For the third year in a row, the Burning River 100 Mile Endurance Run will host the USA 100 Mile Trail Championships Saturday and Sunday, July 28-29, in Northeast Ohio.
Both champions return to defend their titles in Dave James and three-time Burning River 100 champion Connie Gardner. James won the race in 2011 in a time of 15:57:43 and Gardner’s winning time was 19:01:39.
“I will always want to run the Burning River 100,” Gardner said, who also claimed victories in the race in 2007 and 2009. “It’s my hometown race in my own backyard. I love sharing and showing off our beautiful National Park with other runners from around the country. I'm hoping for a hot, humid summertime day.”
“I have stepped up my training to levels equal to my 2009 form recently when I won three 100-mile races and ran most of the fastest 100-mile times in the world that year including my 13:06:52 in Cleveland,” James said, who will be racing his second Burning River 100. “I have incorporated altitude training into my regime spending lots of time on trails above 10,000 feet in Flagstaff, Ariz.”
The race, which starts in Willoughby Hills, Ohio, features a point-to-point course and ends in Cuyahoga Falls. The course runs along varying terrain that includes parts of three park systems – the Cleveland Metroparks, the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and the MetroParks serving Summit County. Approximately 350 runners are expected to participate in this year's Burning River 100.
"Once again we have a great field, and with so many runners there may be some surprise performances at this year’s race,” Race Director Joe Jurczyk said.
More information on the 2012 USA 100 Mile Trail Championships can be found at www.usatf.org.