Written by Lin Gentling, IAU America’s Rep.
I wanted to recap the recent 100K World Championships with those of you who were able to send federations and those who were not to keep you in the loop. The event held in Sventi Martin na Muri, Croatia on Saturday, September 8, was an event to remember. The course was a scenic out and back course with thirteen 7.5K loops plus an add on of 2.5K which cut through rural areas. This course netted about 800 meters (2,600 feet) of climb over 100k via constant hills. Although it was considered difficult with its rolling hills and sharp turns, the runners and their support did their countries proud. The Croatians went out of their way to make us feel welcomed and we were treated to their amazing hospitality wherever we went.
I was so impressed with every Americas countries and was able to speak with all of you at some time or another during our stay in Sveti Martin. Your friendliness and excitement was a privilege to be a part of. Those of you who were present know how the race progressed as you were a part of this historic happening. Those of you who were not, the day dawned warm, humid, and overcast. Eventually the clouds gave way to hot, sunny, and humid conditions with temperatures reaching 30 degrees centigrade (about 86 Fahrenheit). With limited amount of ice, it was at times difficult to keep reasonably cool with many succumbing to the conditions. The sun burned down on the course as there was limited shade. As a result many adjusted their race plans toward more of a survival strategy. Although the times may not have reflected a runner’s best, there were many heroic efforts displayed. However there were also some incredible performances as was proven by the Canadian runner, Julie Hamulecki, who broke the Canadian Women’s 100k road record in a time of 7:58:11 for 12th place overall.
The women’s race was won by Nikolina Šustić of Split, Croatia, who finished second in 2016. Her time was 7:20:34. Germany’s Nele Alder-Baerens finished second, in 7:22:41, and Japan’s Mai Fujisawa third, in 7:39:07. Nele quickly became a crowd favorite as she competes with a sight and hearing impairment and is age 40. Top Americas’ performance belonged to Caroline Boller of the USA in 11th place with a time of 7:57:35, followed by the new Canadian record holder, Julie Hamulecki in 12th positon and a time of 7:58:11, and Emily Harrison of the USA followed in 16th place with a time of 8:03:11. The US women’s team finished in 4th place, Canada in 7th, Brazil in 13th, and Argentina in 18th.
In the men’s race, defending champion Hideaki Yamauchi and then Takehiko Gyoba, both of Japan, surged ahead of third-place finisher Bongmusa Mthembu of South Africa, who had held the lead until 92.5K. Yamauchi finished in 6:28:05, Gyoba in 6:32:51, and Mthembu in 6:33:47. Mthembu was the winner of South Africa’s Comrades Marathon in June of this year.
The best Americas performance was Geoff Burns of the USA finishing in 5th place with a time of 6:42:30, followed by Felipe CostaDa Silva of Brazil in 31st position and a time of 07:19:11, and in 56th place was Canada’s Samuel Trudel in a time of 7:48:56. The US men’s team finished in 4th place, with Brazil in 14th position followed by Argentina in 18th, Mexico in 25th, Canada in 29th
Check out the race Facebook site at https://www.facebook.com/cro100.run/ for photos, videos, and reports. Results can be found at http://live.cro100.run/Default.aspx. Full report on the 100K world championship can be found at https://www.irunfar.com/2018/09/2018-iau-100k-world-championships-results.html.
CONGRATULATIONS to all the teams and individuals who participated and who ran representing their countries with great honor and integrity. You all are amazing athletes and support personnel, but most importantly, outstanding people. I greatly look forward to seeing all of you at future IAU championships.
For planning purposes, please be aware of the following future IAU championships in 2019 and 2020.
– IAU/ITRA Trail Championships will be June 8, 2019 in Mirandha do Corvo, Portugal
– IAU 50K World Championships will be September 1, 2019 in Brasov, Romania
– IAU 24H World Championships at a site to be determined, fall 2019, September – October timeframe. Site and exact date will be known by November 1, 2018.
– IAU 100K World Championships will be September 12, 2020 in Winschoten, The Netherlands