Race Preview – 2021 USATF 50 km National Championship

Written by USATF Championship Liaison and American Trail Running Association treasurer Lin Gentling.

The USA Track and Field (USATF) 50 km National Road Championships will take place this Sunday, June 13th, at Heckscher State Park, in East Islip, New York. The course is a 5k loop to be run 10 times by competitors. The 2021 version of the Caumsett 50k was held for many years at Caumsett State Park in Lloyd Harbor, New York.

Winners of the race will be offered an automatic spot on the USATF 50 km national team that will be competing at the IAU 50k World Championship in Taiwan on October 31, 2021, providing their winning time meets the qualifying standard. For women, the time is sub 3:33, and for men, sub 3:00. With the teams nearly full at this time from prior auto qualifier races, the stakes are high!

In addition to the auto position on the US team, there will be race and national record bonuses. The US national 50 km road record is 3:13:51 for the women (Des Linden’s new record is pending) and 2:43:45 for the men. Course records are 3:15:00 for the women and 2:48:56 for the men.

Sabrina Little at the 2018 Trail World Championships in Spain.

Highlighting the women’s race are Regina Lopez of Azuza, California, Lauren Ross of Portland, Oregon, Sabrina Little of Moorehead, Kentucky, and masters runner Heather Lieberg of Helena, Montana. Lopez has a marathon best of 2:42, Ross a 2:45. Little comes in from the other end of the spectrum with a 100k best of 7:49. Lieberg ran a 2:39 at the 2020 Olympic Marathon trials at the age of 40.

On the men’s side, Kallin Khan, the 2020 defending champion, returns. He is already guaranteed a spot on Team USA from last year’s win, but will be exciting to watch none-the-less. Also running is Charlie Lawrence with a marathon best of 2:16. Kyle Masterson was on the 50 km team in 2019, where he placed 7th overall and was the first American. Fernando Cabada boasts a 2:11 marathon and recently posted a 2:50 50k in Hawaii. Michael Wardian will be back to defend the masters title and his age group (45-49) record of 3:06.

Michael Wardian

The Greater Long Island Running Club (GLIRC) has hosted the 50 km national championships for the past several years and does an outstanding job at orchestrating the championship. Originally scheduled for March 7, the 50 km championship was postponed to June 13 to better accommodate greater numbers of athletes while staying within COVID-19 restrictions. The club has worked tirelessly to ensure a safe championship and in so doing has attracted a stellar field of elite runners.

Event registration can be fund on RunSignUp.com. Race website is and information on the 50K national team selections can be found at 2021 U.S. National 50 km Team: Qualification Standards and Current List of Qualifiers. Information about USATF can be found on the the USA Track & Field website.

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