Clement and Gardner crowned USA 100 Mile Champions
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
USA Track & Field
SYLVANIA, Ohio - (September 14, 2003) - Tim Clement of Solon, Ohio surprised everyone and Connie Gardner of Medina, Ohio surprised no one in taking the USA national 100 mile road titles today at Olander Park in Sylvania, Ohio. The terms of the race were dictated early by a bright, baking sun which was relentless for the first 7 hours of the race, which started Saturday at 10:00am, sending the mercury into the mid-80s farenheit. Although most of the expected contenders on both the men's and distaff sides positioned themselves in contention early, the weather conditions slowed the overall pace of the field from the start, resulting in less than spectacular final times.
Nevertheless, Gardner's winning 16:22:15 is a USA Championship Record, surpassing the 16:41:26 of Christine Gibbons from 1989. Her winning margin was one of the largest in championship history, as she finished some 7+ miles clear of runner-up Janet Runyan of Boulder, Colo. Unheralded Tucson, Arizona's Lynda Hendricks-Dana took the bronze. Gardner, the 2002 USA 100K champion, ran unchallenged wire-to-wire, gradually extending her lead from start to finish.
The 42-year-old Clement was faced with a different kind of race on route to his 14:01:01 win. A top-10 contender throughout in a relatively tightly-bunched field, he was basically the only one who never faltered. His strength was his ability to run strongly and boldly through the difficult 3rd quarter of the century race, strategically taking advantage of every weakness of those around him. The only challenger who didn't falter in his wake was 25-year-old Joe Gaebler of Boulder, Colo. The upstart youngster spent most of the last 20 miles gradually closing a half-hour gap on the leader, culminating in a dramatic moment exactly one hour before the finish. Having closed to within 30 seconds of the lead, Gaebler began to wobble and almost collapsed. He took a short break, then had to walk most of the next 1.1 mile lap before finding his rhythm and coaxing his body in for the silver medal. David Jones of Eagleville, Tenn. rounded out the top 3.
By Dan Brannen, Running USA wire
Olander Park 100 Mile: USA Men's, Women's and Masters Championship
Sylvania, OH, Sat/Sun, September 13-14, 2003
1. Tim Clement, 42, Solon,OH, 14:01:01 $500 2. Joe Gaebler, 26, Boulder,CO, 14:25:25 $300 3. David Jones, 51, Eagleville,TN, 15:18:48 $200 4. Kent Towler, 42, Rock Island,IL, 15:39:01 $175 5. Kevin Setnes, 49, Eagle,WI, 15:45:59 $150 6. Stephen Godale, 34, Aurora,OH, 15:50:41 7. Mark Godale, 33, Aurora,OH, 15:58:22 8. Alex Swenson, 39, Oak Park,IL, 16:12:51 9. Chris Gibson, 50, Pittsburgh,PA, 17:20:45 10. David Corfman, 41, Cincinnati,OH, 17:46:08
1. Connie Gardner, 39, Medina,OH, 16:22:15+ $500 2. Janet Runyan, 44, Boulder,CO, 17:45:43 $300 3. Lynda Hendricks-Dana, 43, Tucson,AZ, 19:40:44 $200 4. Kim Martin, 38, Medina,OH, 20:04:28 $175 5. Susan Hart, 37, Reserve,NM, 20:37:46 $150 +USA Championship Record