Join/Renew Now

Mountain/Ultra/Trail 2008 Annual Report

December 2008

Mountain Ultra Trail Running (MUT) Council Annual Report

The three disciplines within long distance running – Mountain, Ultra, and Trail – attract runners of all ages and abilities who enjoy the adventure and challenge inherent in our sports. There is increased interest in our programs from the running industry who respond to runner needs by developing footwear, apparel, nutrition, and hydration products. The media provides support in terms of promotion and advertising geared to mountain, ultra, and trail aficionados. These avenues, coupled with the interest and enthusiasm of race directors nationwide, has fueled the growth in mountain, ultra, trail pursuits.

Our 23-member (and growing) council has been busy coordinating championships, team selection, and travel to our world events including the IAU 100km World Cup, the IAU 24 Hours, the NACAC Mountain Running Championships, the WMRA World Mountain Running Trophy, and reviewing and responding to missives from the national office staff and LDR leadership. We have a solid group dedicated to our sport and look forward to continued growth, awareness, and promotion of our sport in 2008 and beyond. Associations are encouraged to add Mountail Ultra Trail disciplines to their LDR program and to consider hosting a trail, mountain, or ultra championship event. Contact the Mountain Ultra Trail chair or a member of the Council for suggestions and support with starting a program in your association.

Trail and Mountain Running

The fifth mountain running national championship event was contested at Mount Washington on June 21 which also hosted the first of two Teva U.S. Mountain Running Team selection races. National Champions were Eric Blake and Brandy Erholtz who each earned a berth on the mountain team. Our fifth trail sub marathon distance (8 km for women and juniors; 12 km for men) championships in Steamboat Springs, CO, on June 29. National trail champions were Jon Severy and Laura Haefeli while Paul Petersen was the junior champion. The second and final mountain team selection race was held on July 20 in Vail, CO with the Berry Picker Hill Climb. Simon Gutierrez and Megan Kimmel made the team there.  The trail marathon championships were held on June 8 in Deadwood, SD with champions James McGown and Emily Brzozowski.

The U.S. entered both a men’s and women’s team (organized by Jason Bryant) to the NACAC Mountain Running Championships in Jalisco, Mexico on July 5. The U.S. women defended their gold medal and the U.S. men settled for silver. The U.S. plans to enter a full team at sixth NACAC Mountain Running Championships which are planned for June 28, 2009 in North Conway, NH, site of the 2009 USA Mountain Running Championships.

At the 24th World Mountain Running Trophy on September 14 in Sierre-Crans Montana, Switzerland, 33 countries participated. The Teva U.S. Mountain Running Team had medal-winning results. Our senior men’s team finished in third place, our senior women were eighth, our junior women finished eleventh, and our junior men had their best finish to date with a solid fourth place. The U.S. earned its first medal in the individual junior competition when first-time team member Alex Dunne raced to a third-place finish. Our junior team members created blogs at www.youthrunner.com to track their journey as team members from making the team, to the competition in Switzerland, to their return trip to the U.S. Team manager Nancy Hobbs thanks the dedication of this year’s team staff including Richard Bolt, Ellen Miller, and Dave Dunham.

The 25th World Mountain Running Championships (having earned the title of World Mountain Running Championship from the IAAF Council in 2008 with the name change starting in 2009) will be held on an up/down course in Campodolcino, Italy, during the weekend of September 4 (details are being finalized at press time). The selection races for the 2009 team will include the USA Mountain Running Championships with an additional qualifying race to be announced in December.

The mountain team established a relationship in 2005 with USATF organization member, the American Trail Running Association, (www.trailrunner.com) to seek sponsorships and fundraising for the team. The title sponsor and official footwear is Teva (Teva has been the title sponsor of the team since 2002), SportHill provides team apparel, Wicked Fast Sports Nutrition signed a two-year sponsorship agreement in 2008, and Ortholite signed on this year as well. Additional sponsorships for 2008 included returning sponsors from 2007 to include Windermere Real Estate of Teton Valley and Fleet Feet Sports Boulder. FuelBelt provided product again this year and new for 2008 was Costa Del Mar who provided sunglasses. For 2009, the team has also signed CW-X as a product sponsor to supply tights to the team. Our official team website debuted in August of 2007, www.usmrt.com.

Ultrarunning
National Championships

Ultrarunning had another banner year with some new events as well as returning events hosting championships. The 2008 championships were:
• USA 50km Road - Caumsett Park, NY – March 2 – Champions Michael Wardian and Dana Parrot
• USA 100 km Road – Madison, WI, April 12 – Champions Michael Wardian and Carolyn Smith
• USA 100 Mile Trail, Lake Tahoe, NV, July 16 – Champions Eric Skaden/Mike Wolfe and Nikki Kimball
• USA 50 Mile Trail (White River 50), Crystal Mountain, WA, July 28 – Champions Michael Wardian and Susannah Beck
• 100km Trail Champs, Wilamette Pass, OR, August 18 – Champions Neil Olsen and Prudence L’Heureux
• USA 50M Road (Tussey Mountain 50M) in State College, PA, October 11 – Champions Eric Grossman and Sarah Vanderelli

Our championships have seen increased participation by USATF members during the past few years. When we used to award just a few championships medals, we now award most every medal at our championships. Our council continues to promote its National Championships calendar and actively solicits bids from race directors nationwide. Championships Chair Paul Kirsch works closely with our events and this year USATF provided travel for liaisons to each of our championship events.

100 km Team
The 2008 IAU 100km World Cup will be held on Saturday, November 8, in Tarquina, Italy. The U.S. 100 km Team includes Howard Nippert, Michael Wardian, Greg Crowther, Chad Ricklefs, and Adam Lint for the men, Kami Semick, Devon Crosby-Helms, Julie Udchachon, Connie Gardner, Carolyn Smith and Meghan Arbogast for the women. Special thanks to the staff Dr. Lion Caldwell, team leader, Lin Gentling and assistant team manager Mike Spinnler for accompanying the team to Italy. The site of the 2009 IAU 100 km World Cup will be three-time host (’87, ’93, ’02) Torhout, Belgium on June19, 2009. In 2010, the IAU 100km World Cup will be held in Gibraltar on November 6.

To be considered for the 2009 USA 100 km team, runners must be current USATF members and meet qualifying standards. View selection criteria at: www.usatf.org/groups/MountainUltraTrail/.

A not for profit fundraising arm was set up in 2007 for the 100 km team. The Fund for National Ultraunning Teams, Inc., accepts donations and the teams appreciate any and all support. The address is: PO Box 1807, Madison, WI 53701-1807.

24 Hours Team
The sixth 24-Hour IAU World Challenge was held in Seoul, South Korea, on Saturday, October 18. Athletes from 24 countries participated in this 923 meter track and road course. The American women were in third place until the final two hours when the German women moved up gradually to overtake them. The men placed seventh. Scoring members of the U.S. men and women's team were 17. Phil McCarthy, NY, 233.835km; 30. Alex Swenson, WA, 216.665km; 35. Roy Pirrung, WI, 214.34km; 5. Jamie Donaldson, CO, 220.092km; 12. Deb Horn, OH, 203.092km; 17. Carilyn Johnson, TX, 197.073km. The 2009 IAU 24-Hr WC will be held on May 2-3, in Bergamo, Italy. The 2008 24-Hour National Championships will be held November 15-16 in McKinney, TX while the details for the 2009 National Championships have not yet been announced though a tentative date is mid-September.

In addition to these two international events, there is also an IAU World Trail Challenge which has been held in the USA for the past two years at the Sunmart 50 mile. In 2009 the IAU World Trail Challenge has been awarded to the Merrell Sky Race in Serre Chevalier (French Alps) to be held in July.

Special appreciation is extended to our enthusiastic and very active Mountain Ultra Trail Running Council for their efforts to bring more visibility to our three running disciplines within USATF.

Submitted on October 30, 2008 by Nancy Hobbs, Chairperson with input from the USATF Mountain Ultra Trail Running Council