Monday, November 19, 2007

Akos Konya, Connie Gardner Win Ultracentric 24-Hour

Akos Konya won the Ultracentric 24-Hour this weekend, covering 146.25 miles. He was just ahead of Connie Gardner, who put out an amazing effort to get 2nd overall and cover 145.25 miles, just yards off of breaking the American Record (you can read a Q&A with her here). Bob Sweeney was sthe first American, netting him the National 24-Hour Championship. Connie picked up a check for $4,000 and a national title. Roy Pirrung chalked up yet another age-group win with his 4th place finish. Nearly 30 runners broke the 100-mile mark at the race.

You can get all results here; below are the top 29 finishers. The 48-Hour Detail Results are also interesting, in that you can clearly pick out where winner David Goggins took a rest at lap 67, 100, etc.

Place Name Bib No Gender/Age Laps Time Pace Distance
1 Akos Konya 105 M/33 95 23:59:22.20 9:51/M 146.250
2 Connie Gardner 147 F/44 91 23:59:54.95 9:55/M 145.250
3 Bob Sweeney 149 M/40 82 23:58:29.50 10:19/M 139.500
4 Roy Pirrung 106 M/59 92 23:59:53.85 10:24/M 138.500
5 Philip McCarthy 114 M/39 82 23:57:49.90 11:09/M 129.000
6 Debra Horn 129 F/48 74 23:58:25.50 11:20/M 127.000
7 Carilyn Johnson 119 F/40 80 23:57:40.20 11:21/M 126.750
8 Steven Escaler 126 M/30 80 23:57:56.45 11:50/M 121.500
9 Jamie Donaldson 138 F/33 71 23:57:07.65 12:03/M 119.250
10 John Geesler 89 M/48 70 23:58:10.80 12:05/M 119.000
11 Ray Zirblis 93 M/53 67 23:57:58.00 12:32/M 114.750
12 Karen Gall 83 F/48 57 23:53:13.65 12:34/M 114.000
13 Chuck Goetschel 123 M/41 70 23:59:08.25 12:39/M 113.750
14 Scott Eppelman 151 M/41 67 24:01:51.15 12:46/M 113.000
15 Pam Reed 96 F/46 66 23:57:57.40 12:45/M 112.750
16 Charlotte Vasarhelyi 79 F/31 71 23:58:44.00 12:49/M 112.250
17 Cherie Harthun 95 F/31 70 23:59:41.50 13:04/M 110.250
18 Alex Swenson 104 M/43 55 17:47:13.00 9:42/M 110.000
19 Hans Bern Bauer 91 M/38 76 23:58:37.40 13:05/M 110.000
20 Newton Baker 94 M/65 71 23:57:27.60 13:13/M 108.750
21 Leon Rothstein 115 M/50 63 23:59:30.75 13:16/M 108.500
22 Jeffrey Snyder 42 M/30 67 23:58:33.45 13:34/M 106.000
23 John Hagin 88 M/64 65 23:56:40.70 13:37/M 105.500
24 Edward Parrot 112 M/37 51 32:01:18.75 18:50/M 102.000
25 Marcel Dekker 132 M/49 66 23:58:46.75 14:19/M 100.500
26 Marcelino Sobczak 131 M/39 50 20:11:56.80 12:07/M 100.000
27 Frank Van Der Gulik 133 M/30 50 21:21:50.40 12:49/M 100.000
28 Douglas Johnson 128 M/47 50 23:25:01.50 14:03/M 100.000
29 Geoff Hain 99 M/61 57 23:25:14.00 14:03/M 100.000


  1. Way to go, Akos. That guy is on fire recently!

    Too bad for Connie, who stopped a few seconds early, because she was told she had already made it. Not sure if she would have made it with 10 extra seconds, but she was certainly still going strong (running 8 min. miles at the end).

  2. Wow. That is so amazing that people can cover that much ground in 24 hours. I hope Connie is pleased with her amazing performance. Four grand has got to be a nice payday! - Vic

  3. Akos Konya is truly amazing. However , it is my understanding that one who is not an American citizen can not win a national title nor can they claim a medal or the money. A few years ago world record holder Yiannis Kourous won first place at the USA Nationals at Olander Park. He got what was announced as an "all comers" award and an american was declared the champion and first place winner. Same in Canada where Canadian citizens have received the prize (correctly) when I have "won" an age group position there. But then, nothing has been done in a truly National Championship way since Olander Park with top 10 medals, age group medals, team medals, championship patches, special people to hand out awards, at least having a presentation of awards and winners with a chance to appreciate them and learn who they were. That helped make community with fun, fierce competition. It felt like we were all in a National Championship.
    This is only to say that what I once experienced is what led to a very special moment, different from other 24 hour runs. I understand the enormous complexity of putting on any race let alone a National Championship and bless the people for holding the event so we at least can choose a World team.
    Watching Connie for 24 hours was a special privilege. That the race is computerized, the record distance is a known published fact, that she had a support crew, that it was known she had a shot at the record and nobody could point out exactly where she needed to be to break the record boggles my mind. Newton Baker-Vermont

  4. I ran the 12-hour race, and it was very cool watching the elite runners throughout the day. Konya and Gardner seemed to glide effortlessly over the pavement. Their paces never seemed to waiver. Goggins was tough as nails. His rest area was near my drop bag, and I was amazed as he would stop, have a crew member rub a block of ice into his quads, and then get up and get moving again.

    On a personal note, I hit my 50-mile goal in 10:27:22.

  5. Connie put everything out there on Saturday to go for a national record, she really seemed to have her sights set. (~8 min miles at the end is phenomenal.) I find it hard to believe that in a race covering 145 miles that someone could be determined a few yards short (.02%) of a record. How accurately is the stop point for all participants determined? Do they all stop on a dime or maybe get a few extra yards in? How accurately are distances determined in a race like this? how accurate were they 15 or so years ago when the record was set? It was bad luck for Connie that her ending point, and the record distance(well, at least according to race officials prelimianry estimates), coincided so closely with the start finish line where race officials were clustered. Seems accuracy didn't matter too much as they were providing Connie updates during the run regarding just how far she had left to go to get the record and where she had to run to to get the record and announcing to the crowd that she got the record as she came through the start/finish area. Seems they were off by a few yards. Does it matter?
    Had she been ending on another point on the course with fewer people, she probably would have kept plodding along (8 min/mile pace), not bothered by where the record distance point was, and got those questionable extra yards. Some may find it hard to understand why she stopped with any time on the clock (roughly 15 seconds), for those I say go run one 8 minute mile then think about running 145 mi. All it took was an official telling here she had it there to trigger a reaction to stop and celebrate in her mind. When you are told you have a record does it matter if it is by a mile or a few yards. Congratulations to Connie for one of the all time great runs!

  6. This is directly unrelated to the current topic, but I would like to take this opportunity to invite you to probably the toughest race that is out there. But instead of speaking about, we would rather have you experience it.

    On July 3rd, 2010, we launch the inaugral edition of The High; a 217 km footrace in the foothills of Himalayas. The distance in itself might not be very intimidating to Ultra Marathoners, but the altitude gain and loss and also the chances of High Altitude Sickness makes this one of the toughest and most challenging races on the planet.

    Here is how The High stacks up. It's for you to decide what you think about it.

    You run a total distance of 135 miles (217 km), and then have the option of carrying on for another 283 km!

    It starts from Manali, 6,725 ft (2,050 m) above sea level.

    The highest point you will cross is Baralacha La 16,048 ft (4,892 m) above sea level. After first 20 km, rest of the run is at an altitude higher than their highest point!

    The cumulative vertical ascent is 14,360 ft and it runs over 2 passes. The cumulative vertical descent is 7,133 ft (2,174 m)

    And the cut off is 60 hours.

    Two of us did recce of a part of the course of The High in Sep 2009. Please check pics here...

    Clearly, The High is not cut out for everyone, and is a "by invitation only" race. The field will be restricted to 40 runners only. Of these 40 runners, 30 slots will be reserved for proven ultra marathoners, and 10 will be open for runners who meet the following qualification criteria :

    A 100 kms run by end Nov (with at least 90 kms covered in 12 hours).
    A 24-hour run by end December.
    2 consecutive days of a minimum of 12 hours plus of time-on-feet by end Jan.

    For details of the race check The High -

    Please join us on facebook as well,

    Keep miling and smiling.

    Dr Rajat Chauhan
    Sports & Exercise Medicine specialist

    Primary Catalyst
    Back 2 Fitness (

    "There is only one perfect road,
    and that is ahead of you,
    always ahead of you."
    - Sri Chinmoy


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