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Joe Gray Wins U.S. 50K Road Championships

Shanna Ailes-Istnick placed first in the women's race.

Shanna Ailes-Istnick placed first in the women’s race.

From: Running USA

LLOYD HARBOR, N.Y. — For the sixth consecutive year, the Greater Long Island Running Club, one of the largest running clubs in the U.S., hosted the USA 50K Road Championships at the Caumsett State Park Preserve on Sunday.

This year’s national champion in the men’s division was newcomer to the distance, Joe Gray, 28, Newcastle, WA, who produced a near course record time of 2 hours, 56 minutes, 43 seconds. Gray was pursuing the U.S. record, but ran out of gas over the final lap on the 5K (3.1 mile) meandering course, just missing runner-up Michael Wardian’s course record of 2:55:05 from 2010.

Wardian, who ran to a runner-up 2:22 marathon finish the day before in Texas, clocked 3:02:55. Wardian was the silver medalist at the 2011 IAU 100K World Championships and won USATF’s Ted Corbitt Award as Ultra Runner of the Year, while Gray was last year’s USATF Mountain Runner of the Year. Rounding out the top three was Todd Braje in 3:06:21.

On the women’s side, 33-year-old Shanna Ailes-Istnick, Kent, OH, ran consistent laps for the national title in 3:36:50, more than 10 minutes ahead of Tracy Meder’s 3:47:10. Annette Bednosky, a past member of the 100K and 24-Hour National Teams, placed third in 3:48:45. Jodi Schoppmann, who was last year’s national champion and owns the course record of 3:20:12, did not participate this year.

Highlighting the Masters race was a fourth-place finish by 60-year-old, Kathryn Martin (left, PhotoRun), who set several pending national records en route to an impressive 3:58:37 finish (a 60-64 U.S. age group 50K record). Her splits at 20K, 25K, 30K and her finishing time are eligible for records.

“Over the years, the GLIRC has seen continued growth in its championship race,” said Carl Grossbard, race director, “I am pleased our club can host a high caliber event and showcase the talents of ultra runners, both locally and nationally.”

The race has already been awarded the USA 50K Road Championships for 2013, and organizers plan to bid for future years.

USA 50K Road Championships
Caumsett State Park, NY, Sunday, March 4, 2012

1) Joe Gray, 28, Newcastle, WA, 2:56:43
2) Michael Wardian, 37, Arlington, VA, 3:02:55
3) Todd Braje, 35, San Diego, CA, 3:06:21
4) Scott Leslie, 30, Rutland, MA, 3:11:43
5) Josh Ferenc, 30, Saxtons River, VT, 3:11:43

1) Shanna Ailes-Istnick, 33, Kent, OH, 3:36:50
2) Tracy Meder, 32, Stow, OH, 3:47:10
3) Annette Bednosky, 45, Jefferson, NC, 3:48:45
4) Kathryn Martin, 60, Northport, NY, 3:58:37
5) Emily Uhlig, 25, Bellingham, WA, 4:01:57

Complete results can be found at: