher, Sandy Powell, Beth Simpson, Bonnie Busch, Jamie Huneycutt, and Ann Heaslett.

Anyone may enter this national championship, including racewalkers and walkers.  Lights are put up around the 1.0910-mile course.  The average distance covered in 2001 was 78.3 miles and four females were among the top 20 runners.

The Toledo Road Runners Club is the host for this national championship and provides over 100 volunteers.  Olander Park staff keeps the course and facilities in excellent shape through the weekend and many nearby residents in the neighborhood lend a hand.

About 20 area untrarunners generally enter this event.  One area favorite is John Nichols, 36, of Waterville, 13th in 1997 with 120 miles.  Nichols set a course record while winning a June 100-mile race in OH.

The 2002 Olander Park USA 24-Hour National Championship will be live on the Internet on race day.  The website for race day is

Tom Falvey 
Race Director

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