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U.S. Wins Gold And Silver At 100K Championships

Mike Wardian and Andrew Henshaw earn silver and bronze medals at the 25th edition

Mike Wardian and Andrew Henshaw earn silver and bronze medals at the 25th edition.

From: Running USA

Giorgio Calcaterra of Italy was the first runner across the line at the 100K Championships last weekend.

WINSCHOTEN, The Netherlands — When Winschoten was selected to host the top 100K athletes for the 25th IAU World Championship, the invitation was eagerly accepted. With the most teams ever, at 34, and the most athletes, 230, it was clear the athletes wanted to be here to compete.

Michael Wardian, the day before stepping to the line, was awarded the 2010 IAU (International Association of Ultrarunners) Athlete of the Year Award. He gratefully thanked his wife and family, his sponsors and all the volunteers who continue to improve ultrarunning events. Winschoten is a community-based event, with every neighborhood trying to outdo the others, in decorating their homes and their streets, as well as cheering on passing runners on the 10K loop course.

Wardian, 38, of Arlington, Va. showed his gratitude in another way on Saturday when he and teammates, Andrew Henshaw and Matt Woods, went out hard, as part of their strategy to shake up the field and put the pressure on the other teams. Their knowledge of the composition of Team USA, and their significant depth, worked. Had one of the top 3 faltered the others would have been close by to fill in the top spots.

The only runner they couldn’t catch or intimidate was the eventual men’s winner Georgio Calcaterra of Italy, a former 100K world champion. Calcaterra ran away from the field to notch his second victory of the season, having won Italy’s famous del Passatore 100K, on May 28, breaking his course record in the process.

Calcaterra, 39, who said he was heat trained, dealt with the unusually high humidity and powered to a 6 hour, 27 minute, 32 second gold medal finishing time, followed by Wardian’s 6:42:49 (silver) and Henshaw’s 6:44:35 (bronze). Many in the field suffered heat related issues and left the course either at 70 or 80K.

The 100K team gold for the U.S. men was the first-time they topped the Worlds podium. Also appearing on the podium was multi-time team member Chad Ricklefs, taking a gold medal in the 40-44 World Masters Association-segment of the events of the day.

Following their presentation of the awards, the U.S. women were also called to the stage of the Sports Hall in the city’s center, led by 50-year-old Meghan Arbogast in 7:51:10, followed closely by Annette Bednosky in 7:54:59 and joined by Amy Sproston in 8:10:11 as scoring members of the silver medal team. Three of the team members also were medalists in the WMA portion of the event. Arbogast took the gold in 50-54, setting a world record as well as a pending 50-54 U.S. record, Bednosky silver in 40-44 and teammateCarolyn Smith silver in 45-49.

The women’s world champion was Marina Bychkova of Russia in 7:27:19. Like Calcaterra, she won handily.

Others USA Masters garnering medals were former 100K team members Kevin Setnes, taking home a bronze in the 55-59 age group and Roy Pirrung also a bronze in the 60-64.

Liesbeth Jansen was presented with the Order of Merit, by the Royal Dutch Athletics Federation for her years of service and dedication to the sport. She directed Run Winschoten for ten years as the RD for the 100K, which hosted the championships for the third time. Mayor Peter Smit noted that “Run City” would be interested in bringing the global championships back again.

25th IAU 100K World Championship
Winschoten, NED, Saturday, September 10, 2011

1) Georgio Calcaterra (ITA), 6:27:32, Gold
2) Michael Wardian (USA), 6:42:49, Silver
3) Andrew Henshaw (USA), 6:44:35, Bronze
4) Pieter Vermeesch (BEL), 6:47:01
5) Shinji Nakadai (JPN), 6:48:32
Other U.S.
6) Matt Wood (USA), 6:50:23
11) Chad Ricklefs (USA), 7:05:53
12) Joseph Binder (USA), 7:17:53

1) USA (Wardian, Henshaw, Woods), 20:11:47, Gold
2) Japan (Nakadai, Takada, Takahashi), 21:05:00, Silver
3) France (Bordet, Boch, Jeanne), 21:36:19, Bronze

1) Marina Bychkova (RUS), 7:27:19, Gold
2) Joanna Zakrzewski (GBR), 7:41:06, Silver
3) Lindsay Anne van Aswegen (RSA), 7:42:05, Bronze
4) Irina Vishnevskaya (RUS), 7:45:27
5) Meghan Arbogast (USA), 7:51:10
Other U.S.
6) Annette Bednosky (USA), 7:54:59
11) Amy Sproston (USA), 8:10:11
16) Pam Smith (USA), 8:16:45
26) Carolyn Smith (USA), 8:45:57

1) Russia (Bychkova, Vishnevskaya, Aksenova), 23:19:40, Gold
2) USA (Arbogast, Bednosky, Sproston), 23:56:20, Silver
3) Japan (Ochiai, Ito, Katayama), 24:35:13, Bronze

Deeper individual and team results at: