Illinois' Gingerich racks up most ultrarunning wins - again
For the second consecutive year, Zach Gingerich of Aurora, Illinois, won more ultrarunning events in 2010 than anyone, according to Ultrarunning Magazine. He matched the number of victories - eight - he racked up in 2009. But a few of Gingerich's 2010 wins at extremely long distance events in equally extreme weather conditions are all the more astounding.
In February 2010, Gingerich, 31, won the Arrowhead Ultramarathon by running the 135 miles of snowmobile trail from International Falls, Minnesota, in 37 hours 59 minutes. With temperatures 20 below zero and colder for much of the race, Gingerich pulled all his gear on a sled to a new course record.
Then last July, Gingerich won the infamous Badwater Ultramarathon, a 135-mile race from Death Valley to Mt. Whitney. With temps topping 120 degrees, the course took competitors over two long mountain passes and a final climb to an elevation of 8,600 feet. Gingerich won in 24:44:48 - some 20 minutes faster than he ran it in 2009 when he finished 3rd and about 13.5 hours faster than in 2008.
In 2010 Gingerich also won the Umstead 100 Mile in Raleigh, North Carolina (in a course record of 13:23:02), FANS 24 Hour in Minneapolis, Minnesota (he ran 122.56 miles in 24 hours), Dances With Dirt 50 Mile in Hell, Michigan (8:22:30), Land Between the Lakes 60K in Grand Rivers, Kentucky (6:40:50), Des Plaines River Trail 50K in Des Plaines, Illinois (5:35:29), and the Equalizer 24 Hour in Des Moines, Iowa (116.205 miles).
And although he won two more ultras than anyone else, Gingerich earned only the third highest number of votes for "2010 Ultrarunner of the Year" in Ultrarunning Magazine. The title went to Alaska's Geoff Roes, 34, who smashed the course record at Western States 100 Mile. Runner-up at Western States and for Ultrarunner of the Year honors was Anton Krupicka, 26, of Boulder, Colorado.
Although Gingerich's course record at Umstead was the fastest 100-mile time run by anyone last year, it only ranked eighth among the top graded 100-mile performance for 2010. The runs by Roes and Krupicka at Western States ranked first and second largely due to the difficulty of that course.
In 2009, Gingerich won the Ice Age Trail 50 Mile in La Grange, Wisconsin (in 6:23:53), Chicago Lakefront Spring 50K (3:12:03), Kettle Moraine 100 Mile (15:17:31) and Dances With Dirt 50 Mile in Hell, Mich. (8:16:05).
For a profile of Gingerich, see the June 2010 issue of Silent Sports.
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