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November 29, 2005

2005 MUT Awards Winners: Runners of the Year and Contributor of the Year

On Saturday, December 3, the 2005 USATF Mountain Runner of the Year awards, Ultrarunner of the Year , and Contributor of the Year awards will be presented at the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront, Jacksonville, FL during a breakfast banquet as part of the USATF annual convention.

The USATF Mountain Runner of the Year award recipients in the open category are Simon Gutierrez, Alamosa, CO and Laura Haefeli, Del Norte, CO and Bernie Boettcher, Silt, CO and Lisa Goldsmith, Nederland, CO in the masters category. The USATF Ultrarunner of the Year award recipients in the open category are Anne Lundblad who will be presented with the Ruth Anderson Award, and Dave Mackey who earned the Ted Corbitt award. Masters Ultrarunners of the year are William Emerson and Tania Pacev. The Contributor of the Year has been awarded to Teva. A special celebration for the Colorado winners unable to travel to Jacksonville will be held on December 11 in Boulder.

Simon Gutierrez, 39, Alamosa, CO earned his spot on his fourth consecutive Teva U.S. Mountain Running Team with his win at the Northfield Mountain Race (MA). He was the first American at the past two World Trophy events where he finished 17th in 2004 and tenth in 2005. He set a course PR at the Challenge Stellina race in Susa, Italy where he finished sixth. Gutierrez won this year's Mt Washington Hill Climb (NH) and his seventh La Luz Trail Mountain Race (NM). He is employed as a physical therapist at the San Valley Regional Medical Center and works with the cross country and track student athletes at Adams State College assisting with the prevention and rehabilitation of injuries.

Laura Haefeli, 38, Del Norte, CO Haefeli earned her spot on her second consecutive Teva US Mountain Running Team as the top U.S. finisher at the USA Trail 10km Championships. She was the top American finisher at the World Mountain Running Trophy with a spectacular eighth place finish equaling the previous best American women's finish (Anita Ortiz 8th in 2003). Haefeli helps put on a local 5Km road race and recently spoke at a Women's Conference with a theme ?Going for the Gold.? She just finished her fourth season as head coach of the boys and girls cross country team at Del Norte High School. After the cross country season she coaches for Junior Olympics. Haefeli says, "I want my cross country kids to enjoy running, to be enthusiastic, and to have a great self-esteem. I want others to know that "You can do it!" "People ask me how I do it (training and competitive racing), with three children, homeschooling, coaching, helping with the family business - I love what I do! It is not always easy, there are rough times, but I continue to do what I feel is necessary and good for me, so that others might benefit as well. If I can touch others through my life and through my running, if just one person says, "If she can do it, I can, too!" then I really am obtaining my goals!"

Bernie Boettcher, 43, Silt, CO was second master runner in the USATF Trail Championships and was the top American at the Masters World Mountain Running Championships in Keswick, England, in September where he finished 20th in the 40 - 44 age group (26th Overall in the World against all Masters). He was the Trail Runner Trophy Series Masters Champion in 2004 and showed his prowess in snowshoe racing as the top Master at the North American Snowshoe Championships placing third overall. Bernie says of his involvement in mountain and trail running, ?I believe my relentless promotion of the sport has inspired others to run more. I've tried to do it through example.? Boettcher is a columnist for Trail Runner magazine and an accomplished artist working in media as diverse as sculpture and oil painting. He designs all of the Teva Vail Mountain Trail Running series T-shirts. Boettcher spends time running near the trails and open space surrounding his home with his girlfriend Jeanne Blatter.

Lisa Goldsmith, 41, Nederland, CO had a stellar year in 2005. She started the year with a win at the Maui Run to the Sun (her first ultramarathon) and followed up with a win at the Pikes Peak Ascent and was second (first master) at the Barr Trail Mountain Race. Goldsmith was the first master at the USATF 10Km Trail Championships, the Northfield Mountain Race, and the Teva Vail HillClimb. Goldsmith's successful season extends from races to hosting numerous clinics in support of the sport. She is a licensed massage therapist.

This is the seventh year for the USATF Mountain Runner of the Year awards. Criteria for this year's selection included top results in US mountain/trail competitions and international competitions during 2005, current USATF membership, and serving as an ambassador for the sport.

Anne Riddle Lundblad, 39, Asheville, NC was the top American at the IAU World Cup 100km finishing with an impressive silver medal, just seconds out of first place. Lundblad led the team to a gold-medal finish and earned a spot on the 2006 100km team with her top-ten finish. She was victorious at the Mountain Masochist 50 Mile (VA) where she set a course record and won the 2004 USATF 50Km Road Championships (GA) also in course record time. She won the Promise Land 50km (VA), tied for first at the Carrboro 50Km (MD), and was second at the Mount Mitchell Challenge 40 Miler (NC). She also set course records at the Virginia Creeper Trail Marathon, the Great Eastern 50Km (VA), and the Bel Monte 50Km (VA). Lundblad when hearing of her nomination said, "I am thrilled to have been nominated for this honor! I know that there are many women and men who have had an incredible year, and I am pleased to be included in their ranks." Lundblad also serves on the USATF Ultra task force. She is the mother of a six-year old daughter and shares the trails with her husband Mark who is a top ultrarunner.

Dave Mackey, 36, Boulder, CO is the repeat winner of this award. Mackey was first at the MIWOK 100Km (CA) posting the second fastest time on record. He was the U.S. 50Km Trail National Champion at Golden Gate Headlands (CA) in a course record time, was a member of the winning USATF 50K Team Championship (with Bryan Dayton and Paul South), first at the Mountain Masochist 50, and winner of the Way Too Cool 50Km (CA). Mackey is also a talented international adventure racer having competed in many events at the elite international professional level. He competed in many snowshoe races, and several shorter running races (including the National 10Km Trail Championships.) He is a four-year board member of the All American Trail Running Association and is an active member of the Boulder Trail Runners. Mackey is employed as a real estate agent and professional athlete.

William Emerson, 41, Portland, OR is also a repeat winner of this award having earned masters honors in 2004. Emerson posted many top finishes in 2004-2005 including wins at the Ron Herzog 50K (WA), the Hunter S. Thompson 50K (WA), the Hilto to Valcano 50K (CA), and the Quad Dipsea 28 miler (CA). He was fourth overall and first masters at the McDonald Forest 50K (OR), second overall and first master at the Siskyou Outback 50K (OR), and second overall at the USATF 50 Mile Trail Champs White River 50 (WA) and Masters National Champion. He finished third overall and was masters champion at the USATF 50k National Trail Championships (CA). Emerson serves on the USATF MUT Council.

Tania Pacev, 46, Littleton, CO finished ninth in the World at the IAU World Cup 100Km in Lake Saroma, Japan with a time of 8:29:19 and along with her teammates won the gold medal in team competition. With her top-ten finish, Pacev was named to the 2006 100Km World Team slated to compete in South Korea in October 2006. She is the winner of the Trail Runner Trophy Series Marathon & Shorter Division. She was top master at the Leadville Trail 100 Miler (third overall), top finisher at the Goblin 50Km (UT) and Greenland 50Km (CA), set a new record at the Spring Desert Ultra 50 Miler (CA), and placed second at the Sunmart Texas Trail 50 miler. She will be representing the U.S. at the World Masters 100km Championships in Argentina on December 11. Pacev is a realtor with Re/Max 100, Inc. in the Denver area.

Criteria for ultrarunners of the year included place finish in USATF national championships, record or outstanding performance in other ultra distance races, (road, trail, track) or sanctioned international events, overall performance record for the year, athlete must be a USATF member, athlete must be over 40 for masters award consideration.

For the USATF MUT Contributor of the Year, Teva became the first two-time recipient having earned this honor in 2002. Teva is a leading supporter of mountain running most notably as the title sponsor of the U.S. mountain running team. Teva also sponsors a nationally acclaimed mountain running circuit in Vail, Colorado and sponsored three of four selection races for the team in 2005. Teva has designed trail running footwear to meet the needs of the trail and mountain running athletes and includes top trail and mountain runners in their advertising and promotional materials.

Other Contributor of the Year nominees included Montrail, Seattle Running Company/Scott McCoubrey owner, and Trail Runner magazine.

Montrail is the sponsor and founder of the Montrail Cup and supporter of numerous trail and ultra events nationwide and also supports athletes on their "team" with product support, sponsorship, and promotion in advertising to raise awareness of the sport and its athletes. McCoubrey directs the Bridle Trails Races, the USATF 50-Mile National Trail Championships, and the Cougar Mountain Trail Series. He founded Summer Cross Country/Trail Running Camps for High School Kids, and leads weekly runs in the Seattle area for all ability levels. He is the guiding force for many ultra runners including notable elite performers, Ian Torrence, Hal Koerner and William Emerson. His store sponsors numerous regional races, including the Capital Peak 50M, Cle Elum 50K, Silver Tip 50, Adventure Racing Team. Trail Runner magazine supports trail running in editorial and with subscriptions/magazines for events. The magazine has been involved with the ever-popular Teva Mountain Games this year sponsoring the athletes of the year and the organization and execution of the second annual Trail Runner Trophy Series, a point-based series consisting of over 100 trail races and 20,000 runners spanning distances ranging from 5Km to 100 miles.

To see the MUT award criteria and the lists of past recipients, click here.




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