2012 IAU 100k World Championship Results

ChampionshipGiorgio Calcaterra of Italy successfully defended his 100k World Championship in his home country winning in a time of 6:23:20. That’s 6:10 per mile for 62.1 miles, folks! (Calcaterra post-race interview) Jonas Buud of Sweden moved up all race to finish second in 6:28:57. (Buud post-race interview) Alberico Di Cecco of Italy closed strong to finish third in 6:40:30. Asier Cuevas (6:44:54) of Spain was in the top three virtually all day. He held second until Buud passed him just after the 80km mark, but dropped to fourth after Di Cecco’s late pass. David Riddle (6:45:19) of the US rounded out the top five. The Italian men won the team championship followed by the US and France. You can read the play-by-play via an archive of our live coverage.

[Please note that we’ll be frequently updating these results today and through the coming days as more results, reports, and pictures come in.]

Giorgio Calcaterra 2012 IAU 100k World Championships

Giorgio Calcaterra winning the 2012 IAU 100k World Championships.

Amy Sproston (Sproston post-race interview) of the United States won a remarkable women’s race in 7:34:08 moving up all day and only weeks after serious illness. After leading much of the second half of the race Sweden’s Kajsa Berg was passed by at least Meghan Arbogast and Sproston in the final 20k, but battled back to take second in 7:35:23. Russia’s Irina Vishnevskaya made a tremendous move late in the race to finish third in 7:36:01. Meghan Arbogast (Arbogast post-race interview) of the US faded hard after leading as late as 96km to take fourth in 7:41:52. Still, she took over 9 minutes off her old 50+ women’s 100k record (7:51:10) set at last year’s IAU world championships. American Pam Smith (Smith post-race interview) took fifth in 7:43:04 to cap a decisive victory for the American women’s team, which had all three scoring positions filled by Oregon residents. Japan and Russia were the second and third place teams.

Amy Sproston 2012 IAU 100k World Championships

Amy Sproston 2012 wins IAU 100k World Championships

Men’s 2012 IAU 100k World Championship Results

  1. Giorgia Calcaterra (Italy) – 6:23:20
  2. Jonas Buud (Sweden) – 6:28:57 (National record)
  3. Alberico Di Cecco (Italy) – 6:40:30
  4. Asier Cuevas (Spain) – 6:44:54
  5. David Riddle (USA) – 6:45:19 (race report)
  6. André Collet (Germany) – 6:45:48
  7. Jon Olsen (USA) – 6:48:52
  8. Michael Wardian (USA) – 6:48:59
  9. Dominique Bordet (France) – 9:53:21
  10. Joe Binder (USA) – 6:54:31

Full men’s results (pdf). Men’s team results (pdf).

Women’s 2012 IAU 100k World Championship Results

  1. Amy Sproston (USA) – 7:34:08 (race report)
  2. Kajsa Berg (Sweden) – 7:35:23 (National Record)
  3. Irina Vishnevskaya (Russia) – 7:36:01
  4. Meghan Arbogast (USA) – 7:41:52 (Women’s 50+ World Record, Old Record: Arbogast ’11 7:51:10) (race report)
  5. Pam Smith (USA) – 7:43:04 (race report)
  6. Judit Földingné Nagy (Hungary) – 7:43:55
  7. Mami Kudo (Japan) – 7:48:05
  8. Yuko Ito (Japan) – 7:57:19
  9. Marina Zanardi (Italy) – 7:58:07
  10. Mai Fujisawa (Japan) – 7:58:38

Full women’s results (pdf). Women’s team results (pdf).

Additional Resources

Last Updated: May 4, 2012

There are 38 comments

  1. olga

    Holly results, man! Go, Amy, Meghan and Pam! All fav OR girls rockin' it! It was so exciting and inspiring to see! Thanks, Meghan and Bryon, I think this was awesome, and usually I am not that into following, but when it's best of the world, and it is so close and easy to update…Amy, so much for DVP! Congrats to all, men and women, teams and all!

  2. Kristin Z

    Fantastic coverage of an awesome race… so appreciate the work that you, Meghan did… and Bryon for pulling euro time all night! These ladies and gents are superstars! GO OREGON women! and allllll in my age group or above! yeeehawww! inspiration!! ha ha!

  3. Just Adam

    Wow, lots of impressive results! Thanks for the coverage. Not usually as interested in road races, but this is an interesting one.

  4. Dan Brannen

    Some observations and thoughts following the USA Men's race…. This is only the second time in history the USA has put 4 men under 7 hours in the same 100k race, and it took almost a quarter of a century to repeat the feat:

    October 1989, USA National 100k Championship, Ed Fitz Ultra:

    1. Charlie Trayer, 6:41:47

    2. Sean Crom, 6:45:35

    3. Tom Zimmerman, 6:48:09

    4. Rae Clark, 6:59:50

    April 2012, World 100k Championship, Italy:

    David Riddle, 6:45:19

    Jon Olsen, 6:48:52

    Michael Wardian, 6:48:59

    Joe Binder, 6:54:31

    The current strength in depth of the American men is as stunning as it is unprecedented. Consider: Matt Woods did not run; Andrew Henshaw did not finish. Consider further: apart from these two, suppose all 4 who just broke 7 hours and took the World team silver medal were injured or otherwise unable to run. Put in their place a team of Geoff Roes, Anton Krupicka, Nick Clarke, Mike Wolfe, Dakota Jones…. Of course, it's theoretical musing, but it does provide interesting perspective. The USA men's world-class competitive ultra pool at the mid-range distances has never before had such depth.

    Of course, things can change quickly. Going back to that 1989 sub-7 group, of the four, only Sean Crom continued to have success at mid-range ultra racing. Trayer and Zimmerman fell off the radar screen after that, and Clark moved up to even greater success at 100 miles and 24 hours–but never again at anything below 100 miles.

    But there's still a huge gap to Tom Johnson's 16-year old U.S. 100k record of 6:30:11–which itself is still the slowest continental record of all the major ultrarunning continents. Will the current American strength-in-depth, plus an upcoming "perfect storm" of a 100k race, finally get an American man under 6:30 any time soon?

    Interesting: the global men's picture is somewhat similar. Despite a quarter century of World Championship 100k events, Don Ritchie's 34-year old absolute 100k World Record (6:10:20) still stands. It's pretty remarkable that bringing the world's top ultrarunners from around the globe together at least once a year hasn't put any man within 3 minutes of it. It's the oldest standing absolute World Record in all of "Track & Field" (including every running event from 60 yards through 1,000 miles and every field event).

    1. Dan Brannen

      Sorry, I dashed that off too fast. In my haste I accidentally left Dave Mackey off of the alternative backup 100k team! Even more amazing.

      1. Michael Owen

        That list you provided might do well at a world mountain, trail 100k event, but keep in mind the guys on the current team specialize and train better for flat, road 100k's. The Italy course was said to be really flat. The guys you listed aren't necessarily known for their flat road prowess… But, I'm not sure your intention of listing those guys.

        1. Dan Brannen

          Michael: I listed those guys because they are among the best current Americans–they have already shown themselves to be at the same level of performance capability as the scoring members of the USA team. On any given day any of them would be an even bet to beat any of this year's scoring American men head-to-head. At that level of performance I submit that the trail/road difference is insignificant. Tom Johnson specialized and trained for hilly trail ultras. Yet he set the still-standing American 100k road record in the 1995 World 100k in The Netherlands on a course just as flat as the Italian one. Roes and Krupicka have each won the American River 50 with a time almost equivalent to Johnson's record on that course (taking into account that Johnson's run was on a shorter course), and the American River 50 is basically a flat road race for its first half. Over the past 25 years most of the Americans (men and women) who have run at least one world-class 100k on the roads were primarily trail runners who "crossed over." If you're saying that those U.S. trails guys just couldn't do it, the evidence of history says that they could. They may choose not to, but that's a different story. My point was to emphasize the depth of quality at the top that we now have (and have never had before) in that distance range (between 50 and 100 miles).

          1. Ben Nephew

            There has been a lot of crossover with the women, but who are you refering with the men? Would those be men that came with a background of shorter distance and/or road marathon racing, or men that started in trails and train predominately on trails? I think it is one thing to run 7:10-7:20, but 6:40-6:50, or even 7:00' is extraordinary, as you noted. A 7:10 won't get you all that close to making the US team that has done so well the past 2 years. Assuming moderate slowing, you need to run a 5:20-5:30 50 miler and keep going to run 6:40-7:00.

            Maybe Michael was suggesting that guys that have run 5:20-40 for 50 miles (in addition to the faster 100k times) on the roads or in recent years would be more likely to make good additions to the US team?

            1. Dan Brannen

              Ben, off the top of my head: Rae Clark, Sean Crom, Steve Warshawer, Tom Johnson, Carl Andersen, Dave Dunham. Jim Garcia was about 50/50 trail/road before he tried a road 100k. Both Dan Held and Howard Nippert had fast road marathon credentials, but when they graduated to ultras they were trail ultrarunners until they tried a road 100k (with success). Mike Wardian also had a fast sub-ultra road background, but most of his early ultra years were spent running trail ultras.

              As for your later comment (I'm not seeing a REPLY option to that one), I didn't say specifically that those guys could beat this year's scoring team members at a road 100k. I just said that on any given day it would be a toss-up (as shown by actual trail race results). But I believe that if the trail-specific guys could beat any of the team scorers at, say, Miwok, then there is no reason they wouldn't have an equal chance to beat them on a relatively flat road 100k. Or if they (and you) would agree that they couldn't, then I would ask why they think that. Why would they be less likely to cross-over to 100k road successfully than Clark, Crom, Johnson, et al., and than virtually all of the women?

            2. Dan Brannen

              Ben, one more clarification: I would not say that 6:40-6:50-7:00 is extraordinary. I said it was stunning and unprecedented, specifically from an historical perspective in terms of current depth of quality of the U.S. men. The U.S. men, as well as they did, were still WAY behind Calcaterra. Even Johnson's American Record is not extraordinary. It is still over 6:30, and there are more than 80 performances on the all-time world list that are under 6:30.

            3. Trail Clown

              I think Ben is right on this one. None of the top trail guys (Roes, Krupicka, Clark, Wolfe, Jones etc.) would be top-ten at the World 100K. Too zoned in on the rugged peaks.

  5. Adam R.

    I take it, then, that Alberico Di Cecco's EPO suspension is up. Just out of curiosity, does the IAU perform drug testing at these championships?

  6. Alison Bryant

    Bryon and Meghan,

    Thank you for the excellent coverage! I was glued to my computer all morning in suspense. The coverage was so complete; I felt like I was there myself.

  7. Ben Nephew

    Continuing the above discussion with Dan…

    Rae Clark won 12 marathons and had a marathon PR of 2:28. There is a lot of Helen Klein, Jed Smith, American River, Way Too Cool in the results of Johnson and Crom. Dunham and Garcia are teammates of mine, and were always primarily road runners. Dave was a 2:19 marathoner, and Garcia was in the low 2:20's. Everyone else you named have very strong road backgrounds compared to the your list of trail runners.

    The general running backgrounds of most of the past runners you list are far different than the backgrounds and training of Roes, Mackey, Wolfe, Jones, et al. There may be a race or two in common, but I don't find that to be as convincing as a 5:20 to 5:40 road 50 miler. The evidence supporting the success of men who primarily focus on mountain ultras is not there.

    Most of the top women who excel at both have been able to qualify for the Olympic trials in the marathon, or come very close.

    Being a fast trail runner does not automatically make you a fast road runner, even when you choose to train for both. One example would be my start in trail racing. I beat Dave Dunham in a 10 mile trail race in 2000. This was a fast 10 miler, we both ran 58 minutes on singletrack with most of the race being run at a faster pace. I was actually doing a lot of both trail and road running and racing that year. Based on your theory, I should have been able beat him at a road 10 miler. We both ran a road 20k a few weeks later. Dave ran 1:05, and I ran 1:11. That was solid race for me, and many trail runners could fill pages with lists of runners that they beat on trails that would crush them on the roads.

    I think crossover is very possible, but not taking running and racing background into account lessens the predictive value greatly. I also think that ignoring willingness makes the discussion less relevant and interesting.

    Anything under 7:00 hours seems extraordinary for American ultra runners, and the readers of this site.

    1. Dan Brannen


      Rae Clark's marathon successes came well after his first running success, which was a string of high placings and victories in what were at the time (early 80's) highly competitive trail ultras. His success at trail ultrarunning preceded his success at road racing. Same with Johnson, whose first footrace of any kind, any distance, was the Western States 100 Mile. He had zero scholastic, collegiate, or road running background. He established himself first as a successful trail ultrarunner, then he moved to the roads.

      None of this proves anything. What we are debating here is: chicken or egg? Cause or effect? We could get bogged down in the minutiae of what we each happen to know of the personal histories of some of the athletes in question. You seem to know the personal running background of most (all?) of the current trail specialists we are talking about. I don't know any of them. None of them had scholastic or collegiate track/cross-country backgrounds? Most national-class American ultrarunners do. And none of them ever did any fast road running of any kind? I'd be very surprised if not.

      Go back to Clark and Johnson for a moment: When they "crossed over," they had no reason to believe they would achieve success on the roads because of a fast road background. Each was in the midst of a stellar series of trail ultra successes which he could have just kept pursuing. But they chose to branch out, to give it a try. You could find similar stories among the women. Not all of them are fast marathoners.

      You rightfully point out that "willingness" is a key ingredient. I don't ignore the "willingness" aspect, I just question it. I think it's a very intriguing question. Why were Clark and Johnson (and many of the top trail women) willing, yet there is such a large and athletically impressive continent of top American men who are not? That collective "unwillingness" is a relatively new phenomenon in American ultrarunning. I'm suggesting that it's likely that at least a few of them, if they tried, would succeed. And I just wonder why they don't.

      Here's a good example to consider: Eric Clifton. A phenomenally successful and legendary trail ultra specialist (victories and course records galore) of a previous era. For the better part of a decade he kept "crossing over" to the roads, and every single time he failed. He was never able to run a single road ultra performance to come anywhere near his trail achievements. But he kept trying, year after year. He could have just kept to the trails and theorized that he would not succeed on the roads. He had the Clark/Johnson "willingness."

      Our discussion here is all purely theoretical, and can only be so until some of these current trail specialists "cross over," if they ever do. I'm suggesting our sport would be more interesting and more enriched if they would.

    2. Ed Parrot

      I tend to think both Dan and Ben have some good points. But I guess I believe that most of those top current trail runners mentioned could have finished in the top ten on a good day. What seals it for me is that I don't think 6:50 is all that fast in the scheme of things. Almost forty seconds per mile slower than the world record. I don't actually think the top few hundred-mile trail runners in the U.S. would have to be as good at the roads as they are at trails in order to run 6:50. I make this observation not in any way intended as disrespect, because obviously 6:50 still requires one to be a top-notch athlete.

      But as Dan says, it's mostly speculation. Perhaps we're wrong, and we won't know unless some of these guys try running some road races (should they choose to). Runners of various backgrounds did used to switch from trails to roads and back more frequently and with success. 25 years ago, if you desired regular top competition, you almost had to. Nowadays, the opposite is closer to true. so it doesn't surprise me that many of them choose not to.

      1. Ben Nephew

        I think the examples of individuals who have little shorter distance background, start with trail ultra success and then go to the roads are rare. As you note, most top ultra runners have some sort of decent scholastic and or collegiate background. I think the key experience is longer road races in terms of predictive ability. Dan, most of the top trail guys have blogs, so you don't even have to know them to get a good idea of there weekly training! You can research athlinks and ultrasignup for race results. Dakota has some of the most impressive times at trail 50 milers with lots of climbing, and there are a handful of road results from when he was younger, but I don't get the impression there was a high school career of a similar caliber as he ultra races. The key is that most haven't done much faster road running or racing in quite a while. I think Nick Clarke ran some fast shorter distance times, but Anton, Geoff, and Mackey have very different long term running backgrounds compared to the guys who were crossing over years ago.

        I think the willingness issue involves the love of trails, sponsorship pressures, fear of the unknown, training style, and probably a few other factors. Did guys that crossed over 25 years ago do the majority of their mileage at greater than 8 minute pace on extremely steep terrain, putting in 10's of thousands of feet of climbing a week?

        I don't put all that much weight into the competition theory. Top ultrarunners are by nature incredibly self motivated and many of top times were more individually driven than a result of a high level of compeition. Look at most of the wins by Anton and Geoff. Not exactly nail biters. Dakota's blowout win at Sonoma was similar to his run in the Headlands where he was chasing Mike Wolfe. There are several top trail ultras that are virtually road races, and if you combined that with a few US road races and maybe Two Oceans, the IAU 100k, and Comrades, that would make a busy year of racing.

        I have no idea why there is such a gender difference in crossover between road and trails. Let me know if you can figure that one out!

        Ed, I am curious as to what you think your opinion on the difficulty of a 6:50 is based on. The comparison with the WR is like saying a 2:16 marathon is easy because the WR is 2:03. Is your opinion based on US runners who race both trails and roads in the past, or just on the relative quality of the time. I personally have a strong appreciation for the training that seems to be needed for a sub 6:50 when I look at the training of guys like Dunham and Wardian, and Riddle's time at JFK.

        While it is only a sample size of 1, we did get to see road and trail runners on partial road course at UROC. Even with 50 percent trails and hills that would be an advantage to the trail runners, Wardian had a sizable lead before missing that turn.

        If Ed is talking about top 10 at the 100k, performances at international races should probably be taken into consideration. Some individuals have a very hard time having a good day at international races, despite incredible success at home.

        I find it hard to argue with the success of the US men and women's 100k teams over the last few years. In an interview with the 100k team leader, Lin Gentling, she mentioned that they are looking to recruit fast marathoners to move up to the 100k, not top trail ultrarunners.

        1. Ed Parrot

          Not intending to get too far into semantics here, but I mentioned that I didn't think 6:50 was that fast in the overall scheme – I certainly don't feel it is "easy" in any sense of the word. To respond to your example, I'd say the same thing about a 2:16 marathon (though I personally consider a 2:16 marathon a bit superior to a 6:50 100K).

          My opinion about what a few of today's top trail runners could do is based on a combination of the two things you mention. One is the the regard in which I hold some of their trail performances – I think they're better than equivalent to a 6:50, thus I think running a 6:50 is a distinct possibility at a discipline with a lot of similarities, but at which they may be somewhat less talented. The fact that so many runners of yesteryear crossed over successfully does also contribute to my opinion.

          I would grant that the sport has changed and that we have more trail "specialists" these days. Some of them undoubtedly would run substantially worse on the road. But I remain convinced that some would discover they ran just as well on the road, and that would be 6:50 or faster.

          Regarding competition, I think maybe I wasn't clear. I don't think competition is responsible for the fast times. I just meant that 25 years ago, if you wanted to seek out top competition numerous times a year, you couldn't just stay on the trails. You are correct that these days, if one is willing to travel overseas three times and plan on running JFK and AR and a couple of US road champs every year, one could have a pretty competitive "road" schedule. But you'd be pretty much limited to the same fixed schedule, and that international travel isn't possible for everyone. The degree to which that limitation, and competition in general, matters to runners will vary widely of course.

          I, too, have no idea why the women seem to cross over more these days. And I completely agree that it's hard to argue with the success of the U.S. team these days, which is a wonderful thing. My feeling was simply that I think Dan is right that we have a lot of runners out there with such talent – including the trail guys – that 6:50 would be a distinct possibility. I don't think it's an argument that can ever be settled, however. Nor – I guess – does it really matter whether we settle it :)

          Good discussion here!

          1. Ben Nephew

            My take on the comparisons that are available from guys that have run both is that the road times are superior, so that probably accounts for most of the difference in our opinions. I'd need to see someone run in the 5:30's at AR to say they could run 6:50. If I only had JFK results to bet on, I wouldn't be surprised to see Riddle and Wardian run the times they just ran. I'd guess that the climbing and AT section costs 15 minutes compared to a flat road course, plus maybe another 5 for the nasty little rollers over the last 8 miles!

            Getting back to the current mens US 100k times, I think we'll see some 6:30's in the near future, maybe something faster.

            Another interesting aspect of this discussion is the length of ultra careers. For many of top ultra runners, the window of their best performances was narrow. The example of a runner having a successful trail focused career, and then doing the work necessary to race well on roads seems difficult.

            1. Dan Brannen


              It's pertinent that you have brought up American River as a bellwether on 100k times. Johnson ran it in 5:33 and then went on to run 6:30 for 100k. Between then and now over a mile has been added to the AR course. Subsequent to the addition of that distance Roes has run 5:49 and Krupicka 5:42. For direct comparison, the additional distance on the AR course would have made Johnson's AR time at least 6:40. That's getting pretty close to the 100k American Record holder by two of the current guys in question. After Johnson, Rich Hanna ran 5:37 on the shorter AR course and went on to take second in the World 100k with 6:43. When Roes ran 5:49 to win the longer AR, he beat Andy Henshaw by 6 minutes. Henshaw then went on to finish 3rd in the World 100k in 6:44. The following year Dave Mackey won AR with the same time as Henshaw. It looks like AR is a pretty good barometer for 100k forecasting.

            2. Dan Brannen

              Sorry, my 5th sentence should have read: "For direct comparison, the additional distance on the AR course would have made Johnson’s AR time at least 5:40."

            3. Ed Parrot

              Yes, it does sound like our evaluation of how a 6:50 compares to the trail times is at the core of our differences. I have not run JFK, but I ran AR and trained on the course a lot when I lived out there, and it's 25 minutes slower than a flat road 50 miler at the elite level. There's one three mile stretch alone before Rattlesnake Bar where it's close to two minutes per mile slower than the road solely due to footing/twisting/rocky trail – and that's assuming one is a good trail runner. My take has been that the net uphill and few miles of soft footing in the first 30 miles costs 5 minutes and then you lose an average of a minute per mile over the last 20.

              Anyway, I do also agree that the length of ultra careers is an interesting variable in all this. Injuries are everywhere, and my take is that the roads put you at more risk for overuse types of injuries. If I were a top trail 100-mile runner, I don't know that I'd want to risk shortening my career to do road races that I probably didn't enjoy as much any way. Now I personally prefer road ultras to trail ultras (even though I prefer trail races when it comes to shorter distances), so I'm just speculating about the fact that they might not enjoy road ultras as much.

              I guess I still suspect the difference between runners of yesteryear crossing over more and those today (on the men's side) not doing so as much mostly comes down to the change in the ultra landscape. Both the competitiveness and size of the trail running calendar has been growing for more than 20 years. Runners who have come to the sport in the past 10-15 years have experienced different dynamics, and it stands to reason that we'd see some differences in their approaches, priorities, and attitudes.

            4. Dan Brannen

              Ed & Ben,

              Interesting. Ed offers that the slowing factor of American River is about 25 minutes. Back when I won JFK in 1980, the consensus was that the slowing factor was 25 minutes (but for different terrain reasons than American River). I think now that the JFK Record has come down significantly since those days, I think the JFK slowing factor at the front, at current record pace, is more like 20 minutes. These 2 East Coast – West Coast bookend events, at opposite times of the year, seem to be significant indicators for a number of reasons.

              Another comment on Ben's assessment of where JFK causes slowing: Yes, obviously the first Appalachian Trail section. But I do not think the final 8 miles of rolling hills causes any significant slowing. I've run JFK 3 times (including one win), and I don't find the final road hills to be nasty. Just rolling. I actually find them refreshing from the sameness of the towpath. I do think the gravel/dirt surface of the towpath causes the additional slowing factor that Ben attributes to the final road miles. I'd be interested to hear from some of the recent frontrunners on this….

  8. ALDO

    Thank you Dan Brannen for that history lesson of names I remember, but have not heard in a long time. Thanks to Ben & Michael for the lively discussion. Good points made by all!

  9. Donnamarie Trayer

    This has been an interesting trip down memory lane…. 7 years later.
    Hope you are doing well Dan.

    Funny how “ falling off the radar” made me chuckle.

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