Italy’s Giorgio Calcaterra and USA’s Amy Sproston will both defend their titles from two years ago at the 27th IAU 100km World Championships in Doha on Friday (21).
This is the first time, since the inception of IAU, that the ultrarunning association is bringing its major competition to the Middle East and the championships will come just three days after the Qatari city was awarded the right to stage the 2019 IAAF World Championships.
In the men’s field, the 2008, 2011 and 2012 champion Calcaterra is having an outstanding season but will be up against Russia’s Vasily Larkin, the fastest man in the field on times posted over the last four years with 6:18:26.
Great Britain’s former 50km World Trophy Final winner Steven Way is close behind Larkin on the list with a best of 6:19:20.
Adding to the depth in the men's race, Sweden's Jonas Buud has been a silver medallist in three of the past four editions of the championships and is desperate to finally take the last step to the top of the podium.
Sproston, with a best of 7:34:08, is the slight favourite in the women’s race but Italy’s Monica Carlin is a four-time podium finisher at the 100km World Championships, with two silver medals and two bronzes to her name, and is a steady runner with a best of 7:35:05 in the past four years.
Russia’s Irina Antrapova will try to replicate her success from two years ago, when she finished third. The 2009 silver medallist has run 7:36:01.
Great Britain’s Joanna Zakrzewski, the silver medallist from the 50km World Trophy Final on the same course three weeks ago and a silver medallist in this event back in 2011, should also be in contention for another accolade.
The championships will be run on Aspire grounds in the sports city part of Doha. The race starts at 6.30pm local time and the runners will navigate a fairly flat 5km loop.
IAU for the IAAF