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Ultra runners prepare for USATF 100K Road Championships in Madison, Wisconsin


MADISON, Wisconsin -- The 2018 USATF 100K Road Championships will be held in Madison, Wisconsin on a new 5K loop course on Saturday, April 7. Warner Park is the venue for this year’s 100K, hosted by Mad City 100K, just down the street from the governor’s mansion.

Twenty-five 100K runners will take to the start line at 6:30 AM. The course will close at 7:30 PM, providing plenty of time for runners to navigate the 5K loop twenty times.

While the weather cannot be controlled, race director Timo Yanacheck and the local operating committee have attended to every detail to ensure the race is in order for accuracy and sanctioning. The 100K will be run under USATF and IAU rules and regulations. Additionally, assuming qualification times are met, the winning male and female will have automatic spots on the 2018 USATF 100K national team competing in Croatia on September 8, 2018.

Among the women, leading the elite field will be Traci Falbo, Liza Howard, and Denise Bourassa.

Traci’s credentials include American and world record holder indoor track 48 hour event, 4 time Team USATF member on both the 24Hr and 100K teams competing in world championships, gold medal in World Masters 100K age group 45-49, 1st at Tunnel Hill 100 (American Trail 100 Record at the time), 1st at Burning River 100, a Grand Slam of Ultrarunning finisher. Traci won the 2016 Mad City (USATF 100K National Championship). Traci’s home is in Jeffersonville, IN.


Liza hails from San Antonio, TX, and is a very seasoned runner having achieved success in several high-profile races. Her wins include Umstead 100 mile, Javelina 100 with a course record at the time, Rocky Raccoon 100 mile, she was the 2011 USATF 50 mile national champion, and has won the high altitude Leadville 100 mile among her many achievements.


From St. Louis, MO, Denise Bourassa has the fourth fastest Grand Slam finishing time to her credit, having done four 100 mile races in 10 weeks, including being 8th at Western States and 4th at Wasatch in 2014. The “100 Miles of Istruia”, part of the Ultra Trail World Tour, took Denise to Croatia in 2016 where she finished 3rd in a very strong women’s field. In 2015 at the Ultra-Trail Du Mont Blanc, as part of Team Patagonia, she was the 14th female. Denise has 3 wins to her credit during 2018 already at Land between the Lakes 60K, 12 Hr Howard Aslinger Memorial Endurance Run, and the Beulah Challenge 9 Hr.


The men’s field has several standouts, but among the favorites are Eric LiPuma, Geoff Burns, and Chad Ricklefs.

LiPuma, of Boulder, CO, most recently won the 2018 50K USATF National Championship in 3:03:50. In July, 2017, he shared the win at the Big Horn 100 mile with three others in oppressive rainy conditions.

Burns from Ann Arbor, MI, is quite familiar with the Mad City event having won the 2016 100K National Championship when the course was at Vilas Park in what continues as the course record in 6:30:37. This is the third fastest ever by an American. The win put him on the 2016 USATF 100K National Team competing at IAU 100K World Championships in Spain where he took  5th place in the world at 6:38:34 and was part of the bronze medaling US team.

Chad Ricklefs, another runner from Boulder CO, has an envious resume of ultrarunning experience and is the most experienced master’s runner. He has a 50-mile PR of 5:24 and a 100K PR of 7:01. En route to those PRs, he has been on several national 100K teams competing in world championships. Ricklefs has been competing in ultramarathons at a national level since 1998 and reached an all-time high in his career in 2007, placing 17th overall at the 2007 IAU 100 km World Cup. He has been named the USATF Ultrarunner of the Year, Ultramagazine Runner of the Year, has twice won the prestigious Leadville Trail 100 Mile, and has been a previous 100K and 50 mile road national champion. From 2002 – 2011, Ricklefs represented the USA on then 100K national teams. At age 50, he does not show any signs of slowing down., the company that handles the race day timing have set up a webcast to track runners during the USATF 100K Road Championships. You may view updates of runner/team progress under the "Webcast" tab through this link.

Contributed by Lin Gentling

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