This year’s IAU 100k World Championships were run under excellent conditions on a 10-kilometer-loop course in Winschoten, Netherlands. Sweden’s Jonas Buud (pre- and post-race interviews) finally won the 100k World Championships after seven tries and four second-place finishes, while Camille Herron (pre- and post-race interviews) of the U.S. smoked the field in only her third ultra finish. Keep reading to find out what else went down.
2015 IAU 100k World Championships Men’s Race
After the first lap, American Jim Walmsley took off and blazed ahead of the field, eventually building a five-minute lead on everyone. Every lap he’d shrug seeming to say, “Yeah, I know this is way too fast,” but he couldn’t help himself. As tends to happen, a cadre of top contending men ran together at the front until each could not hold the pace. Initially, that group included Jonas Buud (Sweden), Steve Way (pre-race interview) (Great Britain), Jose Antonio Requejo (Spain), Vasiliy Larkin (Russia), Giorgio Calcaterra (post-race interview) (Italy), Huub van Noorden (Netherlands), Tatsuya Itagaki (Japan), Pavlo Stepanenko (Ukraine), Oleksandr Holovnytskyy (Ukraine), and Roman Gavryliuk (Ukraine). On lap two, van Noorden, Buud, Way, Itagaki, and Larkin formed the lead chase group a minute back with Requejo and the three Ukrainians a minute behind them. Calcaterra was quickly alone in 10th, although only 2:20 off the lead at 20k.
Walmsley continued to hold the lead mid-race, coming through 50k in 3:05:20. The next lap he gave up three and a half minutes to the other front runners… and although he kept his composure, it was clear that his run at the front would soon end. Indeed, between 60k and 70k, he dropped from first to eighth! Meanwhile, Jonas Buud and Steve Way had pulled away from the rest of the lead pack on the fifth lap, with Buud having a small gap on Way. Buud would keep on booking, while Way would drop out at 51k with a glute injury that had popped up a few kilometers earlier. Spain’s Requejo was moving well as he came into fourth place at mid-race, while closely followed by van Noorden and Larkin. Itagaki had fallen back to eighth while Calcaterra had quietly worked his way into seventh, just ahead of the Japanese runner. After being nearly three minute off the lead and a full two minutes off the chase group at 2ok, Spain’s Asier Cuevas (post-race interview) was already running in ninth at 50k. Ukraine’s Stepanenko and Holovnytskyy were still running together, but back in 10th and 11th with American Zach Bitter (pre-race interview) having moved into 12th at midway.
With Steve Way’s drop at 51k, Requejo moved into third place, only 90 second behind Walmsley at 60k; however, he blew up on the seventh lap. Although still near the top, he had given up 20 minutes in 10k and retired from the race, citing an error in his race execution. At 60k, Cuevas was making the Spaniards look great as he was in fourth, just ahead of Larkin. Calcaterra was holding his relative position, but moving up as folks pulled from the race. Meanwhile, the Netherlands’s van Noorden was dropping back to seventh at 60k; he’d drop a lap later. At the same time, there were five new runners together in the top 10 (well, top 12, but all essentially tied for eighth)–Wouter Decock (Belgium), Jerome Bellanca (France), Bitter, Fritjof Fagerlund (Sweden), and Ivan Motorin (Russia), all eight minutes off the lead.
Once Jonas Buud took the lead, it appeared as if the race was over. He was in control of his own effort and no one behind him looked close to as good as he did. With his long-term experience at the event and cool demeanor, he knew what he was doing. After four silver medals at the IAU 100k World Championships, gold would be his. Not a single one of his 10k splits was above 40 minutes and none faster than 37:40. In fact, his laps varied by no more than two minutes. Think about that. His laps 4 through 7: 38:07, 38:11, 38:09, 38:06. Buud is a human metronome!
As noted above, there were some major shakeups from 50 to 70k. Way, Requejo, and van Noorden dropped out and Walmsley imploded. After that destruction, the race saw tight battles within the top 10. Cuevas, Larkin, and Calcaterra found themselves in second, third, and fourth, respectively, at 70k. None of these three would blowup. Cuevas would lose second position to Larkin between 80 and 90k, but would take it back on the final lap. Cool and calm Calcaterra outran Larkin by eight minutes on the final lap to take home bronze. Larkin would be fourth. Decock and Fagerlund ran together in fifth and sixth at 70k and 80k with the Belgian making the decisive move in this duel around 90k to take fifth. Fagerlund’s sixth-place finish would help the Swedish men take home team gold. Frenchman Bellanca was unphased the final 30k, holding seventh place throughout. At 80k, Russia Vsevolod Chudykov burst into the top 10 with Bitter not far behind. Five kilometers later, Bitter would drop with a breathing issue. Australia’s Brendan Davies surged into tenth at 80k, but would subsequently slow to take 19th. Coming seemingly out of nowhere, Germany’s Florian Neuschwander crushed the final lap in 37:29, the fastest final lap of the day by a full two minutes, to take ninth. Lithuania’s Alexksandr Sorokin had a rough last three laps, but benefited from the destruction ahead of him to take 10th. Early leader Jim Walmsley continued on despite blowing up; he finished 28th in 7:05:19.
2015 IAU 100k World Championships Men’s Results
- Jonas Buud (Sweden) — 6:22:44 (pre- and post-race interviews)
- Asier Cueves (Spain) — 6:35:49 (post-race interview)
- Giorgio Calcaterra (Italy) — 6:36:49 (post-race interview)
- Vasiliy Larkin (Russia) — 6:38:48
- Wouter Decock (Belgium) — 6:41:27
- Fritjof Fagerlund (Sweden) — 6:42:51
- Vsevolod Chudykov (Russia) — 6:43:13
- Jerome Bellanca (France) — 6:43:41
- Florian Neuschwander (Germany) — 6:49:13
- Aleksandr Sorokin (Lithuania) — 6:50:34
Full results (pdf).
[Note: The top three Russian men had the second-best cumulative time; however, their top runner, Vasiliy Larkin was disqualified from team scoring for failing to wear a sanctioned uniform. (He was wearing a white tank top with “Russia” written on it in red marker that faded away during the race, while the rest of the team had official blue singlets.)]
2015 IAU 100k World Championships Women’s Race
From start to finish, the women’s race was the Camille Herron show. Last year’s runner up, Chiyuki Mochizuki of Japan, would run with the American through the first lap in 42:20, but, after that, Camille was on her own. She would build a four-minute lead by 30k, seven minutes by 40k, and a full nine minutes by 50k, which she came through 50k in 3:24:45. That lead would be 11 minutes at 60k, and she’d hold an 11- to 12-minute lead until she finished in 7:08:35. In her second 100k, she was only 8 minutes off Ann Trason’s North American record. However, that speedy time masks the fact that Herron was intermittently puking for the last 35 kilometers, so there are big gains to be made if she can figure out her fueling the final third of a 100k.
Mochizuki would continue to run in second until the fourth lap when Sweden’s Kajsa Berg (pre- and post-race interviews) would take that spot. Berg would run the rest of the race in second, running a 15-minute PR in the process of taking home her second world championships silver. By mid-race Mochizuki looked to be struggling in third. She’d fall to seventh by 60k and before withdrawing from the race.
Much of the rest of the women’s top 10 would set up during the initial laps. At 20k, Russia’s Marina Zhalybina and Team Great Britain’s Jo Zakrzewski (pre-race interview) were running in fourth and fifth with Sweden’s Sophie Sundberg and Russia’s Irina Antropova together in sixth. Caroline Dubois ran in eighth with America’s Sarah Bard and Japan’s Shiho Katayama together in ninth. Zakrzewski would move into fourth at 30k with Mochizuki’s fade with Zhalybina following. Antropova, Bard, Dubois, Sundberg, and Katayama ran in sixth through 10th, all nine to 10 minutes behind leader Herron. Things were relatively unchanged two laps later at 50k, just with slightly larger spacing between the runners. Most notably, Bard was running with Zhalybina in fifth instead of with Antropova and sixth while Croatia’s Marija Vrajic (post-race interview) moved into the top 10 in eighth position. In 2014, Vrajic had raced much more aggressively, holding the lead around this point in the race.
Fast forward two laps to the 70k mark. Herron, Berg, and Zakrzewski ran 1-2-3, while Vrajic moved up into fourth four-and-a-half minutes behind third place with Bard another minute back in fifth. Russians Zhalybina and Antropova ran together in sixth and seventh at this point, 90 seconds behind Bard. Katayama had moved up to eighth while Dubois dropped to ninth. Great Britain’s Holly Rush briefly moved into top 10, but would drop at 70k for digestive issues. At 80k a lap later, things continued largely as they were: Herron, Berg, Zakrzewski, Vrajic, Antropova, Zhalybina, Katayama, and, then, Dubois. With Rush out, Croatia’s Veronika Jurisic moved into the top 10, four minutes behind ninth-place Dubois.
On the way to 90k, Vrajic passed Zakrzewski and would continue on to the bronze. Zakrzewski would lose another spot to a surging Bard on the final lap to take fifth with a 10-minute personal best, while the American would finish fourth in her 100k debut. Zhalybina would be the Russian who held on longest, as she finished in sixth. Australia’s Kirstin Bull, Great Britain’s Susan Harrison, and Sweden’s Stina Svensson all cracked the top 10 on their way to 90k, where they ran in eighth through 10th, respectively. Of the women in the top 10, only Bard (44:53) would run a faster final lap than Svensson’s 45:30. The Swede would finish seventh. Australia’s Kirstin Bull held on to eighth, setting an Australian 100k national record in the process. Amazingly, both Svensson and Bull negative split the second 50k. Russia’s Antropova cratered the final lap (53:59) to finish ninth, with Harrison holding on to 10th.
2015 IAU 100k World Championships Women’s Results
- Camille Herron (U.S.) — 7:08:35 (pre- and post-race interviews)
- Kajsa Berg (Sweden) — 7:20:48 (pre- and post-race interviews)
- Marija Vrajic (Croatia) — 7:27:11 (post-race interview)
- Sarah Bard (U.S.) — 7:29:01
- Jo Zakrzewski (GB) — 7:31:33 (pre-race interview)
- Marina Zhalybina (Russia) — 7:34:09
- Stina Svensson (Sweden) — 7:38:15
- Kirstin Bull (Australia) — 7:39:28
- Irina Antropova (Russia) — 7:39:42
- Susan Harrison (GB) — 7:39:50
Full results (pdf).
European and World Masters Championships
This year’s Run Winschoten event also served as the 100k European Championships and the 100k World Master’s Association championships. Full results for the EC individual and team competitions as well as the WMA 100k are available.