June 4, 2005
Competitors in USA National 10Km Trail Championships Face Winter Conditions
VAIL, Colo. — The mountains surrounding Vail, Colorado were covered with a thin blanket of wet snow as runners toed the line at the Gore-Tex USA 10Km National Trail Running Champs this morning. Temperatures were in the low 40s at the 9:30 a.m. start time which was pushed back 30 minutes so race officials could remark parts of the course as heavy winds blew markers down last night. Snow continued throughout the race and turned to rain in the afternoon.
The race field featured some of the best mountain runners in the world in addition to top U.S. runners competing for the national championship title. Anna Pichrtova, Czech Republic the runner-up at the 2004 World Mountain Running Trophy and Melissa Moon, Wellington, New Zealand, a two-time World Mountain Running Trophy champion dueled throughout the race with Moon gaining distance on the uphills and Pichrtova pulling away on the downhills. Pichrtova was victorious in a time of 52:19 with Moon just 20 seconds back.
A few hours after her finish Moon reflected on the course, "For someone like me who has never run at altitude, the conditions on the day coupled with the altitude in Vail (8,000 plus feet) and the nature of the descents made it one of the tougher races I have done in my career. I felt really strong the whole way and in fact probably held back possibly a little too much in the first half since I was unsure how the altitude would affect me. Having said that, Anna was just incredible on those descents and she just got me at the finish. I am looking forward to my race at Mt Washington on June 18 where Anna and I will meet again."
The first American was Laura Haefeli, 37, Del Norte, CO who finished in 55:01 and earned her second National Championship honors at the 10km distance (having won also in 2004) as well as a spot on the Teva US Mountain Running Team. Haefeli was elated with her finish, "I am so excited to make the team. It was a really tough run today with great competition. I'm looking forward to the World Trophy race this September in New Zealand."
On the men's side mountain running specialist Matt Carpenter, 40, Manitou Springs led from the start. "I saw Matt at about two miles into the race and he looked really strong, I didn't think anyone would catch him," said Race Director Mike Ortiz.
Carpenter won national championship honors with his victory in 46:41 while Tim Parr, 23, Gunnison, CO finished second in 47:31 and road specialist and four-time All American Clint Wells, 30, Boulder, CO was third in 47:50.
Both Carpenter and Parr earned automatic berths on the Teva US Mountain Running Team although Carpenter will most likely decline his spot since he is planning to race the Leadville Trail 100 this year and said, "After Leadville I know I'll be too sore to race at Worlds. Last year Leadville took quite a bit out of me," said a rather mud-splattered Carpenter following the race.
Parr has been focusing on making his second mountain team and was elated to be named to the team. "I had been following Matt's career for years having grown up and attending high school in Colorado Springs (next to Carpenter's hometown of Manitou Springs). It is incredible to finish second to him today. I am so thrilled to make the team and can't wait to go to New Zealand," said Parr.
Wells, although not getting an automatic berth on the team will certainly be a top contender for an at-large spot on the team. "I'm really interested in making the team and going to New Zealand. I wasn't sure how I'd do today since I race mostly on the roads," said Wells.
There are three more team selection races with Northfield Mountain, MA hosting the next on June 25 followed by Devil's Trail in Merrimac, WI on July 16 and Cranmore, NH hosting on August 7. With Carpenter most likely declining his spot, this leaves two at-large positions for the men's team since each of the next three races will name the top U.S. finisher to the team of six. The women's team of four will be selected from Northfield and Devil's Trail with the top U.S. woman at each being named to the team. This leaves one at-large spot to be selected based on finish position in the selection races and will also consider past mountain race experience as well as trail, mountain, cross country, road, and track times.
Today's race also included the second North American Central American Caribbean (NACAC) Mountain Running Championships which pits team from the NACAC member countries in a cross-country scoring (with up to four team members and the top two finishers scoring).
On the men's side, the U.S. team led by Vail's Josiah Middaugh in fourth position and Simon Gutierrez in seventh position were victorious with a score of 11. The Canadian team's top finisher was Jason Loutitt in sixth place with Geoff Williamson in tenth position resulting in a score of 16.
Masters winners are listed below with complete results available at www.vailrec.com
In spite of the less-than-ideal conditions, there were 205 finishers on the day with 83 women and 122 men. The field was much larger than the 153 finishers in 2004.
A prize purse of $5000 was equally divided between the event's top male and female finishers. The breakdown in the prize money was as follows: $1000 for first place, $750 for second place, $500 for third place, and $250 for fourth place.
The event was part of the Teva Mountain Games, an annual four-day festival which includes kayaking, paddling, rock climbing, inner tubing, mountain biking, outdoor films, rock concerts, and the inaugural Everest Awards. At the Everest Awards to be held tonight several runners from today's race were nominated in the trail running division (which had three nominees in each of the men's and women's categories) including Anita Ortiz, 40, Eagle, CO a three-time member of the Teva US Mountain Running Team and tenth place finisher today; Simon Gutierrez, 39, Alamosa, CO also a three-time member of the Teva US Mountain Running Team and seventh place today; and Buzz Burrell, 53, Boulder, CO a mountain specialist and director of the La Sportiva/Go Lite Racing Team and 30th overall.
USATF Championships – Top 10 Overall
1-Matt Carpenter, 40, Manitou Springs, CO, 46:41, $1000
2-Tim Parr, 23, Gunnison, CO, 47:31, $750 $250
3-Clint Wells, 30, Boulder, CO, 47:50, $500
4-Josiah Middaugh, 26, Vail, 48:23, $250
5-Simon Gutierrez, 39, Alamosa, 49:24
6-Jon Severy, 23, Boulder, 49:28
7-Eric Blake, 27, Plattsburg, NY, 49:31
8-Bill Raitter, 35, Estes Park, 50:35
9-Galen Burrell, 25, Boulder, 50:39
10-Bernie Boettcher, 42, Silt, CO, 51:07
1-Laura Haefeli, 37, Del Norte, CO, 55:01 $500
2-Chris Lundy, 34, Sausalito, CA, 56:34
3-Lisa Isom, 33, Vail, CO, 57:34
4-Julie Bryan, 36, Jackson, WY, 58:07
5-Kelly Ryan, 36, Lakewood, CO 58:44
6-Lisa Goldsmith, 40, Nederland, CO 58:57
7-Katie Blackett, 28, Boulder, 59:29
8-Anita Ortiz, 40, Eagle, CO, 1:00:23
9-Brianne Lippoldt, 25, Durango, CO 1:00:59
10-Keri Nelson, 23, Gunnison, 1:01:02
USATF Masters Champions
40-44: Carpenter and Goldsmith
45-49: Tom Borschel, Idaho Falls, ID, 54:25 and Ellen Miller, Vail, 1:11:57
50-54: Chuck Smead, Mosca, CO, 53:42 & Kelly Murphy, Leadville, 1:29:08
55-59: John Swartz, Breckenridge, 1:04:23
60-64: James Douglas, Breckenridge, CO, 1:14:25
For more information on USATF, the Teva U.S. Mountain Running Team selection races and team sponsors, please visit the websites listed below:
Northfield Mountain Race – June 25 www.usatfne.org
Teva Devil's Race – July 16 www.trailrun.wors.org
Mt. Cranmore - August 7 www.whitemountainmilers.com
World Mountain Running Association www.wmra.info
USA Track & Field www.usatf.org
World Mountain Running Trophy 2005 www.mountainrunning.org.nz/
All American Trail Running Association www.trailrunner.com
Teva – team sponsor www.teva.com
SportHill Clothing – team sponsor www.sporthill.com
180s – team sponsor www.180s.com Ground - team sponsor www.groundwear.com