24th World mountain running championships Crans Montana Switzerland
The weather has been consistent during our stay in Switzerland and race day would be no different as fog, some drizzle, and temps in the 40s were the order of the day.
A long day of racing kicked off with the open race at 8 am. Team leader Richard Bolt (Portland, OR) lead the charge over the same course the men would compete on. Bolt (no relation to the 100m specialist) finished in 3rd place covering the course in 6628. Nancy Hobbs the Manager of the Teva US mountain running team and serves as the treasurer for WMRA finished in 6th and 2nd in her age group in 8938. The overall winner was Pascal Bertrandin 6318.
The World champs kicked off with simeltaneous starts. The junior boys (in Venthone) and the junior girls (in Montana village) began their respective races at 1030 am. The girls would cover 4.2 km (2.6 miles) with 1,100 feet of climb and the boys would cover 8.3 km (5.1 miles) with 2,420 feet of climb. The girls (2 runners score) took 10th with Alex Dunne leading the way with a third place finish in 2333 and Yasmine White taking 38th in 2752 in the field of of 47 runners representing 19 countries. The race winner was Laura Park from England in 2234. The team title was taken by England with 8 points.
On the boys side three runners score in the field of 75 runners representin 25 countries. Tim Smith was the top US finisher taking 5th place in a time of 4302 and was closely followed by Levi Grandt who placed 13th in 4400. Jonny Stevens took 31st in 4539 and Paul Petersen took 50th in 4731. The team took 4th with 49 points. Turkey was the leading team with 13 points and the race winner was Sindre Buraas of Norway in 4212.
The women were the next to start (at 11 am) running the same course as the boys. The team (3 score) took 8th with 82 points in the field of 97 women representing 32 countries. Brandy Erholtz was the top US finisher taking 11th in 4740. Megan Kimmel was next placing 33rd in 5003, followed by Rachael Cueller was 38th in 5037, and Laura Haefeli was 44th in 5132. The winner was Andrea Mayr in 4357. The team title was taken by Norway with 24 points.
The final race of the day (1115) was the mens race, with 161 runners from 37 countries toeing the line with four runners scoring. The US team had its best performance yet scoring a Bronze medal. The team was lead by Rickey Gates finishing 12th in 5717 followed closely by Joe Gray in 16th in 5753 and Eric Blake 23rd in 5822. The final scoring member was Simon Gutierrez in 25th in 5834. Also running excellent races were Matt Byrne in 34th in 5911 and Zac Freudenberg in 36th in 5915. Team USA had the fastest sixth man among all of the countries. The overall champion was Jonathon Wyatt of New Zealand in 5503. The top teams were Italy 43 points, Switzerland 59 points, and the US with 76 points.
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