Special report in from the IAU 100 km World Championships, Los Alcazares, Spain

Here’s a dispatch from Team USA runner Matt Flaherty, straight from the International Association of Ultrarunners 100 km World Championships in Los Alcazares, Spain:

Matt Flaherty on the course.

Matt Flaherty on the course.

I was having a pretty solid day at the 100km World Championships until the last 20k. Hit 50k in ~3:22:30 and then dropped the pace the next couple 10k loops, and was looking pretty good for a 6:45 or so. But then my hamstrings started seizing up on me right before 80k. Had to take some time to massage/stretch them and was forced to slow to low 7-minute pace or they would cramp again. My race was basically shot at that point, but I fought with what I could to the line in 6:56:58 unofficial, maybe 24th place? (Still waiting on results.) Still a PR actually and I also PRed at the 50 mile with ~5:25, so I can’t be too bummed.

But MUCH more exciting/important is our men’s team took advantage of our depth—Joe Binder, Zach Bitter, and I didn’t have our best days—but Pat Reagan and Geoff Burns absolutely crushed it (3rd and 5th in 6:35 and 6:38) and with the strength of Chikara Omine’s 6:48, we got (I believe) 3rd place team behind South Africa and Japan. Still waiting to hear how our women did, but all told it was a great day out there for #TeamUSA! This is what it’s all about!! And thanks so much to our awesome team managers and support crew for the aid out there!

Since Matt’s dispatch, it’s been confirmed that Team USA indeed took third place in both the men’s and women’s division.

This was the 29th edition of the International Association of Ultrarunners 100 km World Championships race. A total of 187 runners representing 37 countries took part. The course was a 10 km loop alongside the Mediterranean Sea, in Los Alcazares, Spain.

Murat Kayak of Turkey (photo courtesy of http://www.iau-ultramarathon.org)

Murat Kayak of Turkey (photo courtesy of www.iau-ultramarathon.org)

Here are the top three finishers – you can find full race men’s 100k race results and women’s 100k race results on the IAU website.

Hideaki Yamauchi (Japan) won the men’s division in 6:18:22, with Bongmusa Mthembu (South Africa) finishing just under six minutes behind him, and Patrick Reagan (USA) taking third.

In the women’s race, Kirstin Bull (Australia) led for the second half of the race and took first place in 7:34:25. Nikolina Sustic (Croatia) finished iless than two minutes behind Bull to take second, and Joasia Zakrzewski (Great Britain) finishing in third.

Men's team winners.

Men’s team winners.

Team results (best four times) are as follows:

Men’s

South Africa (19:51:40)

Japan (19:55:46)

USA (20:03:04)

Women’s

Japan (23:23:14)

Croatia (23:48:19)

USA (24:05:33)

 

The 100 km Worlds have so far been an annual event, but from now on they will be held every two years. The venue for 2018 has not yet been determined.

Congrats to all runners, and many thanks to Matt Flaherty for sending in this ultrarunning dispatch and for providing the photos. Look for Matt on the trails – but if you miss him there, you can find Matt on Twitter or on his running and coaching blog.