Jamie Donaldson of Littleton, Colo. improved her 2008 World 24 Hour Run Championship finish by one place, finishing 4th at the 7th International Association of Ultrarunners' event held this weekend on a 1K road loop through the center of the Italian city of Bergamo. In doing so, she led the U.S. women's squad to the team silver medal behind France.

Donaldson racked up 220.219K or 136.83 miles to finish 20th overall and top American (man or woman) in the combined men's / women's world title field which featured over 200 of the world's best long-range ultradistance runners.

Conditions were particularly challenging, a combination of unusually warm weather and uneven running surface relegating many contenders to the sidelines and rendering final distances relatively modest for such a strong field. Yet Donaldson and her fellow American distaff scorers, Annette Bednosky of Jefferson, North Carolina and Debra Horn of Shaker Heights, Ohio, as well as 4th American woman Carilyn Johnson of El Paso, Texas - all motivated throughout the day and night by the knowledge that they were podium contenders - each achieved personal best performances.

The individual world titles were taken by unheralded Henrik Olsson of Sweden and Anne-Cecile Fontaine of France, who finished 3rd overall in the field after having only Olsson ahead of her until the final hour of the race. For the gold medal, Olsson covered 257.042K / 159.71 miles, while Fontaine hit 243.644K / 151.39 miles. The U.S. men's team was beset by injuries and heat-related illness and did not factor in the team competition.

7th IAU 24 Hour Run World Championship   
Bergamo, Italy, Sat-Sun, May 2-3, 2009

1) Henrik Olsson, Sweden, 257.042K / 159.71 miles
2) Ralf Weis, Germany, 244.492K / 151.92 miles
3) Yuji Sakai, Japan, 242.713K / 150.81 miles
4) Vladimir Bychkov, Russia, 240.506K / 149.44 miles
5) Eoin Keith, Ireland, 227.206K / 141.17 miles

1) Anne-Cecile Fontaine, France, 243.644K / 151.39 miles
2) Brigitte Bec, France, 234.977K / 146.00 miles
3) Monica Casiraghi, Italy, 223.848K / 139.09 miles
4) Jamie Donaldson, USA, 220.219K / 136.83 miles
5) Julia Alter, Germany, 219.293K / 136.26 miles

Results and more at:

2009 World 24 Hour -The U.S. Team "EVERYTHING" Page:
Results, Reports, First-Person Accounts, Photo Essay