INDIANAPOLIS - The stars of ultramarathoning will head to Madison, Wisconsin this Saturday for the USA 100 km Championships. The championships will be hosted for the first time by the Mad City 100K and has also received a proclamation from Wisconsin Governor, Jim Doyle proclaiming this week Mad City 100K National Championship Week.
The distance, 100 kilometers, is just over 62 miles with competitors running a 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 U.S. male and female finishers in the championships division with the champions taking home $2,000.
Top U.S. athletes vying for the championship will include:
Greg Crowther, 33, Seattle, Wash. Just last month, Crowther won the USA 50 km Championship.
Scott Jurek, 33, Seattle, Wash., a top U.S. ultramarathoner, he has won the Western States 100-mile race a record seven consecutive times.
Chad Ricklefs, 39, Boulder, Colo., a former member of the U.S. team for the World Cup 100 km. Ricklefs posted the fastest 50 mile race of the year in 2004 and won the national championship.
The women's field features four past U.S. team members:
Nikki Kimball, 35, Bozeman, Mont. Kimball was the USA 50 Mile Trail champion in 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006, and added the road race title in 2005.
Julie Udchachon, 36, Eagle River, Alaska. A rookie member of the U.S. team last year, Udchachon finished the World Cup 100 km in Korea as the third American.
Carolyn Smith, 41, Milwaukee, Wis. Smith also has U.S. national team credentials. Among other international ultramarathons, she finished 11th in the world at the 2005 24-hour run championships, helping the U.S. win the team bronze medal.
At stake are possible spots on the U.S. team going to The Netherlands for the 2007 World Cup 100 km in September. American men must run a qualifying time of 7 hours, 20 minutes. The standard for women is 8 hours, 40 minutes.
For more information on the 2007 MUT circuit visit www.usatf.org.