USA’s Max King and Great Britain’s Ellie Greenwood took the gold medals at the IAU 100km World Championships in Doha, Qatar, on Friday (21).
King, a four-time US team member at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships, had previously won mountain running and trail running world titles but was making his competitive debut over this distance on the road.
Nevertheless, there was little sign of inexperience as he ran a well-paced and impressive 6:27:43 in the hot and humid conditions – despite the early evening start which saw the winners finish after midnight – to cross the line more than four minutes ahead of his nearest rival.
After the early leader Vasily Larkin from Russia faded from the halfway point, eventually finishing seventh, King took over at the front at 60 kilometres and was never headed.
Sweden’s Jonas Buud came through strongly in the third quarter of the race, run over 20 5km laps, and was second in 6:32:04, his fourth silver medal in the past five editions of the race. Bronze went to Spain’s Jose Antonio Requejo with 6:37:01.
Led home by King, Zach Bitter and Zach Miller finished sixth and ninth respectively to clinch the team title for the USA with a combined time of 20:08:06 with Japan second and Great Britain third.
Greenwood, who also became the first British woman to win the Comrades Marathon earlier this year, won in 7:30:48 after moving into the lead at about 55 kilometres.
The lead changed hands several times during the first half of the race with Norway's Rita Nordsveen, USA's defending champion Amy Sproston and Croatia's Marija Vrajic all having long spells at the front.
However, like with King, once Greenwood took the lead she never relinquished it.
Japan’s Chiyuki Mochizuki was second in 7:38:23 while 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, added to her medal collection when she finished third in 7:42:02.
With Jo Meek fourth in 7:43:37, Great Britain were comfortable winners of the team gold medals with a three-woman combined time of 22:56:24 ahead of Japan and Russia.
Phil Minshull for the IAAF