June 26, 2005
U.S. 100 km Team Scores a Gold Medal in Japan
At today's IAU 100Km World Cup in Lake Saroma, Hokkaido, Japan, the American women's team earned a gold medal led by second-place finisher and silver medalist Anne Riddle-Lundblad, 38, Asheville, NC who posted a 7:54:22 just 40 seconds out of first place after a grueling 62.1 miles. Second for the American women was Nikki Kimball, 33 Bozeman, MT in 8:22:58 in seventh position and rounding out the scoring and also finishing in the top 10 was Tanya Pacev, 44, Lakewood, CO in ninth with a time of 8:29:19. The second place team was nearly 14 minutes behind the Americans. (The top three team members finish times are added together for the total.)
"At the 80K mark there was an out and back. We ran to about 88.5k and then turned around. When I saw Anne she was in fourth place and I told her she'd catch the third place gal, but the first two women I saw were so far ahead I thought for sure they'd go one-two. It was awesome to see Anne charge to the finish, pass the second place woman, and just miss first," remarked Howard Nippert, 39, Pembroke, VA the top U.S. male with an 8th place finish in 6:59:20.
Ann Heaslett, 41, Madison, WI ran a solid 8:55:50 to place 13th and Anthea Schmid, 33, Crested Butte was 16th in 9:11:55. Karen Scott, 37, Florissant, CO did not finish dropping out near the 80km mark.
Nippert was the only U.S. man to finish in the top ten, but two of his teammates finished with PRs including Patrick Russell, 28, Duluth, MN in 16th place with a time of 7:14:48 followed by Greg Crowther, 31, Seattle, WA in 20th with a time of 7:20:51. The team score put the men in fourth position after France, Japan, and Germany. Other U.S. team finishers were Scott Creel, 42, Bozeman, MT who ran 7:47:17 finishing in 28th position and Mark Werner, 32, Boulder, CO running 51st in 8:41:45.
"The course was really nice. Really flat for a few quick spurs of out and back and we ran the perimeter of the lake for quite a while. If the surf had been up, we'd have seen the water splashing. Patrick, Scott, and I ran together early on at 6:40 pace. We got to an aid station and all of a sudden Scott took off and was out of site. A little bit later, Patrick took off. I was still on 6:40 pace. Then at 60km I passed Patrick and at 65km I passed Scott. I was really looking forward to the out and back (at 80km) and some different terrain, but it was miserable. It was a path through a salt marsh. It was still on pavement with about two yards of gravel, more pavement, then 20 yard stretch of gravel, and the turn around. It was just hot," said Nippert.
Based on the selection criteria posted before the trip to Japan, "any American finisher in the top 10 male or female (up to six athletes for each team) at the 200X World Cup will receive automatic selection to the 200X+1 Team," four of the Americans earned berths on next year's 100km team (to be held in Korean in October 2006). Those four include the top three American women who all posted top-ten finishes and Nippert who finished eighth.
The USATF Selection Process and the lists of men's and women's performances that MUT used to select the 2005 team and alternates is available at www.usatf.org/groups/MountainUltraTrail/
For information on the 100K World Cup visit www.iau.org.tw/
To donate to the USU fund visit: www.run100s.com/USU/