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March 4, 2008

Wardian Sets USA 50km Championship Race Record at Caumsett State Park

Caumsett State Park, NY --- At yesterday’s USA 50km Road Championships 33-year-old Michael Wardian, Arlington, VA, bested Richard Holloway’s 1981 record of 2:55:54 by 49 seconds. His time of 2:55:05 was also a course record bettering Greg Crowther’s winning time of 3:04:35 set at last year’s event over the same course.

Wardian led from the gun in the hopes of setting an aggressive early pace to chase the 2002 American Record of 2:51:48 set by Alex Tilson at the Silicon Valley Ultra Classic. He was on record-setting pace for the first nine laps averaging just under 15 minutes per 2.63 mile loop. Race organizers were certain the course record would be broken and thought Wardian still had a chance for the record after 10 laps, but it would mean very brisk final laps and he was slowing. “I knew I didn’t have the record when I looked at my watch with one mile to go, but I hoped I’d get the championships record,” said Wardian.

Watching the record-breaking attempt was Bob Sweeney, a multi-time member of the USA 100km National Team, “Even though Mike didn’t get the record today, his effort was very impressive.”

Jason Saitta, 30, Parker, CO, the 2006 50km Champion (3:05:59), finished second to Wardian with a time of 3:11:15 and Adam Lint, 24, Patton, PA, rounded out the top three in 3:14:48.

Dana Parrot, 38, Tampa, FL, led the women’s race from the start and finished in 3:50:44. Second in the championships was Jodi Kartes Heino, 37, East Quogue, NY in 4:21:39, followed by Emmy Stocker, 49, Cos Cob, CT with a time of 4;26:08.

In spite of the brisk temperatures – the mercury never rose much above 40 and with the wind chill, it felt even colder for much of the day – some quality performances were posted. “It was great to see 17 men go under 4 hours today,” said Roy Pirrung, USATF Mountain Ultra Trail Vice Chairperson who also raced in the event. Pirrung finished in 4:17:22 to win the 55-59 age group.

One of those notable performances was that of Dan Verrington, 45, Bradford, MA, who set a pending age group record with his fifth place effort of 3:17:29. Verrington also holds the honor of winning the 2001 USA 50km Championships.

This year’s event was hosted by the Long Island Track & Field Club and was held for the third consecutive year in Caumsett State Historic Park, the fourth largest of Long Island’s 25 state parks. The park boasts 1500 acres and is located 35 miles from New York City. The event will be held at Caumsett for the next three years.

Thirteen states were represented in the results with runners from their 20s to several competitors over 70 years of age. All registrants received a T-shirt and each finisher received a medal and an eco-friendly canvas bag embossed with the race logo. A special touch from the race was to provide personal finisher results for each competitor at the event. The print out included each lap time, overall time, place finish, and division place. For complete results see the event webpage.

The next USA MUT Championship will be the USA 100 km Championship hosted by the Mad City 100K in Madison, WI on April 12. To see the complete list of 2008 USA MUT Championships for open and masters athletes click here.


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