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April 2, 2007

Mad City to Host Top Runners for the 2007 USA 100 km Championship

Madison, Wisconsin – The Mad City 100K will be held on Saturday, April 7. Although event will not start until sunrise on Saturday, race director Tim Yanacheck promises that the stars will be shining that morning in Madison. “The stars of ultramarathoning will be here,” said Yanacheck.

The competition will be intense at Mad City since it serves as the 2007 US National 100 Kilometer Road Championships. “We were thrilled to see the bid from Mad City this year at the USATF Convention. The USATF Mountain Ultra Trail Council (MUT) overwhelmingly supported the event as a championship and Tim and his crew have done an excellent job since December with the planning of the event,” said Nancy Hobbs, chairperson of the USATF MUT council.

The distance, 100 kilometers, is just over 62 miles. Competitors will run the scenic 10-kilometer course around Lake Wingra ten times providing support crews and spectators many opportunities to see the athletes during the event. There is a 13 hour time limit to complete the race.

Over 50 ultramarathoners from around the country are slated to compete. They will converge at the start line just before sunrise for the 6:30 a.m. start in Madison’s Vilas Park. The prize purse is $9,650 to be awarded to the top six (6) male and female finishers in the Championships division (which is limited to USATF members) as follows: 1st - $2,000, 2nd - $1,200, 3rd - $750, 4th - $500, 5th - $250, 6th $125.

Athletes vying for the prize money include:

• Greg Crowther, 33, Seattle. Just last month, Crowther won the US 50-kilometer national road championship and set a course record of 3:04 and he wants the double 50K – 100K crown. He won the prestigious Sunmart 50-mile trail run in December. Crowther ran on the US national team at the World Cup in Japan in 2005.

• Scott Jurek, 33, Seattle. For Jurek , a living legend among ultramarathoners, 100 kilometers is one of his shorter races. He won the Western States 100-mile race a record seven consecutive times. He won the notorious 135-mile Badwater Ultramarathon through Death Valley in 2005 and 2006. Last year Jurek also won Greece’s famed 246K race, the Spartathlon, the first American ever to do so.

• Chad Ricklefs, 39, Boulder, Colorado. A former member of the US national team, Ricklefs ran the fastest 50 mile race of the year in 2004 and won the national championship. He has won the legendary high-altitude Leadville Trail 100 mile race twice.

• Patrick Russell, 31, Minneapolis. Russell proved he is on track when he set a personal best at 50 miles earlier this year, winning the Rocky Raccoon Trail race in Texas. He is a veteran of World Cup competitions, running for the US national team in 2005 and 2006.

The women’s field is also very strong, according to Yanacheck, and includes at least four members of US national teams:

• Nikki Kimball, 35, Bozeman, Montana. Kimball was the national 50-mile trail race champion at 50 miles in 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006, and added the road race title in 2005. She has been a US national team member every year since 2001, including 2005 when the American women won the team gold medal.

• Julie Udchachon, 36, Eagle River, Alaska. A rookie member of the US national team last year, Udchachon finished the World Cup 100K in Korea as the third American. In a record-breaking performance in 2005, she finished second in the famous JFK 50-mile race to then-national champion Anne Riddle Lundblad.

• Carolyn Smith, 41, Milwaukee. Smith also has US national team credentials. Among other international ultramarathons, she finished 11th in the world at the 2005 24-hour run championships, helping the US win the team bronze medal.

Does Yanacheck have a favorite in the race? He doesn’t hesitate. “My favorite”, he boasts, “is my wife.” Yanacheck just happens to be married to Ann Heaslett, 43, Madison, former national champion at 50 miles and in the 24-hour run. Heaslett has also been a member of the US national ultramarathon team at the IAU World Cup 100Km four times. Most recently, she has been concentrating on Ironman-distance triathlons, but Yanacheck thinks the opportunity to run a big-time ultramarathon in her hometown was too much to resist. “Just like me, Ann likes home-cooking,” Yanacheck said.

The Mad City 100K could produce some fast times by a couple of “senior” Wisconsin men:

• Roy Pirrung, 58, Sheboygan. Pirrung is a world masters champion and American open and masters champion. He has broken over 50 national records and holds 50 national titles. Since 1981, Pirrung has run 80 marathons and 122 ultramarathons, along with over 500 other events. Perhaps most remarkable of all: Pirrung has completed every race he has started.

• Kevin Setnes, 53, Eagle. Setnes was US national champion in this event three times, in 1996, 1997, and 1999. In the 1993 national championship 24-hour run, Setnes set the American record by covering over 160 miles, and repeated as champ in 1999.

At stake are possible spots on the US national team going to The Netherlands for the 2007 World Cup 100-kilometer race in September. American men must run a qualifying time of 7 hours, 20 minutes. The standard for women is 8 hours, 40 minutes.

The winners of the Mad City 100K - male and female - will receive prize money of $2,000 each. “This will be a big pay day for an ultramarathoner,” said Yanacheck. “It’s still an amateur sport. These superb athletes run for the love of running.”

To a run a 100-kilometer race, you have to love it a lot.

 

For more information on the race, see the Mad City 100K website or contact RD Tim Yanacheck at timo@madcity100k.com 

For more information on the US 100 km Team, see the 100 km event website.

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