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July 10, 2006

Gutierrez Wins Teva Vail Trophy Race to Make Fifth Mountain Team

Vail, CO Conditions this morning were near-perfect for a mountain race with overcast skies and cool temperatures, albeit a bit humid for the Rockies after a rainstorm dumped several inches of rain in the High Country on Saturday night with lingering drizzle in the early morning hours. 

The field today was one of the most competitive mountain race fields in recent memory with 12 previous mountain running team members vying for a spot on this year's squad. Those twelve included Simon Gutierrez, 40, Alamosa, CO who was the top American finisher at the past two World Trophy races, 10th last year in Wellington, New Zealand, and 17th in Sauze d'Oulx, Italy in 2004.

Gutierrez led from the start to earn a berth on his fifth consecutive Teva U.S. Mountain Running Team with a time of 47:19 on the unrelenting 4.8-mile climb to the summit of Vail Mountain. His nearest competitor was 2005 mountain running teammate Kevin Tilton, 24, Conway, NH, who passed Shiloh Mielke, just after the halfway point on the course to finish just under a minute back from Gutierrez in 48:01. Mielke crossed the tape in 48:20 with Michael Selig and Bill Fanselow rounding out the top five.

Andy Ames, a teammate of Gutierrez in 2004, was the second master to finish and sixth overall. Tim Parr, a member of the 2004 and 2005 teams finished in 16th position.

Lisa Goldsmith earned a spot on her second mountain team with her decisive win today. Goldsmith represented the U.S. at Upice, Czech Republic in 1997 where she was the first American woman finisher. The 41-year-old massage therapist from Nederland, Colorado has several top uphill finishes to her credit most notably a win at the Pikes Peak Ascent in 2005 and a masters' win at this year's Mount Washington Race where she was 5th overall.

Goldsmith was timed in 55:24, which placed her 15th overall. Rachel Dobbs, 24, Albuquerque, NM, last year's La Luz Mountain Race winner, was second to Goldsmith in 56:41. Abigail Larson, 27 who recently relocated from Bozeman, MT to Salt Lake City to pursue her PhD, was third in 57:21. Past mountain running team members racing today on the women's side included 2005 team member Chris Lundy, 35, who arrived from her sea-level residence in Sausalito, CA late Saturday night to tackle the oxygen-deprived course, finished in fifth place, Kelly Ryan, 37, Lakewood, CO (alternate in '04) finished sixth, three-time team member Julie Bryan, 38, Jackson Hole, WY ('01, '02, '05) was seventh, Cindy O'Neill ('00) was eighth, four-time team member Anita Ortiz ('02, '03, '04, '05) was ninth, three-time team member Kari DiStefano ('01, '02, '03) was tenth, and Rene Frazee ('00) finished eleventh.

Today's race course was designed by Vail Recreation District Director Mike Ortiz to mirror a World Trophy race course. As such, the route was technical, steep, and ascended approximately 3010 vertical feet with an average grade of 13 percent. The majority of the course was run on single track terrain, although the start was on a wide cat track to spread out the competitors before the real climbing began. "We need to offer selection races that represent courses like those that our athletes will experience in Europe, or wherever the Trophy is held," said Ortiz. "This course accomplished that, especially for the women. It was a bit short for the senior men, but we ran out of real estate."

For their win today Goldsmith and Gutierrez each received $150 from the All American Trail Running Association (AATRA) to be used along with their $1000 travel stipend (provided by team sponsors and an IAAF travel grant) to this year's World Trophy event. 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.

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.

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. Up to 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.

Top Finishers Teva Vail Mountain Trophy Race July 9, 2006 8 a.m. start

1. Simon Gutierrez, 47:19
2. Kevin Tilton, 48:01
3. Shiloh Mielke, 48:20
4. Michael Selig, 48:42
5. Bill Fanselow, 49:43

1. Lisa Goldsmith, 55:24
2. Rachael Dobbs, 56:41
3. Abigail Larson, 57:21
4. Helen Cospolich, 57:42
5. Chris Lundy, 58:35

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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