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July 6, 2006

Vail Mountain Hosts Final Teva U.S. Mountain Running Team Selection Race Sunday

Vail, CO The top U.S. male and the top U.S. female (must be a current USATF member) finishers at the Teva Vail Mountain Trophy Challenge on Sunday, July 9 will earn an automatic berth on the 2006 Teva U.S. Mountain Running Team. The pair will join returning team members, Eric Blake, New Britain, CT, Laura Haefeli, Del Norte, CO, Paul Low, Belchertown, MA, and newcomers Rickey Gates, Boulder, CO and Nicole Hunt, Deer Lodge, MT at the 22nd World Mountain Running Trophy race on September 10 in Bursa, Turkey. An additional athlete, potentially two, for the men's squad and one additional athlete for the women's squad will be selected by the 23-member USATF Mountain Ultra Trail Running Council by mid-July.

The junior squad which includes three junior men and two junior women, will be named based on running resumes turned in by interested athletes at least 16 years of age and not yet 19 in the year of competition. Resumes (including road, trail, track, and cross country results and current training info) will be accepted through July 15 (send to Dave Dunham, Late breaking information and results can be added until July 31. Team members will be announced by August 1, 2006.

This year's Trophy races are uphill events (as opposed to odd-numbered years when the events are held on up/down courses) with the senior men running 12km, and the senior women running 8.5km. The women's team includes four athletes with the top three finishers scoring for the team. Six athletes will represent the men's team with the top four finishers scoring. Team leader Richard Bolt, Portland, OR, team manager of the juniors Dave Dunham, Bradford, MA, and women's team manager Ellen Miller, Vail, CO will accompany the team to Turkey.

Blake, Low, and Gates earned spots on the team on June 17 by sweeping the top three places at the Mount Washington Road Race, a 7.6 mile unbroken-ascent to the 6,288-foot summit of Mt. Washington, the highest peak in the northeastern United States. With his win at Mount Washington Blake made his third team Low his seventh, and Gates his first. Nicole Hunt and Laura Haefeli earned their team spots, Hunt her first and Haefeli her third consecutive, as the top two American women finishers at Mount Washington.

Top contenders for the men's spot in Vail will include former team members Timothy Parr ('04 and '05), 24, Flagstaff, AZ, Simon Gutierrez, ('02, '03, '04, '05), 40, Alamosa, CO, Kevin Tilton, ('05), 24, Conway, NH, Andy Ames, ('04), 43, Boulder, CO, and Bill Raitter, ('03), 36, Estes Park, CO. Also expected to compete will be Coloradoans Bernie Boettcher, 43, and Bill Fanselow, 39.

On the women's side, four-time team member and the top U.S. female in three of the past four World Trophy races Anita Ortiz, 42, Eagle, CO will face competition from Chris Lundy, 35, Sausalito, CA a member of the 2005 team and the third American at this year's Mount Washington Race, Abby Larson, 27, Bozeman, MT, Helen Cospolich, 29, Breckenridge, CO, 2000 team member Cindy O'Neill, 44, Manitou Springs, CO, and 1997 team member Lisa Goldsmith, 41.

The race course was designed by Vail Recreation District Director Mike Ortiz to mirror a World Trophy race course. As such, the route is technical, steep, and ascends approximately 3010 vertical feet with an average grade of 13 percent. The majority of the course is run on single track terrain, although the start is on a wide cat track to spread out the competitors before the real climbing begins. "The Vail HillClimb has been a selection race in the past, but we felt that a more challenging route would better serve the athletes who represent the U.S. at the Trophy race. We identified some great trails on the mountain and came up with a true World Trophy course," said Ortiz. "This route especially reflects this year's World Trophy course in Turkey for both the senior women and junior men. It's a bit short for the senior men, but the overall climb is very close to what runners will experience in September. There is virtually no descending on this course which makes it an uphill grind."

Representatives from the Canadian Mountain Running Association chose the Vail Trophy Challenge as a selection race for their team. Therefore, expect top Canadians in the field on Sunday.
"It's great to have an international flavor in this race, from the route to the competition. This is a great preview for Turkey," said Rich Bolt, Teva U.S. Mountain Running Team Leader.

Even though the event is a selection race for the team, athletes of all abilities are welcome to compete. Pre-registration is available for $25 ($35 on race day). The race starts at Gold Peak Children's Center and parking is free in the Vail Village parking structure, a short walk or jog to the start line. Each participant will enjoy a well-marked course, receive a goody bag, accurate and timely results, refreshments, and be entered into a drawing for random prizes.

The top U.S. male and top U.S. female will each receive $150 from the All American Trail Running Association to be used toward their travel to Turkey. "We know this is just a small portion of travel costs, but with the funds we have raised through sponsorship, personal donations, and the annual IAAF grant, each open athlete will receive a minimum of $1000. Additionally the team has been invited to train in Germany for a few days prior to the World Trophy which will be a nice way to ease into the European time zone," said team manager Nancy Hobbs.

For more information about the race, to view a detailed course map, or to register, please contact VRD Sports at (970) 479-2280, or visit: .

For additional information visit the websites listed below:

USA Mountain Running Championships
Loon Mountain Race
Vail Mountain Trophy Race
World Mountain Running Association
USA Track & Field
World Mountain Trophy 2006
All American Trail Running Association
SportHill Clothing
180s performance gear
FuelBelt, Inc.


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