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Mountain/Ultra/Trail 2005 Annual Report

October 19, 2005

Mountain Ultra Trail Running (MUT) Council Annual Report

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 23-member (and growing) council and seven-member executive committee have been busy coordinating championships, team selection and 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 and LDR leadership. We have productive discussions through e-groups, phone conversations, and impromptu meetings during our various championship events, and we will be working on our operating procedures at this year’s convention. MUT has a recognition program for open and masters athletes representing mountain and ultra disciplines as well as a contributor of the year designation to round out our awards program. We have a solid group dedicated to our sport and look forward to continued growth, awareness, and promotion of our sport in 2006. Associations are encouraged to add MUT disciplines to their LDR program and to consider hosting a trail, mountain, or ultra championship event. Contact the MUT chair or a member of the MUT Council for suggestions and support with starting a program in your association.

Trail and Mountain Running

We held our second trail championships at the Teva Mountain Games in Vail, CO with a 10km race on June 4 where we also selected some of our 2005 Teva U.S. Mountain Running Team members. National trail champions were Laura Haefeli and Matt Carpenter. The event also hosted our second North American Central American Caribbean (NACAC) Mountain Running Championships won by the U.S. teams for men and women. The third NACAC Mountain Running Championships are planned for Mexico June, 25 2006 with Canada slated to host in 2007. A mountain national championship was not contested in 2005, but will be held in 2006 with Mount Washington hosting the event for the second time on June 17 (also hosted the champs in 2004).

At the 21st World Mountain Running Trophy on September 25 in Wellington, New Zealand the Teva U.S. Mountain Running Team had a great showing. Our senior men’s team finished in sixth place, our senior women in eighth, our junior men in tenth, and our junior women in ninth. Something new this year was our relationship with www.youthrunner.com  where our junior team members created blogs that followed them from making the team to the competition in New Zealand to their return trip to the U.S. This great program will be offered again for next year’s event, the 22nd World Trophy in Bursa, Turkey. The Trophy events will be run on an uphill course on Sunday, September 10. Our MUT council members have encouraged races to bid to host a selection race with the directive that the course closely mirror what the athletes will find at the World Trophy. The selection races for the 2006 team will be announced at the convention. The team staff for the 2006 event includes Rich Bolt as team leader, Ellen Miller as women’s manager, and Dave Dunham as junior manager.

The mountain team established a relationship with USATF organization member AATRA (All American Trail Running Association) this year to seek sponsorships and fundraising to support and to promote the team. AATRA has secured financial and product support from title sponsor and official footwear Teva, SportHill as the official apparel sponsor, 180s as the equipment sponsor to provide ear warmers, gloves, and sunglasses to the team, and ground™ who provided duffle bags and backpacks to the team. Additional sponsorships will be sought for 2006. The Teva agreement is a three-year agreement through 2007.

Ultrarunning

National Championships
Ultrarunning had another banner year with some of the deepest fields ever assembled as well as a first ever 100 Mile Trail Championship. The 2005 championships were:

• USA 100 Mile Trail (Mohican 100) in Loudonville, OH, on June 18 – Champions Stephanie Ehret and Sean Andrish • USA 50 Mile Trail (White River 50) in Crystal Mountain, WA on July 30 – Champions Nikki Kimball and Hal Koerner • USA 50Km Trail (Headlands 50Km) in Sausalito, CA on August 28 – Champions Julie Udchachon and Dave Mackey
• USA 50 Mile Road (Tussey Mountainback) in Boalsburg, PA on October 15 – Champions Nikki Kimball and Andrew McDowell

MUT continues to promote its National Championship calendar by actively soliciting bids from race directors nationwide. Already in 2006 we have ultra championships at the 50 Mile trail distance with White River hosting again on July 29 and Rocky Raccoon hosting the 100 Mile trail on February 4 in Huntsville, TX. Thanks to Nikki Kimball for chairing the championship program in 2005. Nikki is stepping down from the chair position and Paul Kirsch has offered to chair the program. 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.

100Km Team
The USA Track & Field 100Km national team traveled to Lake Saroma, Japan to compete with 16 other countries in this year’s World Cup on Saturday June 25. This year’s U.S. team was composed of accomplished ultra athletes, and several rookies in World Cup competition. Team USA rose to the occasion, chalking up four personal bests. Highlighting the event was the women’s Gold medal winning performance led by three Americans in the top 10. Anne Lundblad led the team with a silver medal followed by Nikki Kimball in seventh place and Tania Pacev in ninth. All three women will join Howard Nippert, the top men’s finisher in eighth position, on the 2006 National 100km Team.

The 2006 IAU 100K World Cup under the Patronage of the IAAF will be held in Misari, Korea on October 8, 2006. To be considered for the USATF 100K team, runners must be current USATF members and meet qualifying standards. In early 2005 Bill Roe named a task force now headed by Howard Nippert whose mission was to establish selection criteria for the U.S. 100km team. The approved qualifying standards for the 2006 team and profiles of several past team members are published on the MUT website at: www.usatf.org/groups/MountainUltraTrail/ 

Other MUT News
Roy Pirrung pulled double duty as both competitor and team manager at the Third Annual 24-Hour World Challenge on July 16, 2005 in Wörschach, Austria. There were 193 participants from 29 nations. The U.S. women earned a bronze medal duplicating their podium spot from 2004 and the men finished in a solid sixth position. The team was sponsored by the American Ultra Association (AUA). Next year's event will take place in Taipei Taiwan on February 25-26, 2006.

The IAU has appointed a trails task force to consider an international ultra trail championship event as early as 2007. The IAU will be meeting this January to discuss this and other programs. This will be the second year the IAU has held a full meeting outside of their World Cup meetings. The meetings are concurrent with those of the World Mountain Running Association (WMRA). The meetings are held at the IAAF headquarters in Monaco.

Finally, thanks to our enthusiastic and very active MUT Council for their efforts to bring more visibility to our three running disciplines within USATF.

Submitted on October 19, 2005
Nancy Hobbs, Chair
USATF MUT Running Council
With input from the MUT council

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