Joans Buud winning the 2015 IAU 100km World Championships (© Meijco van Velzen)
After taking the silver medal at four of the past five IAU 100km World Championships, Sweden’s Jonas Buud finally got to stand on top of the podium at the 28th edition of the event, which this year was held in the Dutch town of Winschoten on Saturday (12).
Buud, 41, took the lead at 63km, on the seventh of 10 10km laps, going past USA's James Walmsley who had led almost from the gun. Buud just kept extending his lead all the way to the finish line, eventually crossing the line in 6:22:44.
The Swede’s time was a national record and a huge personal best by more than five minutes, moving him up to 12th on the all-time list for the distance.
He finished more than 13 minutes in front of Spain’s silver medallist Asier Cuevas.
Between 60km and 70km, Cuevas had moved up from fourth to second but once in that position the European champion lost more than three minutes per lap on Buud over the final 30km as the Swede disappeared into the distance.
Nevertheless, Cuevas still crossed the line in a personal best of 6:35:49, just over three minutes faster than he had ever done before, to get his first medal on a global stage after finishing fourth in 2012.
Three-time world champion Giorgio Calcaterra took the bronze medal exactly one minute behind Cuevas, passing Russia's Vasiliy larkin on the last lap to take his fifth medal at these championships after winning in 2009, 2011 and 2012 and taking another bronze in 2010.
Buud rose to the top of the podium for a second time a little later after getting his own individual gold medal as he made a significant contribution to Sweden taking a surprising gold medal in the team competition with their top three men having a combined time of 19:59:40.
In a close contest for the silver, Russia were second with 20:30:29 and Italy third with 20:32:29.
The top three finishers in the global competition also ended up taking the same medals in the concurrent European Championships, and it was the same for the teams.
In the women’s race, USA’s Camille Herron fulfilled her role of pre-event favourite for the third US win in the past six editions, following in the footsteps of Kami Semick in 2009 and Amy Sproston in 2012.
Herron had run 7:26:24 at the Mad City 100km earlier this year, more than 10 minutes faster than any other entrant in the past three years, and was in the lead from the end of the first lap.
She was in a different class from everybody else during the rest of the race and had a 10-minute advantage over her nearest rival, Sweden’s 2012 silver medallist Kajsa Berg, at the halfway point.
Herron continued her relentless running over the second 50km and crossed the line in 7:08:35, the fourth fastest time ever and a personal best by almost 18 minutes.
Berg focused on her own running and after the gap between her and Herron had grown to 12 minutes at 60km, she didn’t let it increase further. She crossed the line in 7:20:48, completing a good day for Sweden with another national record, and a personal best by almost 20 minutes.
It moved her up to eighth on the world all-time list for this distance and, into the bargain, also took the European title.
Having a strong run in the second half of the race, coming through from well outside the medal positions, Marija Vrajic brought Croatia its first ever individual medal in this championships when she crossed the line in a national record of 7:27.11, which was also a personal best by just over 10 minutes.
Phil Minshull for the IAAF