(18-Jan) -- Canadian Calum Neff ran a pending national record 2:51:27 for 50 kilometers at a special competition held in Houston yesterday (Sunday). Called the Hardloop Endurance 50-K Project 2021, the race was held on a USATF-certified and record-eligible course where the athletes ran a loop of 4880 meters ten times (plus an extra 1200m to make the full distance).
IMAGE: Calum Neff sets a pending Canadian record for 50 kilometers in Houston on January 17, 2021 (screen grab via Instagram)
"The 50-K is where I always wanted to find myself, where I wanted to be," Neff, 33, told the Houston Chronicle. "And I nailed it today."
The mark Neff surpassed was 2:53:20 by Andy Jones, also set in Houston back in 1991. Although Canadian, Neff is a Houston-area resident.
Behind Neff, the second finisher was a woman, marathoner Sarah Cummings, 32, from New York City. Cummings, who finished second in the JFK 50 Mile in Maryland last November, clocked 3:19:15 in her debut at the distance. Although shy of the USA record of 3:13:51 by Janis Klecker set in 1983, hers was still a very good mark.
Elizabeth Northern, 33, finished just 20 seconds behind Cummings and was the second woman. The top-4 women --Cummings, Northern, Chelsea Barr and Sarah Rabourn-- all achieved qualifying marks for USA team selection for the 2021 IAU 50-K World Championships in Taipei on October 31.
Forty-nine year-old Brian Haskett of Houston was the second man home in 3:19:20, five seconds behind Cummings.
A total of 18 athletes entered the race, but only six ran the full distance.