Gabrielle Russo and Eric Lipuma upset leaders on their way to claiming 2018 USATF 50k Road Championship titles

Long Island standout Gabrielle Russo won the championship on her home course in last mile of race, while Eric LiPuma of Boulder, CO posted a consistent performance to take over as leader.

PLAINVIEW, NY- Both the men’s and women’s races at the USATF 50K Road Championships saw a late change in leadership, allowing Gabrielle Russo and Eric LiPuma to claim the 2018 championship titles in Long Island’s Caumsett State Park, on Sunday, March 4.

Russo, of Patchogue, NY, closed the gap on Laura Kline, of Syracuse, NY, within the last 5K-loop of the course, to the upset of runner-up Kline, who had been leading the race the entire way. Russo broke the tape on her home course in a time of 3 hours, 36 minutes, and 22 seconds. Her win stands in stark contrast to her performance at last year’s championships, where she opted for to run the adjoining non-championship 25K race, and asked her fellow runner friend what an “ultra” was. The championship race was only Russo’s second ultramarathon.

Eric LiPuma approaches the finish line tape at the 2018 USATF 50K Road Championships, held at Caumsett State Park in New York, on Sunday, March 4, 2018.

Eric LiPuma approaches the finish line tape at the 2018 USATF 50K Road Championships, held at Caumsett State Park in New York, on Sunday, March 4, 2018 (Photo by Richard Bolt).

Russo led the way for the following top three finishers in the 2018 USATF 50K Road Championships:

  1. Gabrielle Russo, Patchogue, NY, 3:36:22
  2. Laura Kline, Syracuse, NY, 3:37:35
  3. Martha Delgado, Great Neck, NY, 4:01:24

LiPuma, of Boulder, CO, ran fairly consistently, remaining within lead pack which included New York runners Chris Raulli and Will Brewster, for the majority of the race. Within the last 10K, LiPuma passed Brewster, who slowed down considerably, and the packed continued to separate with LiPuma taking the win over 12 minutes ahead of Raulli, in a finish time of 3 hours, 3 minutes, and 50 seconds. LiPuma noted his win was a “confidence booster” heading into the USATF 100K Road Championships this April.

LiPuma led the way for the following top three finishers in the 2018 USATF 50K Road Championships:

  1. Eric LiPuma, Boulder, CO, 3:03:50
  2. Chris Raulli, Manlius, NY, 3:15:09
  3. Aaron Heath, Chappaqua, NY, 3:17:00
Gabrielle Russo approaches the finish line tape at the 2018 USATF 50K Road Championships, held at Caumsett State Park in New York, on Sunday, March 4, 2018.

Gabrielle Russo approaches the finish line tape at the 2018 USATF 50K Road Championships, held at Caumsett State Park in New York, on Sunday, March 4, 2018 (Photo by Richard Bolt).

The USATF 50K Road Championships held in Caumsett State Park, co-hosted by the Greater Long Island Running Club, features a 5K-loop course, making it an incredible race for spectators.

This year’s race saw overcast skies and a starting temperature of 39 degrees. The wind chill made the temperature feel closer to freezing, as a strong breeze was leftover from Winter Storm Riley. The storm impacted several elite athletes’ flights that were headed to the Championships from out of state. Most notably, 100-mile world record holder Camille Herron was not able to attend.

Find even more race photos here.  Full results can be found here.

Laura Kline (Syracuse, NY) lead 9 of the 10 laps of the race.

Laura Kline (Syracuse, NY) lead 9 of the 10 laps of the race (Photo by Richard Bolt).

About Greater Long Island Running Club (GLIRC):

The Greater Long Island Running Club is Long Island’s largest and most active running organization, with thousands of members spanning Nassau County, Suffolk County, and beyond, whose mission is to support the local runner – whether they are a newcomer or veteran athlete. GLIRC fosters a supportive Long Island running community through their highly popular monthly magazine, Footnotes, consider “the Bible” of Long Island running, along with training groups, communication forums, club events, and more. GLIRC specializes in high-quality event production, hosting several dozen races, training programs, and multisport events annually. To learn more about GLIRC visit glirc.org.

Story written by Madison McGlone, Communications Director, Greater Long Island Running Club. 

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