Mountain/Ultra/Trail 2004 Annual Report
December 1, 2004
The three disciplines of long distance running which comprise MUT attract runners of all ages and ability levels who enjoy the adventure and challenge inherent in mountain, ultra, and trail running and racing. Since last year's annual meeting our 15-member council has been busy coordinating championships, team travel to our world events including the 100km World Cup and the World Mountain Running Trophy, and reviewing and responding to missives from the national office staff. We have productive discussions through e-groups, phone conversations, and impromptu meetings during our various championship events. We have a recognition program for open and masters athletes representing mountain and ultra disciplines and added a contributor of the year designation to round out our awards program. In summary, we have a solid group dedicated to our sport and look forward to continued growth, awareness, and promotion of our sport in 2005.
We celebrated our second mountain championships at Mt Washington Hill Climb (June 19) in Gorham NH won by Paul Low and Erica Larson. In July, the 26th annual 7.6-mile Teva Vail HillClimb hosted our inaugural NACAC Mountain Running Championships. Team USA was crowned NACAC champions in both the men's and women's divisions while Team Canada finished second. We earned our first-ever team medal at the World Mountain Running Trophy with our senior women finishing a solid third place just one point shy of a silver medal. Our senior men had their highest finish at a World Trophy event finishing eighth out of 28 teams. Junior men finished 17th and junior women finished in ninth position. We had two podium spots at the World Masters Mountain Running Championships held in Sauze d'Oulx, Italy with Anita Ortiz winning the women's division outright and Tom Borschel winning the 45-49 age group. The mountain team is proud to have a title sponsor in Teva, who renewed their three-year initial agreement through 2007. The team will travel to Wellington, New Zealand September 25-26 to participate in the 21st WMRT.
Ultrarunning had another banner year with over $13,500 in combined prize money for its championship program and some of the deepest fields ever assembled. The 2004 championships were: USA 50 Mile Trail (White River 50) in Crystal Mountain, WA on July 31 USA 50Km Road (Peachtree City) in Peachtree City, Georgia on November 14 USA 50 Mile Road (Tussey Mountainback) in Boalsburg, PA on October 2 MUT continues to promote its National Championship calendar by actively soliciting bids from race directors nationwide. Thanks to Janice Anderson for leading the championship program. Janice is stepping down in 2004 and Nikki Kimball will take on the leadership role. Press releases are regularly distributed to a wide variety of running and ultra media venues in an attempt to educate race directors to the benefits of hosting National Championship races and to encourage the submission of bids. Thanks to Lorraine Gersitz for creating and maintaining a website for MUT. Lorraine has worked closely with Keith Lively and Linda Honikman in web-based promotion of our sports. 100K Team
The USA Track & Field 100K runners went head to head with the world's best ultrarunners on Saturday September 11 in the small town of Winschoten, The Netherlands. This year's US team was composed of accomplished ultra athletes, but eleven of the twelve team members were rookies in World Cup competition. This year over 25 countries were represented in the World Cup event. Team USA rose to the occasion, chalking up five personal bests. The US women's team ran strong and steady, with all six members finishing despite fluctuating temperatures, humidity, and rain throughout the course of the 62.1 mile race. Laura Nelson's 8:38:50, a 5 minute PR, led the US women to a 5th place finish in team competition. Mark Werner, a university statistics professor from Boulder, Colo living and teaching in Egypt, ran an 18-minute PR to finish in 7:35:53 to lead the US men's squad to an 8th place finish among national teams. The 2005 IAU 100K World Cup under the Patronage of the IAAF will be held in Lake Saroma Japan on June 26, 2005. To be considered for the USATF 100K team, runners must be current USATF members and meet qualifying standards. Qualifying standards for the 2005 team and profiles of several of the 2004 team members are published on the MUT website at: http://www.usatf.org/groups/MountainUltraTrail/
MUT sets the selection criteria for the US 100km team and the mountain team and makes sure that the selection criteria and process are widely distributed to athletes. One of the ways this information has been distributed is through a huge network created and maintained by Lorraine Gersitz and Richard Bolt. Lorraine and Richard work closely with many online websites and print media outlets including www.coolrunning.com and The Running Network. Richard also works closely with his own New England USATF association to further promote our sport.
We held our first trailrunning championships in 2004 with the Teva Spring RunOff 10Km in Vail, Colorado on June 4 and the Dupont Forest Trail Marathon on October 17 in Hendersonville, North Carolina. Simon Gutierrez and Laura Haefeli were our 10Km trail champions while Anne Riddle and Chad Newton were our marathon champs. Associations within USATF have begun MUT championship programs to include Colorado, Georgia, Pacific, Pacific NW, Indiana, and New England (who set the standard having hosted an association mountain championship series for the past nine years).
Other MUT News
Roy Pirrung pulled double duty as both competitor and team manager at the 24-Hour World Challenge in Brno, Czech Republic on October 23-24, 2004. The event was created to fill a void left in the wake of a loss of sponsorship for the original event in Appeldoorn, The Netherlands scheduled in May. The American 24-hour team consisted of four men and three women. With two of the three women finishing in third and sixth place, the women's team reached the medal stand. Stephanie Ehret moved into third position on the all-time best American 24-hour list with a performance of 140+ miles with her third place finish. Pam Reed last year's top female at the WC finished sixth and Sandy Powell was the third scoring member. The men were led by Scott Eppelman of Dallas in a personal record distance of 144+miles. John Geesler, last year's top finisher raced the 142+mile mark followed by the third scoring member, Roy Pirrung, with 139+miles. Pirrung broke his own 55-59 AR which had stood at 137.69 miles. Alex Swenson was the 4th male team finisher also with a PR of 137 miles. The team was funded by the American Ultra Association (AUA), Revitaflex, and Injinji. Next year's event will take place in Worschach, Austria on July 16-17.
Finally, thanks to our enthusiastic and very active MUT Council for their efforts to bring more visibility to our three running disciplines within USATF. It is a pleasure working with each and every council member.
Submitted on October 30, 2004 by:
Nancy Hobbs, Chair
USATF MUT Running Council
With input from the MUT Council