8/27/2003: USA 100 Mile Run Championship on Tap Sept. 13
On the Sept. 13-14 weekend, the American Ultrarunning Association will
join forces with the Toledo Road Runners to host the 2003 USA 100 Mile
Roadrunning Championship at Olander Park in Sylvania, Ohio.

The pancake-flat, traffic-free, shaded 1.09-mile loop in Olander Park has
been the venue for the last 10 consecutive USA 24-Hour Run Championships. 
It is now offering a change of pace at the 100 mile championship distance,
as an opportunity for American
ultrarunners to resurrect a great, but almost forgotten, chapter of
national championship history.

It will be the first USA 100 mile run championship in 14 years.


-by Dan Brannen, Executive Director, American Ultrarunning Association

The first USA Championship longer than 50 miles was the 1983 100 Mile
Championship.  The event was hosted by the New York Road Runners Club and was
conducted on a 1-mile loop in and around Shea Stadium in Queens, New York. 
The inaugural USA 100 Mile Champion was Ray Scannell, with a winning time
of 13:16:02.  The USA 100 Mile Championship continued to be held annually at 
the same venue through 1987.  The subsequent USA champions

1984 - Lion Caldwell, 13:56:26
1985 - Don Jewell, 14:39:46
1986 - Lion Caldwell, 13:53:16
1987 - Roy Pirrung, 15:00:08

During this era USA Track & Field made no provisions for USA Women's
Championships beyond 50 Miles.  In 1987 the rulebook was
rewritten to provide for equal USA championship opportunities for men and
women at all ultradistances.

The years 1987 and 1988 were transition years for the USA Ultramarathon
Championship program.  In 1987 the USA 100km (62.127 miles) Championship was
instituted, and in 1988 the inaugural USA 24-Hour Run Championship was
held.  In 1988 there was no USA 100 Mile Championship.

In 1989 the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team hosted the USA 100 Mile
Championship on a 1-mile road loop in Flushing Meadow Park, Queens, New
York.  The inaugural (and so far only) USA Women's Champion was Christine
Gibbons, who ran the distance in 16:41:26.  Ahead of Gibbons, 1988 USA 100km
Champion Rae Clark extended his talents and won the Men's 100 Mile national
title with one of the landmark performances in U.S. ultra history, a
sterling American and World Road Record 12:12:19, averaging under 7:20 per mile
and beating runnerup Roy Pirrung by over an hour.

Following that race, the national championship emphasis turned away from
the 100 mile distance and focused on the emerging international standard
events of 100km and 24 Hours.

During these transition years in the late 80's the 100 mile trail run
(conducted in exotic, mountainous locations, often at extreme altitudes) grew
dramatically in popularity and quickly became the non-championship signature 
event of American ultrarunning.  In the early 80's there were only four
such events. By turn of the century the count was up to two dozen and still
growing.  Ironically, the 100 mile road venue fell out of favor and became
an orphan child of American ultrarunning.

Rae Clark's 12:12:19 remains the American 100 mile Road Record (the
American Track mark is 12:27:01, held by Bernd Heinrich).  Ann Trason holds both
the Road (13:47:42) and Track (14:29:44) American Records. Trason's Road
100 mile mark is also the World Record.  The Men's World 100 Mile Road Record 
is now held by Canadian Andy Jones (12:05:43, which he ran a few years ago 
at Olander Park during the 24-hour race.)

For more information on the 2003 USA 100 Mile Run Championship, check the
website of the American Ultrarunning Association:


AUA Home

AUA © 2003 All Rights Reserved.