March 3, 2006
2006 Trail Runner Trophy Series
On Saturday, March 4, well before sunrise, 120 hardy runners will gather in southern Arizona's Santa Rita mountains for the Old Pueblo 50 Miler. Out East in Damascus, Maryland, runners will lace their shoes and stretch their hamstrings as they brace for the Seneca Creek Greenway Trail Marathon and 50K. In British Columbia, trail lovers will brave chilly temps and raw humidity at North Vancouver's Dirty Duo 25K and 50K Trail Races.
Whether clad in spandex tights or sleeveless tops, sun block or balaclavas, all of these runners will have one thing in common: they'll be the first competitors in the 2006 Trail Runner Trophy Series.
Sponsored by LaSportiva and GoLite, the Trail Runner Trophy Series is the world's largest off-road running series. In this its third year, the 2006 Series will encompass over 110 races and more than 20,000 runners from March 1 to September 30. Trophy Series race participants earn points for completing events as well as bonus points for top age-group or overall placing. Runners clash in two divisions: (1) Marathon and Shorter, and (2) Ultramarathon (including any races longer than 26.2 miles-the marathon distance).
2005 Trophy Series champion and grand prize winner Dale Reicheneder of Malibu, California, is blunt about this year's mission: ". to repeat as champion."
It will take another exceptional performance for Reicheneder to win, but he's game. Still, it will be an uphill battle. Says Reicheneder, "The biggest obstacle to repeating as champion is staying healthy for seven months," adding, "You never know who will come out of the woodwork and challenge for the championship."
Another 2005 champion-in the women's ultramarathon division-is Kami Semick of Bend, Oregon. Last year, Semick ran four 100K trail races and won three of them. This year, her plans include several Trophy Series events, including the prestigious Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run in June in California. With a loaded schedule and elite-level talent, Semick seems a favorite for another title.
For information on the 2006 Series-including a complete race schedule, rules, news and details on points scoring-visit www.trailrunnermag.com .