This site is reserved for coverage of the 24 HOUR RUN WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP DRUMMONDVILLE, QUEBEC, CANADA, JULY 28-29, 2007

Friday, July 27... The U.S. Team has arrived and are preparing for the big race tomorrow.

Saturday, July 28... The race starts at 2:00PM Easter Time today.  We will provide updates during the course of the race if and as we are able to receive them.  WEATHER: the forecast is for high humidity, with sporadic rain showers and thundershowers, and temperatures ranging from the low 60's to low 80's Farenheit.


8 Hour Commentary from AUA: The race is now 1/3 over, and some fair assessments can now be made of how things are shaping up. In the Men's race, multiple world record holder and undisputed world #1 for almost 25 years, Yiannis Kouros of Greece, who was entered in the race, did not start. Among the co-favorites in his absence, Janos Bogar of Hungary leads Ryoichi Sekiya of Japan by one lap of the 2.2km course.  Russian Anatoly Kruglikov, who had been stalking Bogar, appears to have dropped from the race.  On the distaff side, Monica Casiraghi of Italy surprised by taking an early lead and holding it, continuing to work her way up through the men's field, now in the top 10 overall.  She has a 2-lap lead over co-favorite Sumie Inagaki of Japan and Brigitte Bec of France.  The Men's team race was expected to be 2-nation runaway by Japan and Russia, and that's how it is playing out.  What is surprising is the extent to which the Japanese are dominating the race at such an early stage. They generally tend to run a more event-paced race.  The Russians, on the other hand, generally tend to race hard early and then just hang on through whatever it takes, often exhibiting gladiatorial valor and suffering through the final 1/3 of the event.  Kruglikov, the dominant Russian over the last 20 years, took that approach and paid dearly for it already.  The Japanese men, now holding 3 of the top 7 spots, appear to be running a Russian-style race this time. Russia and Japan were also expected to dominate the Women's side, but the Russian women have been uncharacteristically conservative in the early stages.  While Casiraghi has been the biggest individual surprise, on the national team side the most unexpected development is the strong position of the American women.  Connie Gardner and Rebecca Johnson have been running in 4th and 6th place, and National Champ Carolyn Smith is currently 12th. Right now the American women are actually right in the thick of the team race with the Russians and Japanese.  Going into the race, the U.S. teams on paper did not appear to be among the stronger contingents ever sent to the event in the 6-year history of the World 24-Hour. Right now the American women look amazingly strong, and their male counterparts are comporting themselves better than expected too.  National Champ Alex Swenson leads the Yanks in 14th place, with the upstart and unheralded Phil McCarthy backing him up nicely only a few places behind.  The ageless wonder, almost-sexagenarian Roy Pirrung, currently rounds out the scoring team in 28th place.  They are among the top 5 teams at this point, with an outside shot at making the medals.  And anything can happen with 16 hours to go.


18 Hour Commentary from AUA:  What a difference a night makes!  Except for the rock-solid Japanese men (who are probably mostly competing with each other), it's an entirely different race from yesterday's.  The list of casualties is almost as impressive as the starting field.  Early leaders Janos Bogar of Hungary and Monica Casiraghi of Italy have fallen by the wayside. The vaunted Russian Men's team is in the process of falling apart.  Japan's leading lady, Sumie Inagaki, the world's most consistent long-range ultrarunner, has finally faltered and is not even the leading Japanese woman now. The Japanese men are having the team race of their life, holding 3 of the top 5 Men's spots.  In that top-10 echelon of the standings, the two strongest national men's teams are Japan and..... [are you sitting down?].... the USA. Alex Swenson came into the race as the best American male hope, with maybe an outside chance of breaking into the top 20.  Right now he is running 6th among the men, and isn't even the first American! The utterly unknown shocker of the race is American Phil McCarthy, who is running in 4th place.  The American men's team, for the first time in the 6-year history of this world championship, are actually challenging for the top team spot. Third man Roy Pirrung had a bad night and has fallen well back.  But Scott Eppelman, who early in the race was nowhere to be found, has moved from 70th to 36th place during the night.  If Eppelman can continue to move up (he has the competitive momentum), then the journeyman American team which came into the race with little hope of making even the top 10 has a realistic shot at the team silver medal. On the women's side, leading American Connie Gardner has fallen back and appears to be out of the race. The Russian women are now solidly in the lead, but the Japanese are still within striking distance.  Russian Lyudmila Kalinina is way out front, in 5th place overall, only one lap behind Phil McCarthy.  And she has the solid Russian distaff duo of Irina Koval and Galina Eremina behind her rounding out the top 5 women. At this point it appears virtually impossible for any other team to break into the top 2.  However, no other women's team has 3 solid-looking positions, so it appears the women's team bronze medal is still up for grabs among as many as 6 nations.  The American women have as good a shot as any of them. Rebecca Johnson is top American, but Carolyn Smith has moved well through the night and is catching up to her. Another surprise, the relatively unknown Deb Horn, is now running as 3rd American and is also moving well...... We'll try to update again with a few hours remaining in the race.

22 Hour Commentary from AUA: American Alex Swenson appears to have stopped at 20 hours. We don't have a first-hand communication link to the event site, so we don't know the reason for this.  It's a real shame for the U.S. Men, as Scott Eppelman is continuing to move up well through the field, but John Geesler is too far back to make up for Swenson's loss.  McCarthy is holding on to 4th place, but is being challenged now by Frenchman Fabein Hoblea.  Hoblea and Patrice Bruneteau have been right on the edge of the elite radar screen for the past 6 hours, and now they are really charging.  Suddenly the insurmountable lead of the Japanese men has become tenuous.  It could be a close race, with the French closing fast and the Japanese too spent to be able to respond.  Only Sekiya's position as winner seems assured.  Kalinina's individual victory now seems secure, but the Russian team gold is now in jeopardy as their third scorer, Irina Koval, has faltered badly and is hardly now making any forward progress. Lost in the previous excitement over national team standings was the unexpected high standing of Canadian Laurie McGrath.  She has been running steady and well throughout, and is about to move into 5th place, ahead of Koval. The top 3 American women are continuing to run well and may still have a shot at that free-for-all team bronze medal.

Post-Race Commentary from AUA:  American Phil McCarthy has held off the late charge by Frenchman Fabien Hoblea to finish 4th.  As expected, Ryoichi Sekia of Japan and Lyudimila Kalinina of Russia have won the individual world titles. The Japanese Men's team has prevailed over the late-charging Frenchmen, and the German Men's team squeezed past the American men during the last 1/2 hour to leave the Yanks one place out of the medals. The Russian women have won in a cakewalk over the Japanese, who barely stayed ahead of the French women by 2km.  The American ladies have finished 5th.  Final Individual Results are now posted HERE.