May 12, 2005
2005 Mohican Trail 100 mile Run: The 2005 USA 100 Mile Trail Championship
Eric Clifton, age 45, of Albuquerque, will compete in the 2005 Mohican Trail 100 Mile Run, to be held on June 18 and 19 near Loudonville, Ohio. Clifton has been one of the top ultramarathon runners in the United States, especially in the increasingly popular trail run venues, for the past fifteen years or more. Clifton's achievements include championships at fourteen different races of 100 miles or longer. He has the course record at the JFK 50 Mile Run in Md. (5 hours, 46 minutes), and currently holds the race records for five different 100 mile trail runs, with the fastest being his 13 hour 16 minute time at the Rocky Raccoon 100 Mile Run in Texas, set in 1996. While Clifton has occasionally been criticized for bailing out of a race when things when it does not appear he will be victorious, his statistics reveal that he has completed 127 out of 174 ultramarathons attempted. Of the 174 attempts, Clifton has placed first, or tied for first, in 57 races. He has run the Mohican Trail 100 Mile once, setting the course record (since improved twice) in 1995.
In the course of the Mohican Trail 100 Mile, runners ascend, and descend, over 11,000 vertical feet (roughly the total vertical equivalent of two trips from the rim to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and back). Weather can be a major factor. Temperatures during the event have run the gamut from 40 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and trail conditions vary as well, with numerous miles of slippery mud adding to the challenge during the more rainy years. On the plus side, runners say, the natural beauty of the forested trails helps to distract them from the difficulties and, during the night, fireflies, starlight and the sounds of night birds and crickets can help to make the run a surrealistic experience.
This will be the 16th consecutive year for the Mohican Trail 100 Mile, which will this year be the first ever USA 100 Mile Trail championship, sanctioned by USA Track and Field. Mohican course changes for 2005 will result in the replacement of over 15 miles of road by additional new single-track trail, making the course more challenging than ever. The race records are 15 hours 11 minutes for men, set by Courtney Campbell of Va., and 18:53:20 for women, set by Janice Anderson of Ga., both in 1999. Runners are allowed up to 30 hours to officially complete the event. Clifton has predicted a finish in 15 hours, the fastest predicted time among runners who have entered up to this point.
The Mohican Trail 100 Mile Run is one of more than 30 100-mile races in North America. The 100-mile run is arguably the most popular distance among ultramarathoners (aka ultrarunners). An ultramarathon is any running event longer than the marathon (26 miles, 385 yards), with events ranging from the shortest standard event of 50 kilometers (31 miles) to transcontinental treks such as foot races across the United States.
The Mohican 100 is organized by Cleveland West Road Runners along with strong local administrative support, with as many as 150 entrants expected. The event has a reputation among ultramarathoners for excellent organization, volunteer support, and aid. With the designation of the race as the USA championships comes prize money, to be awarded to male and female winners in various divisions. All runners who complete the event will continue to receive the unique finisher's belt buckle award.
Further information is available at the race web site: www.mohican100.org , or by contacting Robin Fry, Mohican Trail 100 Mile Run Publicity Coordinator, at: firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling him at 419.207.8216. Release written by Robin Fry, with editing by Mackenzie L. Fry of "This Week Newspapers", Columbus, Oh.
For a list of all MUT National Championships go to the USATF website: http://www.usatf.org/groups/MountainUltraTrail/news/2005Nationals.asp