Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Michael Wardian Continues USATF Champion Streak with Win at White River 50m

Michael Wardian added the USATF 50-mile Trail Championship to his collection (he has the 50k and 100k USATF Road titles as well this year) with a blistering 6:52:50 finish at the White River 50m last weekend. Wardian narrowly beat out 25-year-old Adam Lint from Indiana, PA (6:59:36), 2007 USATF 100-mile champion Jasper Halekas (7:04:25), and 2007 50k/100k road champion Greg Crowther (7:07:39) on a perfect weather day. William Emerson picked up the win for the Mens Masters (7:30:21) just ahead of 100k Trail Champion Mark Lantz (7:52:16). A shout out to Inov-8 Team member John Basham who took 8th (7:15:58) overall.

(Wardian on his way to a win, photo courtesy of Glenn Tachiyama; more here)

40-year old Suzannah Beck from Eugene, OR, took seven minutes off the course record to win the Women's (and Masters) Division in 7:32:12, placing 10th overall. She beat out a fast field and proved her 2008 WTC 50k win was no fluke, edging out Miwok 100k winner Kami Semick (7:42:54) and local Annie Thiessen (8:29:45).

(Beck makes ground to catch Kami Semick at mile 37, photo courtesy of Glenn Tachiyama; more here)

It sounds like all 202 finishers had a great day! (all results here) If you have a race write up, be sure and leave a link in the comments.

- SD


  1. Official press release just came out -

    Wardian, Beck win USATF 50 Mile Trail titles

    Jim Estes
    Associate Director of LDR and Marketing
    USA Track & Field

    INDIANAPOLIS - For the seventh year in a row on Saturday, the White River 50 Mile in Crystal Mountain, Wash., was the site of the USATF 50 Mile Trail Championship. The course, sporting spectacular views along the White River and on the Noble Knob Trail in the Norse Peak Wilderness, claims a total of 17,600 feet elevation change.

    This year's record field included 238 starters, which is a reflection of the excellent job done by race director Scott McCoubrey and his staff of volunteers and associates from the Seattle Running Company.

    This year's race saw the early men's field packed tightly. At 17 miles at Corral Pass, Jason Bryant (Elkin, NC) led the charge, feeling that the pace was relaxed. Bryant most recently represented the United States at the NACAC Mountain Championships in Mexico. In tow were a "Who's Who" of trail ultra running including 2008 50 km and 100 km U.S. National Champion Michael Wardian (Arlington, Va.), 2007 50 km and 100 km U.S. National Champion Greg Crowther, and a host of others, all highly credentialed and deserving of front pack attendance. The split for the first 10 runners was about 3 minutes.

    At the 27 mile aid station, Wardian appeared first, coming through the aid station 3 minutes ahead of Jasper Halekas (Oakland, Ca.). Wardian, the fastest marathoner in the group, used his superior leg speed to catch and break away from the field during the long four-mile descent down the Ranger Creek Trail.

    After a long climb to Sun Top, with the massive Mt. Ranier in the backdrop, Wardian fought his way up the rugged single track trail and to the aid station at the top. This time he was followed closely by Adam Lint (Indiana, Pa.), just a minute back. Lint worked hard climbing, closing the distance on Wardian.

    Wardian gained the final choke hold on the field on the long downhill from Sun Top to the turn at Skookum Flats, a 6.4 mile dirt road, where he opened up and let his leg speed dispose of the field, building an additional 5 minutes on his lead over Lint.

    Wardian charged up the rocky trail over the final six miles to seal his win by just under seven minutes. His time of 6:52: 50 was 3rd fastest in race history. Lint finished a strong second in 6:59:36, with Jasper Halekas (Oakland, Calif.) finishing third in 7:04:25.

    The women's race turned out to be a slugfest between marathon specialist Susannah Beck (Eugene, Ore.) and Kami Semick (Bend, Ore.). At the same time the men's lead pack formed a train and pulled up the hill to Corral Pass, Beck was the caboose of the men's lead pack, coming through the 17-mile mark just 2 minutes 35 seconds behind the men's leader. Semick was seven minutes back of Beck. While Beck appeared to be working hard but running strong, Semick looked relaxed and stayed on a pre-planned pace for a prescribed finish time she believed would be good enough for the win.

    By the 27-mile aid station, Semick had cut the lead to just under two minutes, as she used her great downhill technique to make up ground on Beck. On the climb up to Sun Top, Semick caught and passed Beck. It took Beck nearly ¾ of the 6.4 mile descent to catch and pass Semick again. At the turn on to Skookum Flats and into the final six miles along the White River, Beck had a minute lead over Semick. At that point, Beck ran hard along the rocky trail all the way to the finish, building over a 10-minute lead over Semick.

    Beck's finishing time of 7:32:12 was a new women's course record by seven minutes, eclipsing that of Nikki Kimball set at the 2007 race. Semick's second place 7:42:52 turned out to be the fourth-fastest women's time in race history, and also Semick's fastest on the course in her three White River appearances. Annie Thiessen (Tacoma, Wash.) finished third in 8:29:45.

    The race also served as USATF Master's National 50 Mile Trail Championship and awards were given to age group winners in five-year increments from 40+. William Emerson (Portland, Ore.) won the men's master's age division in 7:30:21, while women's overall winner Susannah Beck was crowned women's master's champion.

    For more information on the 2008 50 Mile Trail Championship, visit www.usatf.org.

  2. I was number 201 out of 202 and have the bruises to prove it.


    Michael, Jasper, and Greg all caught me before reaching Ranger Creek, although I would have thought that Adam Lint (2nd place finisher) would have caught Michael on the second climb to Fawn Ridge (he was nipping Michael's heels).

    Suzannah was pretty fierce as well as Kami. Annie was doing really well and was always smiling. (All three ladies also beat me to Ranger Creek.)

    Hardest course I've ever ran on and also the most fulfilling in many ways.

  3. Beck's skirt is pretty cool, sort of Mary Ann of Gilligan's Islandish.

    Wardian (along with the Skaggs bros, Krupicka, et al)...ushering in a whole new competitive level. Awesome.

    Will G.

  4. Hi Scott -- Yup, Wardian did it to me again! My report is at running-blogs.com/crowther....

  5. Hi,

    I'm working with Takkle.com, a social networking site for sports. Members can post photos, videos, share stats and schedules, and a whole lot more with others throughout the community. Takkle is a place where students, athletes, coaches, and fans can share their passion for sports.

    I feel that your site is very useful. I would love to know if you could link to our social networking resource.


  6. Thanks for the links to Tachiyama's pictures. They are really good!

  7. That Susannah...she's a fast one! I know that Kami was in excellent shape, so for Susannah to beat her means that Susannah is, well, really good. Congratulations to Susannah, and great show, ladies!

    Also, I'm stoked for the always-smiling Annie to snag a spot into WS09. She's very deserving.

  8. Suzannah Beck is really fast! Can't wait to see her at States.


  9. Were prize winners allowed to double dip? If so, Susannah and Kami cleaned up by winning open and master's purses. Nice job ladies!

  10. Hi Scott,

    My name is Gregory Cappello and I am the Vice President of Fitspott, a social networking platform for health and fitness. I was doing research for our site and I came across your blog.

    Fitspott (fitspott.com), a social networking platform targeting the health and fitness
    industry will open the doors to the beta version of its platform in Mid-September. The
    Fitspott team is made up of a group of highly motivated and diverse entrepreneurs,
    athletes and creative minds. We have set forth a goal of creating a social network which
    will give trainers, members, athletes, coaches, corporate fitness executives, health
    clubs and basically anyone with any level of interest in health and fitness, a robust
    platform to meet, communicate, get support, conduct business, exchange ideas and more.

    I am writing to you to introduce my company as I though it might be of interest to your
    readers. In addition, I have composed a few posts that you might consider using as a
    guest entry.

    Please follow this link to view our About Us page. You’ll see you can download our marketing information packet which gives a brief but informative overview of my company.


    If you have any questions or would like more information please feel free to contact me
    at any time.

    Gregory Cappello
    (516) 993-0554
    Vice President of Fitspott

  11. Your site would be a great addition to the brand NEW Top 100 Running Sites! To add your free listing simply go to http://running.gotop100.com/ and click the "Add Your Site" link.

    Gwen Rebbeck
    The Top 100 Running Sites


I LIVE for comments! Please add your thoughts, let me know you stopped by, etc., and be thoughtful of others. Always best if you sign your name, of course.

Latest Excursions