USATF Announces World Championship 24-Hour Run National Team


Jim Estes
Associate Director of LDR and Marketing
USA Track & Field

INDIANAPOLIS - Six women and six women will compete for Team USA at the 2010 International Association of Ultrarunners' 24-hour Run World Championship, to be held in Brive, France on May 13-14, 2010. The roster, featuring high-profile athletes such as Amy Palmiero Winters and Scott Jurek, was announced by USA Track & Field on Tuesday.

Athlete biographies are below.


Suzanna Bon, 45, Sonoma, CA. A mother o five children, Bon is a former elementary school teacher. She ran her first ultra in 2003 and has specialized in trail races, collecting numerous victories and course records. Her road ultra debut was a stunning 134.7-mile victory at the San Francisco 24 Hour Race in 2009.

Jamie Donaldson, 35, Littleton, CO. Donaldson is a middle school math teacher who has been the USA's top finisher at the 24-Hour Run World Championship the past two years, finishing fourth in 2009 world title race in Italy. She was runner-up to Kami Semick for Ultrarunning Magazine's Ultrarunner of the Year in those years and was a USATF athlete of the week in 2009. She is a two-time winner and women's course recordholder of the Badwater 135 mile race across Death Valley. She recently ran 21:01:28 to break the American track record for 200km.

Debra Horn, 50, Cleveland, OH. Horn is a partner in a Cleveland law firm who has rewritten age-group record books in ultrarunning. She recently broke the American Women's 50-54 age-group 12 Hour record with 72.96 miles. This will be Horn's fourth consecutive National 24-Hour Run team. In 2009 she was the #3 scorer on the U.S. Women's team that won the silver medal at the World 24-Hour in Italy, and she followed that with a bronze medal performance at the 2009 USA 24-Hour Run Championship. When not running or practicing law, Horn is a member of the Mayfield Curling Club's national champion team in the winter sport of curling.

Amy Palmiero Winters, 37, Hicksville, NY. The first amputee ever to be named to a USA national team, Palmiero Winters in 2009 won the "Race to the Future" on New Year's Eve, beating all able-bodied male and female finishers. Covering 130.04 miles in the 24-hour race, her performance qualified her for the national team. Palmiero Winters also won the women's division at the Heartland 100 Mile in October, earning USATF Athlete of the Week honors. She is a single mother of two who works as a youth fitness director, coach and motivational speaker. After a 1997 motorcycle accident and 27 surgeries, Palmiero Winters had her left leg amputated below the knee. She has subsequently become a single-leg below-the-knee amputee world record holder in over a dozen events (including the marathon and Ironman distance triathlon).

Jill Perry, 39, Manlius, NY. A relative newcomer to the sport of ultrarunning, Perry is a mother of five young children. She runs her own coaching service for running mothers when not training herself. Perry won the 2009 USA 24-Hour Run National Championship with 136.3 miles, moving into the top 10 all-time U.S. women. She is also the course record holder at the Umstead 100-mile in North Carolina.

Anna Piskorska, 37, Blandon, PA. A native of Gdansk, Poland, Piskorska became a U.S. citizen in 2006. She works for Occupational Health and Urgent Care in Reading, Pa. A runner for only 4 years, Piskorska quickly gravitated to ultra distances. She was women's silver medalist at the 2009 USA 24-Hour Championship with 132.6 miles.


Serge Arbona, 45, Baltimore, MD. Arbona is a self-employed handyman and father of two. He has been running and winning ultramarathons for almost a decade, with a racing range from 50km to 6 days. In July 2009 he won the "20 in 24" 24-Hour Race in Philadelphia with a total of 146.28 miles. This is his first national team.

John Geesler, 51, St. Johnsville, NY. The 3-time USA 24-Hour Run Champion and 5-time national team member returns to the team as an athlete, following one year as team manager. Geesler is the Maintenance Supervisor at a textile mill and is the current 48-hour American Road Record Holder with 248 miles. Most recently, he was silver medalist at the 2009 USA 24-Hour Run National Championship.

Michael Henze, 40, Neenah, WI. Henze is the Plant Controller for a packing company, and is relatively new to ultrarunning. He once weighed over 300 pounds before taking up running and dropping over athird of his body weight. Since taking up long distances he has never finished worse than second in an ultramarathon race. In June, 2009, he won and broke the course record at the FANS 24-Hour with 147.41 miles.

Scott Jurek, 36, Seattle, WA. Jurek is a physical therapist and running coach who is best known for his unprecedented seven consecutive wins and course record at the prestigious Western States 100-mile Endurance Run over the Sierra Nevada mountains. He has also won the 135-mile Badwater Ultramarathon in Death Valley, the Hardrock 100 Mile Race in Colorado, and the classic 153-mile Spartathlon (from Athens to Sparta) in Greece, where his winning performance is still second only to that of the legendary multiple world record holder Yiannis Kouros. Jurek has been named a Running Hero by Runner's World magazine and three times was voted Ultrarunner of the Year by Ultrarunning magazine. He is prominently featured in the NY Times bestseller, Born to Run, by Christopher McDougall. This will be his first time as a member of the 24-Hour Run National Team.

Phil McCarthy, 41, New York, NY. McCarthy is a classically trained pianist, singer, and composer. He won the 2009 USA 24-Hour Run National Championship with 151.49 miles and he has a personal best over 154 miles, set in the 2007 World 24-Hour Run Championship where he led the USA team with a fourth-place individual finish. In 2008 he finished second in the invitational Surgeres 48 Hour Run in France with 235 miles. This will be McCarthy's fourth consecutive 24-Hour Run National Team.

Dan Rose, 33, Washington, D.C. Rose is a Special Event Coordinator for the Library of Congress. A cancer survivor, he began his running career following treatments at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston by running the Boston Marathon to raise funds for the institute. He makes his first national team by virtue of his third-place finish at the 2009 USA 24-Hour Run National Championship with 139.22 miles. In November, Rose ran the length of the hilly 142-mile Horse-Shoe Trail from Valley Forge, Pa., to just north of Harrisburg, Pa., in under 33 hours.

Team Management Staff

Team Leader

Roy Pirrung, 61, Sheboygan, WI. Pirrung has been and athlete and manager for the first seven previous editions of the 24-Hour Run World Championship. He was the winner of the inaugural USA 24-Hour National Championship in 1988 and is a former American record holder for both the 24-Hour and 48-Hour runs. He is a member of the USATF Masters Hall of Fame.

Team Assistant Leader

Mike Spinnler, 51, Hagerstown, MD. Spinnler is President and Team Coordinator of the Cumberland Valley Athletic Club. He has served on five previous USA National Team Staffs, including the past 3 years with the 100Km team. Since 1993 he has served as the Executive Director of the JFK 50 Mile, America's oldest and largest ultramarathon, of which he is a former winner and course record holder.

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