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May 26, 2005

Impressive Field to Compete in USA National 10 km Trail Championships

VAIL, Colo. The world-renowned ski resort community of Vail, Colorado is kicking off the spring trail running season with the Gore-Tex USA 10Km National Trail Running Champs on Saturday, June 4. The event is 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.

Components of the race include the championships, 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), and selection for three members of the Teva US Mountain Running Team the top two U.S. men and the top U.S. woman finisher.

Defending USA National 10km Trail champions and members of the 2004 Teva US Mountain Running Team Simon Gutierrez, 39, Alamosa, CO and Laura Haefeli, 37, Del Norte, CO headline the competition. Returning to the event after missing last year's race due to injury will be local Vail Valley favorite and two-time USATF Mountain Runner of the Year (2002, 2003) Anita Ortiz, 40, Eagle.

Joining Haefeli and Ortiz on the U.S. team competing in the NACAC Championships will be Lisa Isom, 33, Vail and Erica Larson, 33, Los Alamos, NM. These four women represent last year's bronze medal-winning team at the World Mountain Running Trophy.

On the men's side, the U.S. team competing in the NACAC Championships will include Gutierrez, Josiah Middaugh, 26, Vail, Andy Ames, 42, Boulder, CO and Eric Blake, 26, Plattsburgh, NY. All but Middaugh are past Teva US Mountain Running Team Members.

Athletes vying for national championship honors as well as a spot on the mountain team include Katie Blackett, 32?, Boulder third-place finisher at last year's 10Km trail championships, and Danelle Ballengee, 31, Dillon, Bill Raitter, 29, Estes Park, Jon Severy, 22, Aspen, CO, Bernie Boettcher, 41, Silt.

Boettcher and Ames will also be dueling for a masters victory in the National Championships and will face tough competition from Idaho Falls, Idaho masters runner Tom Borschel, 47 who was the 45-49 champion at the 2004 Masters World Mountain Running Championships.

Building on the international flavor of the NACAC component two-time World Mountain Running Trophy champion Melissa Moon, New Zealand, and last year's World Trophy runner up Anna Pichrtova , Czech Republic are both slated to compete.

The breathtaking singletrack trail course starts and finishes in Vail Village and includes more than 3,000 feet of elevation change on Vail Mountain. "We're looking forward to hosting another competitive race this year and we're delighted to have such a diverse participant base including some very talented foreign athletes," says race director Mike Ortiz.

A prize purse of $5000 will be equally divided between the event's top male and female finishers. The breakdown in the prize money is as follows: $1000 for first place, $750 for second place, $500 for third place, and $250 for fourth place.

For more information on the Teva U.S. Mountain Running Team selection races and team sponsors, please visit the websites listed below:

USA 10km Trail Running Championships
Northfield Mountain Race June 25
Teva Devil's Race July 16
Mt. Cranmore - August 7
World Mountain Running Association
USA Track & Field
World Mountain Running Trophy 2005
All American Trail Running Association
Teva team sponsor
SportHill Clothing team sponsor
180s team sponsor
Ground - team sponsor

Bios on top U.S. athletes in the race

Andy Ames, 42, Boulder, CO was a member of the 2004 Teva USA Mountain Running Team and placed 47th in the World Mountain Running Trophy in Sauze d'Oulx, Italy. In 2004 he placed sixth at the Masters Mountain Running World Championships (Sauze d'Oulx), was Masters Trail Running 10km National Champion (fifth overall), masters mountain running National Champion (6th overall), and was named USATF Masters Mountain Runner of the Year. Past victories include US Skyrunning Vertical Kilometer in 1998 and Kokopeli Supermarathon (100 mile stage race over 5 days), Vail Hill Climb in 1995 and 1998, Vail Half marathon in 1995.He finished as high as second in the Pikes Peak Ascent (1994). Ames is a buyer for Excel Sports in Boulder.

Danelle Ballengee, 33, Dillon, CO is a professional multi-sport athlete and one of the world's top female adventure racers. She is a three-time member of the U.S. mountain running team ('97, '99, '01) and a past USATF Mountain Runner of the Year. She has won virtually every Colorado mountain race to include the prestigious Pikes Peak Marathon and the Imogene Pass Run. Ballengee is a personal trainer and event organizer.

Katie Blackett, 27, Boulder, CO finished third in last year's trail championships. She shows versatility and strength on the roads as an Olympic Marathon Trials participant and as a member of the 2004 Team USA at the Boulder Bolder. Her strength translated to the trails as she won the challenging Barr Trail Mountain Race in 2004. Blackett is the women's LDR chair for USATF Colorado and is a financial analyst and professional runner.

Eric Blake, 26, Plattsburgh, NY, finished 33rd in 2004 Olympic Marathon Trials, and was ninth American at the 2004 ING NYC Marathon. Last year as a member of the Teva US Mountain Running Team Blake finished 28th at the 2004 World Mountain Trophy in Sauze D'Oulx, Italy. He was third at the 2004 USA Mountain Championships at Mt. Washington where he earned his spot on the mountain team. He also finished fifth at the 2003 USA Mountain Championships in Vail. He is the 1996 Connecticut High School XC State Open Champion. Blake is the Plattsburgh State University Head Men and Women's Cross-Country and Assistant Track Coach.

Bernie Boettcher, 41, Silt, CO is coming off an exceptional snowshoe race season where he finished in the top three in nearly every competition including a third-place finish at the highly competitive North American Snowshoe Championships. He recently won the Colorado USATF 25K trail championships in Greenland (April 16) and has amassed nearly 25 race finishes to date this year. Boettcher is an accomplished artist and writer.

Julie Bryan, 36, Jackson Hole, WY was a member of the 2001 mountain running team. Bryan is a versatile mountain runner with numerous victories on her home turf in Jackson Hole and also wins in Colorado to include the Barr Trail Mountain Race. Bryan owns a real estate company.

Galen Burrell, 25, Boulder, CO is the 2004 Pikes Peak Marathon champion, Spring Desert Ultra champion and second-place finisher at the Imogene Pass Run. Burrell is very acquainted with the 2005 World Trophy course having spent the majority of the winter traveling in New Zealand. He is an Architectural Engineer specializing in energy efficient design of commercial buildings and runs for the LaSportiva/GoLite racing team.

Kari DiStefano, 46, Telluride, CO is a three-time member of the Teva US Mountain Running Team, a four-time winner of the Imogene Pass Winner, past winner of the Grants, NM Winter Quadrathlon, second-place finisher in the Pikes Peak Marathon and winner of the 1997 Skymarathon in Cervinia, Italy. DiStefano is the mother of three and works as a draftsperson for San Miguel county.

Lisa Goldsmith, 40, Nederland, CO is a past mountain team member having participated in the 1997 World Mountain Running Trophy in the Czech Republic. Lisa is an accomplished snowshoe racer having just completed an outstanding winter of racing. She is past winner of the Mt. Baldy Hill Climb, and the Collegiate Peaks 25 miler and a top finisher at numerous mountain races to include the Mt. Evans Hill Climb. Goldsmith is a massage therapist.

Simon Gutierrez, 39, Alamosa, CO, is a three-time Teva US Mountain Running Team member and was the first American at last year's World Trophy where he finished 17th overall. At his first Pikes Peak Ascent, he was victorious in 2003. Gutierrez is a six-time winner of the La Luz Mountain Race and two-time Mt Washington Hill Climb champion. Gutierrez is sponsored by 180s, SportHill, and Teva. He is a three-time USA world cross country team member and a 1983 High School cross country All American. At age 17 Gutierrez set the still standing road 10km record of 29.45. He is employed as a physical therapist. Page Three/USA 10km Trail Championships

Laura Haefeli, 37, Del Norte, CO earned her spot on the 2004 Teva US Mountain Running Team as the second US finisher at Mt Washington and finished a solid 15th place at the World Mountain Running Trophy (second American). She is the 2004 USATF 10K Trail National Champion and winner of the 2004 Teva Vail HillClimb. Equally talented in summer biathlon (running and marksmanship), Haefeli is a seven time National Champion and a nine-time National Team Member. Running since the sixth grade, she competed in the 800m, 1600m, and cross country in high school, was an All-American during her senior year in college at the University of Dayton and was twice named All-Ohio Runner of the Year. Her PRs include 34:47 for 10K, 8K - 27:33, 5K - 16:50. Laura and her husband Tom are beekeepers and sell honey and wax. She is the mother of three young children.

Lisa Isom 33, Vail, CO is a two-time Teva US Mountain Running Team member (2003 as alternate and 2004). She finished second at the 2004 Teva Vail HillClimb which hosted the inaugural North American Central American Caribbean championships. Isom is a talented multi-sport athlete having won the US Qualifier for the UTI Winter Triathlon (snow running, snow biking, skate-skiing) World Championships in Wildhaus, Switzerland in March. She is a professional off-road triathlete sponsored by 180s, La Sportiva/Go Lite, Athlete Octane, Vail Valley Foundation, Jansport, CW-X, Pedal Power Bicycle Shop, Nokia 4150. She is a wife and mother of a four-year-old daughter named Wilder and works full-time as the Director of Recreation for a private golf resort in Colorado.

Erica Larson 33, Los Alamos, NM competes on both trails and roads. As the first female American finisher at the Mount Washington Road Race, she became the 2004 Women's USATF Mountain Running Champion and was on the 2004 Teva US Mountain Running Team where she finished 24th overall. She is a four-time women's winner of the Pikes Peak Marathon and the women's course record holder at the Leadville Marathon. Other 2004 highlights include a 35th place finish at the 2004 US Women's Olympic Marathon Trials and a 1st place finish at the inaugural Rock 'n Roll Arizona half-marathon. Her PRs are 2:41:42 for the marathon and 1:17:51 for the half-marathon.

Josiah Middaugh, 26, Vail, CO enters his third year as a pro triathlete in 2005 and is equally adept at snowshoe racing. He won the 2004 XTERRA Central Championship in Keystone Colorado, was third in the XTERRA West Championship, first in the XTERRA Canada Championship, and third overall and first American at the XTERRA USA Championship, earning the title of XTERRA USA National Champion. He is the 2005 North American Snowshoe Champion and was first at the 2005 Mt Taylor Winter Quadrathlon. Middaugh was a top finisher at last year's Teva Spring RunOff and Teva Vail HillClimb. Middaugh is sponsored by 180s among others. He holds a B.S. in Health Promotion and Rehabilitation from Central Michigan University where he competed in Division I Cross Country and Track. He is a Personal Training and Metabolic Testing Coordinator at the Vail Cascade Spa and Club.

Anita Ortiz, 40, Eagle, CO is a two-time USATF Mountain Runner of the Year (2002 and 2003), USATF Masters Mountain Runner of the Year 2004, three-time Teva US Mountain Running Team member, top American at each of the three WMRT events she has participated in (11th in 2002, 8th in 2003, 11th in 2004), and four-time winner of the Pikes Peak Ascent. She was the overall winner at the WMRA World Masters Mountain Running Championships the week before the WMRT in 2004. Ortiz is sponsored by Teva footwear, 180s Innovative Sportswear, CWX, Beaver Creek Resorts, Power Bar, and Northern Lites Snowshoes. Ortiz is a graduate of Colorado State University and received her Master in Education at Florida State with an impressive 4.0 average. Ortiz teaches kindergarten at Eagle Valley Elementary and has four children.

Timothy Parr, 23, Gunnison, CO was a member of the 2004 Teva US Mountain Running Team. He is a seven-time National Qualifier and two time All-American, once in the 10,000m in 2003 (sixth in nation) and cross country 2002 (16th). On the National Championship Cross Country team in 2002. His PRs include: 10,000meters = 30:08, 5,000meters = 14:17 8,000meters =24:48 3200meters = 8:59; mile= 4:25. Parr was the Colorado State Champ in 2000 for both the mile and the two mile.

Bill Raitter, 35, Bend, OR and Estes Park, CO was second American at the World Mountain Running Trophy in 2003 and lists the following trail race victories in 2004 - Peterson Ridge rumble 17 miles (course record) Sisters Oregon, Great Escape 1/2 marathon in Littleton, CO , Medicine Bow 1/2 marathon Laramie Wyoming (course record). Also in 2004, he was third at the USA National 10Km Trail Champs, ninth at Mt. Washington, and 11th at the Vail HillClimb. He is a wildlife botanist in Estes Park during the spring and summer and a teacher and coach in Bend, Oregon in the fall and winter.

Jon Severy, 22, Aspen, CO is the 1998 3A High School State Cross Country champion and a recent graduate of CU where he was an All-American in cross country. CU Coach Mark Wetmore says Severy living and training in the mountains should make an excellent transition to trail racing. Severy is pursuing various career options and holds a degree from CU in Philosophy.


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