The Greater Long Island Running Club will host the 2020 USATF 50K National Championships Sunday, March 1, 8:30 AM at Heckscher State Park
On Sunday, March 1st, the 2020 USATF national 50K championship will once again return to Caumsett with one major difference. Due to a very large construction project at Caumsett State Park, this year only, the championship will take place at Heckscher State Park. Thus the name of the race for this year is Caumsett at Heckscher State Park 50K Championship and GLIRC 25K Run. Thanks to state park manager, Dave Auguste, course designer, Gary Westerfield, and timing partners from Elitefeats, the Greater Long Island Running Club has developed a 5 Kilometer loop at Heckscher that will be as good as, if not better than, the 5 Kilometer loop that is the basis for the Caumsett 50K/25K course. Everything else will stay the same.
Instrumental in the planning and execution of this race are Carl Grossbard, race director and vice president, Sue Fitzpatrick, executive director and Mike Polansky, president, all of the Greater Long Island Running Club, and the many outstanding volunteers from the GLIRC and surrounding area.
Multiple loops will be run on the certified flat and fast 5-kilometer course on the paths of Heckscher State Park, East Islip. Stunning views of the Great South Bay with Fire Island as the backdrop will be continuously visible.
Just within the last week, the International Association of Ultrarunning announced the 2020 50K World Championships to occur in Aquba, Jordan in November. As a result, the top male and female runner in the 50K national championship will gain an automatic berth to the US team providing each runs the qualifying time of 3:00 for the men and 3:33:00 for the women. With many of the top marathoners and 50K runners choosing to run in the Olympic Trials on Saturday, February 29, the fields may be under represented. Regardless, there will be some very impressive and elite athletes toeing the line for Sunday’s race.
Headlining the championship 50K will be Camille Herron, 38, Alamosa, CO. Camille’s very impressive resume puts her among the best ultra road runners in the world. She has won the 2015 50K world championship in Qatar, the 2015 100K world championship in The Netherlands, and most recently setting the world record by running 167.842 miles and winning the 2019 24 hour world championship in France. Throw in a win at the very competitive 2017 Comrades Marathon (about 56 miles) and a personal best 50K of 3:20:58, and Herron will be an athlete to watch at these championships.
Camille’s primary competition figures to be Laura Kline, 42, from Syracuse, NY. Kline placed 2nd at the 2018 USATF 50k road National Championship in 3:37:35 and 2nd Place at the 2016 USATF 50k road National Championship in 3:40:17.
On the men’s side, Eric LiPuma, 26, from Stowe, VT and Cole Crosby, 31, Princeton, NJ figure into the national championship bid. Lipuma, a graphic designer, was a member of the 2019 USA 50K team that competed in the world 50K championships in Brasov, Romania, crossing the finish line in 3:03:50. In a very competitive field at the 2019 50K national championships he finished in 5th place in 2:58:30. Meanwhile, Crosby just recently returned from Japan as a member of the US men’s snowshoeing team where the men took the silver medal. He placed 2nd at both the USATF 50 mile trail and 50 mile road national championships in 2019. Additionally, in 2019 he placed 6th at Caumsett 50K USATF national championship with a 3:03:14 clocking. He is equally versatile on the roads and trails will be looking for that elusive gold medal at Caumsett at Heckscher.
Others to watch include Kallin Khan, 23, Portland OR, and Cory Kool, 32, Manhattan, KS who ran the 2015 50K national championships in 3:06:08.
Also representing the age group masters runners in the 50K national championships will be ageless runners Roy Pirrung, 71, Plymouth, WI, and James Miner, 70, Dryden, NY. Pirrung has over 100 age group USATF national ultra championships to his credit and will be running in his 13th Caumsett 50K event Miner is a prolific runner primarily on the trails and a snowshoe racer. This will be his 5th Caumsett 50K race.
In addition to elite runners, March 1st will also see many runners participating in the Greater Long Island Running Club 25k, which starts 5 minutes after the 50k race.
In order to be eligible for any of the cash prizes, runners competing in the 50k championship event must be a US citizen and an active USATF member. The Caumsett 50K Championship offers a prize purse in the following amounts and categories: $500; $150; $100 respectively to the top three Male and Female Open and Masters finishers. There will be $1,000 Bonus if the first male 50K finisher breaks the race record of 2:48:56 or if the first 50K female finisher breaks the race record of 3:15:00. An additional $1500 bonus will be awarded if the first male 50K finisher breaks Josh Cox’s USATF National 50K record of 2:43:45 or if the first female 50K finisher breaks Janice Klecker’s USATF National 50K record of 3:13:51. To add some incentive for local Long Island Runners, there will be a $100 cash prize for the first male and first female Long Island resident to finish the 50K