1996-2001 The Early Years

1996 – First Year

Kevin Setnes instituted a Friday afternoon start and a 28-hour time limit for the first KM100.  Wisconsin’s Ray O’Malley became the race’s first-ever winner in 18:41:50.  Christina Ralph of Washington was the first female winner, in 21:42:45.  95 runners started the race, and 63 finished.

1997 – New Records

The second KM100 also began on Friday afternoon, a factor considered as somewhat of an equalizer because all runners would be required to all night.  The men’s and overall winner, Dana Taylor of California, set a new course record in 17:51:40.  Marge Adelman of Kansas won the women’s race and also set a course record, 21:12:25.  54 runners finished the race under the 28-hour time limit.

1998 –  An historic victory

Donna Perkins, a Wisconsin local, was the first female and the overall winner of the third KM100.  Thus, she became the first woman to ever win a 100-mile trail race outright.  Donna also broke the women’s course record of 18:12:30.  The first male and second overall was Marty Hoffman, also of Wisconsin, in 18:36:10.  Kevin continued the practice of a Friday afternoon start and a 28-hour time limit.  62 runners completed the race within the 28-hour limit.

1999 – Hot, humid weather

Wisconsin summers can be hot and humid affairs.  This fourth edition of the KM100 was the first to deal such withering weather to our runners.  The Friday afternoon start proved to be somewhat of a boon, as the sunset provided a little relief.  Eric Clifton, New Mexico, came in first, winning by over two hours and setting the current course record in 15:57:09. Holly Neault-Zinzow, then from Illinois and now from Wisconsin, was the first female finisher, in 21:38:39.  The weather contributed to a 50% DNF rate  –  114 runners started, 57 finished. Again, there was a 28-hour time limit in effect.

2000 – New winners again

Our usual pleasant Wisconsin early-summer weather conditions returned for the fifth KM100.  The start of the race was moved to Friday noon, allowing a few more hours of daylight running while the runners were still fresh.  The winner, Hal Koerner of Colorado, finished in 18:03:59, less than 10 minutes ahead of Terry Pann in the closest KM100 finish to date.  In her first attempt at a 100-mile race, Ann Heaslett, another local Wisconsin runner, was the women’s winner in 20:44:10.  53 of 88 starters finished the race.

2001 – First repeat winner

Kevin switched to the more conventional Saturday morning start for this sixth KM100, extended the time limit to 30 hours, and added a 100-kilometer event.  The weather was pretty miserable for the most part, chilly and drizzly.  Terry Pann was the men’s and overall 100-mile winner in 18:06, while Ann Heaslett became the first runner  –  male or female  – to repeat as winner of her event, in 18:45, which was good for second place overall.  This was a year for outstanding performances by women, with Janice Anderson of Georgia finishing as the second woman and fourth overall.  The winners of the inaugural 100K race were Colorado’s Brandon Sybrowsky and Wisconsin’s Holly Neault-Zinzow.