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June 12, 2007

Mount Cranmore to Host Teva U.S. Mountain Running Team Selection Race

The Teva Mountain Games typically jump starts the mountain running season with their competitive, $5,000 prize-money 10 km trail race held the first weekend in June in Vail, CO, but the battle for a spot on the Teva U.S. Mountain Running Team begins with the first team selection race. 

This year the honor to host the first of three team selection races was granted to Cranmore Mountain Resort, North Conway, NH. The race, the 20th annual Cranmore Hill Climb, will be held on Sunday, June 24 and also serves as the fourth USA Mountain Running Championships.

A record number of participants is expected for this year’s race with nine former members of the Teva U.S. Mountain Running Team slated to compete. “I anticipate more than 200 runners for this year’s race with athletes coming from across the country to compete. The possibility of making the team coupled with the USATF championship designation makes this year’s event very attractive to athletes,” said race director Paul Kirsch.

The top two USATF male runners and top USATF female runner in the championships earn automatic spots on the Mountain Team which will compete at the World Mountain Trophy Race on September 15 in Saillon, Switzerland. Additional team members will be selected at the USA Trail Championships on Saturday, June 30 in Steamboat Springs where the top two U.S. men, and top U.S. woman will receive automatic berths. Traveling to the West Coast on July 15, competitors will enjoy the third and final selection race, the Mt. Tam Trophy Race in Sausalito, CA where the top U.S. male and top U.S. female finisher will receive an automatic team berth. The remaining members of the squad, (one male, one female), will be selected by USATF’s Mountain Ultra Trail Council with input from the team staff based on results at the selection races, past World Trophy events, national and international racing experience including mountain, road, cross country, and track. Athletes MUST run a selection race in order to be considered for the team. To be considered for the team all team members MUST be current USATF members prior to running a selection race.

The race at Cranmore features three 4.3km laps up and down the mountain for men and two 4.3km laps up and down the mountain for women. Junior men will run two laps and junior women will run one lap. This year's course has been set up to mimic the WMRT course in Switzerland which boasts a 3km ascent with an extremely fast and steep 1.3km descent.

Cranmore will award a $1000 prize purse with additional prizes provided by event sponsors which include Windermere Real Estate of Teton Valley and FuelBelt who are also sponsors of the Teva U.S. Mountain Running Team.

On the men's side, the field includes:

Paul Low, 33, Belchertown, MA. Low is a seven-time Teva U.S. Mountain Running Team member and a three-time USATF Mountain Runner of the year. Paul is coming off three strong wins at the Mt. Wachusett, Pack Monadnock, and Northfield Mountain races, the first two events in this year’s USATF-New England Mountain Circuit. Low is a top-five finisher at Mount Washington in the four times he has raced at the mountain.

Kevin Tilton, 25, Conway, NH, is a two-time member of the Teva U.S. Mountain Running Team and has finished as high as fifth at Mount Washington. Tilton won the Cranmore race the last time it served as an uphill-only qualifying race in 2004 and is coming off his third consecutive win at the Jackson Covered Bridge 10km race in Jackson, NH.

Josh Ferenc, 25, South Acworth, NH, was a member of the 2004 Teva U.S. Mountain Running Team and was a two-time All American runner in college at Keene State. He was the top New Hampshire finisher in the 2004 Mt. Washington Road Race and most recently won the USATF-NE 10km Grand Prix race in a time of 31:32.

Dave Dunham, 43, Bradford, MA, is a seven-time member of the mountain team. He is a former silver medalist at the World Trophy in 1993 and is presently serving as the manger of the juniors who compete on the Teva U.S. Mountain Running Team.

Richard Bolt, 36, Portland, OR, is team leader of the Teva U.S. Mountain Running Team (since 2003) and was on two previous mountain teams as an athlete. Bolt serves as the USATF liaison for this event.

Dmitry Drozdov 34, Waltham, MA, is a mountain, road and adventure racer. He was a four-time NCAA steeplechase champion for Iowa State in college and beat Low to take first place at the 2006 Northfield Mountain race in Northfield, MA. As a member of Team Eastern Mountain Sports, he has placed first in numerous adventure races in New England. He also won the 2006 Muddy Moose Trail Race in Wolfeboro.

Joe Dare, 21, Souderton, PA, is new to mountain running but is coming off a strong senior year at LaSalle University in Philadelphia where he ran a 29:25 10km at the Penn Relays. He also placed in the top five at the 2006 Atlantic 10 Cross Country Championships.

Sylvester Coons, 34 Verdi, NV, finished seventh at the World snowshoe championships in Austria in 2007. He is a snowshoe racer and cross-country racer who returned to competitive running in 2006 after a 10-year hiatus to focus on career and family. He raced track and cross country at Louisiana State University. The Cranmore race will be his first USA Mountain Championship race.

On the women's side, five-time Mt. Washington Road Race winner Anna Pichrtova of the Czech Republic, who just finished eighth at the San Diego Rock N' Roll Marathon and has been on the podium at the World Trophy, will be competing against a strong field of U.S. Women including:

Nicole Hunt, 37 of Deer Lodge, MT, a member of the gold-medal winning team at last year's World Trophy where she was the top finisher for the U.S. in ninth place overall. Her most recent races include a win at the Great Aloha Run in Honolulu this past February, fifth place in the World's Richest Mountain Race (Mt. Obudu in Nigeria) in November, and an eighth-place finish at the USA 10 km Road Championships (Tufts in Boston) in October. Hunt is also running this year’s Mount Washington Road Race, where she was the top U.S. finisher in 2006 and USA Mountain Running Champion. She is the 2006 USATF Mountain Runner of the Year.

Chris Lundy, 36, Sausalito, CA, is a two-time member of the Teva U.S. Mountain Running Team. She was on the gold-medal squad at last year's World Trophy finishing 15th overall and was 18th overall, second American, at the World Mountain Trophy Race in Wellington, New Zealand in 2005. Lundy recently finished as the fifth American at the 2007 Boston Marathon.

Kelli Lusk, 37, Belchertown, MA, is a three-time member of the Teva U.S. Mountain Running Team and is coming off wins at the Pack Monadnock 10 Miler and Northfield Mountain. She was the seventh woman at the 2006 Mt. Washington Road Race and is a former U.S. Snowshoe Nation Champion and past winner of the Barr Mountain Trail Race in Manitou Springs, Colorado.
Page Three/USA Mountain Championships

Anita Ortiz, 43, Eagle, CO, is a four-time member of the Teva U.S. Mountain Running Team and a member of the 2004 women's team who won a bronze medal at the World Trophy race in Italy. Ortiz is coming off of a stellar snowshoe racing season, where she won almost every race she entered, setting four course records along the way and winning the Colorado Snowshoe Championships. In April 2007 she won the Spring Desert Ultra Trail Race 25 miler in Fruita, CO, and most recently won the Teva Mountain Games 10km trail race in Vail. She set course records at both of these races as well.

Julie Bryan, 39, Jackson Hole, WY, is a four-time member of the Teva U.S. Mountain Running Team. She has two top 10 finishes at Mt. Washington and a versatile mountain runner with numerous victories on her home turf in Jackson Hole and also wins in Colorado including the Barr Trail Mountain Race. Recently, she was the top woman at the 6 Tunnels Half Marathon in Las Vegas.

Keri Nelson, 25, Grand Junction, CO, is a competitive cyclist, triathlete, snowshoe racer, mountain, and ultra runner. In 2007, she was victorious at the North American Snowshoe Championships and second at the U.S. Snowshoe National Championships. She was also first at the U.S. Winter Triathlon Nationals in Breckenridge, CO and in 2006 was third at the Pikes Peak Marathon and third at the Mt. Evans Ascent in Colorado. She was seventh at the trail 10km at this year’s Teva Mountain Games.

Although there will be a strong field of top runners, the Hill Climb is open to runners of all ages and abilities. Registration is available for $15 before June 18 and $20 from June 18 through the day of the race. Applications and online registration is available at www.whitemountainmilers.com .

The 2007 Teva U.S. Mountain Running Team will be announced by August 1.

Questions? Contact

Nancy Hobbs:
 719-573-4405 or trlrunner@aol.com

or

Richard Bolt:
  603-627-7213 or r_boltski@yahoo.com 

For additional information visit the websites listed below:
USA Mountain Running Championships www.whitemountainmilers.com
USA Trail Championships www.runningseries.com 
Mt. Tam Trophy Race www.tamtrailrace.com/info 
World Mountain Running Association www.wmra.info
USA Track & Field www.usatf.org 
World Mountain Trophy 2007 www.coursedes2bains.org/presentation-wt07-fr.html 
American Trail Running Association www.trailrunner.com
Teva (team sponsor) www.teva.com
SportHill Clothing (team sponsor) www.sporthill.com
180s performance gear (team sponsor) www.180s.com
FuelBelt, Inc. (team sponsor) www.fuelbelt.com
Fleet Feet Sports-Boulder (team sponsor) www.fleetfeetboulder.com 
Windermere Real Estate Teton Valley (team sponsor) www.juliebryan.mywindermere.com 
Youth Runner (Junior Team Partner) www.youthrunner.com 
DeFeet (team product sponsor) www.defeet.com
Ecolips (team product sponsor) www.ecolips.com 

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