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April 20, 2005

Funding the US 100K Team:  The USU Fund

We'd like to invite you to become a part of a unique funding effort: the Ultrarunners Supporting Ultrarunners [USU] FUND. It's a chance for you to help twelve of America's best ultrarunners represent the US at the annual International Association of Ultrarunners [IAU] 100K World Challenge, the most competitive ultradistance road race in the world.

The USU FUND is designed to help send the USA 100K Team to the first ultrarunning event in the world to feature official national team competition. The 100K World Challenge is held annually, at different locations around the world, where the best of the best gather to compete in the one language they share: running long and hard.

Since the team's establishment by USA Track & Field in 1991 and its participation in the first IAU 100K World Challenge in Faenza, Italy during May of that year, the US Ultrarunners have proved themselves as the most successful American distance running team in world competition. To date, the United States has brought home seven team medals and three individual medals from the IAU sanctioned 100K World Challenge events.

Unlike many of the countries which compete in the World Challenge each year, the United States does not fully fund its team's travel expenses. Although the organization which administers the 100K team is the same one that fully funds track and field teams to go to the Olympics and World Championships, there is no money is set aside for our ultrarunning representatives. This results in the competing athletes having to come up with much of the money involved in traveling to the event. In recent years, each team member has spent over $1000 of his or her own money, or funds raised through individual fund-raising, in order to represent our country at the 100K World Challenge. The founders of The USU FUND firmly believe that the criteria for team selection should be ultrarunning ability, not pocketbook depth. In an effort to ensure the United States is always represented by its best runners, we are contacting race directors around the country, asking them to reserve a slot on their entry blanks for each entrant to donate a dollar or more to the team. With The USU FUND, we hope to make team selection more equitable and to send our best runners to the World Challenge each year.

The 100K World Challenge in 2005 will be held on June 26 in Lake Saroma, on the island of Hokkaido in Japan. With your support, the USU FUND will offer some of America's best ultrarunners the chance to prove that the US ultrarunning community is indeed the best in the world. How can you contribute? Mail your tax-deductible contribution directly to the USU FUND. And the next time that the US team stands on the podium, you'll know that you helped put them there.

Thanks for your Ultra-Support! To make a tax-deductible contribution to the USU FUND, mail a check (any amount) payable to "USU FUND" to:

Stan Ferguson, Treasurer, 17 Caddo Dr., Conway, AR 72032-9158

USU Website: http://www.runarkansas.com/USU/ 

Questions: usufund@hotmail.com 

The USU Fund is a 501(c)3 organization, verifiable at http://www.irs.ustreas.gov/prod/search/eosearch.html 

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