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News and Notes - April 22, 2016


USATF Long Distance Mountain Running Team announced

INDIANAPOLIS -- USATF’s Mountain Ultra Trail Council has announced the 2016 Long Distance Mountain Running Team which will compete in this year’s World Mountain Running Association (WMRA) Long Distance Mountain Running Championships on June 18, in Podbrdo, Slovenia, as part of the Gorski Marathon.

This will be the 13th WMRA Long Distance Mountain Running Championships and the second time the championships have taken place at the Gorski Marathon. The course challenges runners with technical trails and elevation gain/loss, as it climbs out of the narrow valley of the Baca River. In the past twelve years, the US men’s teams have claimed team gold twice and silver twice, which they did last year in Zermatt. The US women’s teams have claimed team gold three times and bronze once, which also came last year.

The U.S. women’s team has veteran Team USA ladies in Megan Kimmel (Silverton, Colorado), Maria Dalzot (Bellingham, Washington), Anita Ortiz, (Eagle, Colorado), and Amber Reece-Young (Asheville, North Carolina), while Kristina Pattison (Louisville, Colorado), joins her first U.S. team. The U.S. men’s team returns all three of last year’s scoring team members, led by 2015 individual silver medalist Andy Wacker (Boulder, Colorado), along with Peter Maksimow (Manitou Springs, Colorado), and Mario Mendoza (Bend, OR). Matt Shryock (Anchorage, Alaska) and Ted Farley (Bozeman, Montana), are new to Team USA.

Contributed by Nancy Hobbs, USATF MUT Chair

Spirited rivalries on display at 2016 USATF Masters 10K Championship

DEDHAM, Massachusetts -- Over 200 of the fastest Masters Long Distance Runners in the country converge on the picturesque small New England town of Dedham, located a few miles outside of Boston.  The host for the Championship is the James Joyce Ramble, now in its 33rd year, directed by Martin Hanley. The forecast is excellent, low 50’s, sunny skies and little wind. This terrific field will be chasing $10,000 in prize money when they toe the line at 11 am this Sunday, April 24.

Kristian Blaich, the defending champion, is out with a hip flexor issue but there is plenty of firepower up front. The 2nd and 3rd place finishers from last year, Dave DeChellis and Kent Lemme are back to contend for the gold medal. But they will have to dispatch an impressive array of contenders including Mike McManus who had the fastest time at the USATF Masters 5 KM Championships last October and the B.A.A. trio, Peter Hammer, Christopher Magill, and Harry Stants. Stants and Hammer finished just ahead of McManus at the USATF Masters Club Cross Country Championships (10K) in December, and Magill was right on his heels. Andy Gardiner ran a dynamite 5K in March where he was just behind Magill and well ahead of Stants. Danny Goodman took 2nd in the USATF Masters 1500 race at the Outdoor Championships in the 35-39 division in 4:18 and has since moved into the 40-44 group. He has run two sub-34 minute 10K’s this year so he is primed for the distance.

One of the headliners on the Women’s side is Sonja Friend-Uhl who won the USATF Masters Club Cross Country Championships in December and took the 800 meter gold medal at the USATF Masters Indoor Track Championships in March with a 2:15. The defending champion, Marisa Sutera Strange, is back; if she can match the 37:00 she ran last year, she will be right in the thick of it. Friend-Uhl ran a 36:10 10K in October last year but she has not had much time to build up her training mileage for this race.

Another featured runner is Jan Holmquist, 71, who broke the Women’s 70-74 10K record here last year in 45:19. Will she be able to lower it further? She ran a recent 5K four seconds faster than last year so she appears to be at the top of her game. Holmquist is also likely to take the Women’s Age-Grading title although she has serious competition from Strange, 52, who was 3rd last year in age-grading, and Edie Stevenson, who took the age-grading crown in Brea CA at the Masters 8K Championship. Rick Becker and Brian Pilcher are likely to battle for the Men’s Age-Grading title although they will have plenty of competition. Becker took the crown at the USATF Cross Country Championships at Bend OR and finished 2nd at the 8K Championships. Pilcher only took 9th at those championships but is coming back from a hamstring injury and is likely to move up the age-grading charts here in Dedham. John Barbour, Mark Reeder, McManus, Gardiner, Lemme and Hammer will also contend.

William Dixon, Vermont, and Doug Bell, Colorado, will renew their M65 rivalry. Dixon had a 5 second edge over Bell at the USATF 5K Championships last October. But they will also have to worry about Doug Winn, Oregon, who bested Dixon by 17 seconds at the USATF Club Cross Country Championships in December.

Contributed by Paul Carlin, USATF Masters LDR Media Chair

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