Julie Hamulecki breaks Canadian 100K record at world champs in Croatia

Canadian ultrarunner finished 12th on the hilly, repetitive course

September 9th, 2018 by | Posted in Runs & Races | Tags: , , ,

Ultrarunner Julie Hamulecki of Toronto broke the Canadian women’s 100K record,  with a 12th-place finish at the 30th IAU 100K World Championships in Sveti Martin na Muri, Croatia on Saturday. Her time was 7:58:11. She was the only one of the six-member Team Canada to achieve a top-20 finish. The previous Canadian record was 8:02:59.

RELATED: Don Ritchie’s 100K record broken one week after his death

Hamulecki, a fashion and beauty producer for CTV’s The Social, also represented Canada at the 2016 world championships in Spain, where she finished 14th. “I always go out to try and beat my last 100K time, and to do a sub-8, which is the Canadian record,” says Hamulecki, who ran 8:03:47 at the MadCity 100K in Wisconsin last year.

The scenic course was unusually hilly for this competition, with runners accumulating 800m of ascent over the 100K. It featured a series of out-and-backs starting with a 2.5K, then a series of thirteen 7.5K out-and-backs. Heat and humidity became a factor about halfway through the day, with temperatures climbing to 30 C.

“One of my teammates was here training a month early, and he warned us the course was hilly,” Hamulecki says. “I was able to gain some time on the downhills. Luckily it was cloudy for most of the race, so we could get the miles in before it got really hot, and I had run the first half quite efficiently. You never know how it’s going to go until you’ve done a few laps of the course.”

Hamulecki has been a frequent participant at Run for the Toad 50K in Paris Ont., and has won it twice. She won the national 100K championships in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont. in 2016, which qualified her for the world championships in Spain that year. Hamulecki is coached by her husband, Adam Takacs.

The women’s race was won by Nikolina Šustić of Split, Croatia, who finished second in 2016. Her time was 7:20:34. Germany’s Nele Alder-Baerens finished second, in 7:22:41, and Japan’s Mai Fujisawa third, in 7:39:07.

In the men’s race, defending champion Hideaki Yamauchi and then Takehiko Gyoba, both of Japan, surged ahead of third-place finisher Bongmusa Mthembu of South Africa, who had held the lead until 92.5K. They finished 1-2-3, with Yamauchi in 6:28:05, Gyoba in 6:32:51, and Mthembu in 6:33:47. Mthembu was the winner of South Africa’s  Comrades Marathon in June.

Japan’s Nao Kazami, who finished in sixth place with a time of 6:42:30, made headlines in June when he broke Don Ritchie’s 40-year world record at the Lake Saroma ultramarathon in Japan, where he finished in 6:09:14.