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November 15, 2004

Central Mass Striders Defend Team Title; Dudley and Riddle Take Individual Crowns

On Sunday, November 14, approximately 50 runners toed the starting line in Peachtree City, Georgia to determine the USATF 50 KM Open, Team and Masters champions. The men's race looked to be a contest between 2:14 marathoner Mike Dudley, 2:24 marathoner Kevin Beck, USA Marathon Trail runner-up Ben Nephew, and reigning 50K road champ Dan Verrington. On the distaff side, Anne Riddle was the clear favorite, fresh off her victory two weeks ago at the USA Marathon trail championships.

The race was hosted by the Darkside Running Club and was held on a small portion of the 80 miles worth of golf cart paths in the city. The course was on a certified 5.2 mile loop, with gently winding turns and occasional rolling hills. The course required passing through a number of tunnels, with low ceilings and a slightly claustrophobic feeling, and this year included circumventing a large tree that had apparently fallen the night before and managed to completely block the path. The weather conditions were excellent with temperatures at the start in the upper 30's, climbing into the low 50s by the end of the day. The sky was crystal clear and the humidity low, but runners had to deal with windy conditions, especially in the few open areas near the small lakes seen throughout the course.

The Central Mass. Striders (CMS) team lead a small group of runners through the first three laps. On the fourth lap Dudley broke from the pack and slowly extended his lead through the second half of the race. He finishing strong completing in his first ultra in 3:05:34. Beck, also completing his first ultra, was less than a minute behind. Nephew and Verrington slowed slightly but helped the CMS team bring home defend their 50 km team championship title. Verrington also took home the men's masters title. Anne Riddle finished 8th place overall in 3:39:58, just over 5 minutes ahead of newcomer, Floren Ansley, who was also in the top 10 in 3:44:52. The women's masters winner was not far behind, as Patricia Zerfas finished in 3:51:41. Local teams fared well as the Atlanta Track Club (ATC) won the women's team title and placed second for the men.

Peachtree City 50K
USA 50 km Championship
November 14, 2004

1 Mike Dudley 34 ATC 3:05:35 USATF National Champion
2 Kevin Beck 34 CMS 3:06:25
3 Ben Nephew 29 CMS 3:11:15
4 Dan Verrington 42 CMS 3:16:40 USATF Master Champion
5 Dave Dunham 40 CMS 3:27:14 2nd 40+
6 Danny Fink 41 ATC 3:33:50 3rd 40+
7 Ryne Melcher 25 3:34:33
8 Anne Riddle 38 3:39:58 USATF National Champion
9 Jack McDermott 35 3:44:00
10 Floren Ansely 28 ATC 3:44:56 2nd Female
11 Regan Petrie 38 ATC 3:51:21 3rd Female
12 Patricia Zerfus 42 3:51:40 4th Female USATF Masters Champion
18 Janice Anderson 38 ATC 4:20:03 5th Female
20 Robert Newcomer 45 ATC 4:26:19

For complete results, including all USATF age group winners, see the attached spreadsheet.


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