The Mountain/Ultra/Trail running (MUT) council of long distance running has named the 2008 USATF Mountain Runners of the year, Ultra Runners of the Year, and Contributor of the Year. The following individuals will be recognized at the USATF National Convention in
Mountain men open: Joseph Gray, 24,
Mountain men master: Simon Gutierrez, 42, Alamosa, CO. Simon (pictured above - right) is a now a three-time winner of this award. He is also a two-time winner of the open mountain runner of the year award. Like Gray, Gutierrez started out the mountain season in Vail finishing fifth overall and first master in the LaraBar 10km. He was the USA Mountain Running National Master Champion setting a masters’ course record and finishing in fifth place just behind Gray. He won the La Sportiva Berry Picker in July, the second and final Teva U.S. Mountain Running Team selection race where he made his seventh consecutive team. He won the World Masters Mountain Running Championships in the
Mountain women open: Brandy Erholtz, 30, Bailey, CO, in only her second year as a “mountain runner,” finished third at the LaraBar 10km and was the USA National Mountain Running Champion where she made her first Teva U.S. Mountain Running Team. She finished third at both the
Mountain women master: Laura Haefeli, 40, Del Norte, CO, was the 2004 and 2005 open mountain runner of the year and has earned masters’ recognition this year. She won the LaraBar 10km and the
Ultra men open: Michael Wardian, 34,
Page Two/Runners of the Year 2008
Ultra men master: Roy Pirrung, 60,
Ultra women open: Susannah Beck, 40,
Ultra women master: Beverly Anderson-Abbs, 44, Red Bluff, CA, is a repeat winner in this category. Anderson-Abbs won the USA National Masters 100 Mile Trail Championship title and was victorious at the
Contributor of the Year - Scott McCoubrey: McCoubrey works tirelessly promoting trail, mountain, and ultra running. He is the race director of the USA National 50 Mile Trail Championships which has grown in participation each year. He also directs the Cougar Mountain Trail Racing Series which raises money to maintain the local park where the events are held. McCoubrey also puts on the Mountain to Sound Greenway Multi-Sport Race which promotes green space preservation. Through the Seattle Running Club and the Seattle Running Company, McCoubrey leads free weekly trail runs. Trail runners with previous or current ties to the Seattle Running Company include Ian Torrance, Phil Kochic, Krissy Moehl, Hal Korner, Brian Morrison, Greg Crowther, and Uli Stidl. McCoubrey has played a roll in the success of these and many, many other trail runners.
Others garnering votes in the Contributor of the Year category for 2008 include Running Timesmagazine, Trail Runner magazine, Teva, and the Vail Recreation District.
In order to be considered for the USATF Mountain and Ultra running awards an athlete must show top results in U.S. competitions for 2008 (November 1, 2007 through October 31, 2008) to include mountain races (these may be on paved/gravel surfaces as long as there is significant elevation loss or gain) and trail races of varying lengths, as well as road races for the ultra category (distances beyond the marathon). International results are also considered. The nominee must be an ambassador for the sport. Nominee must be a USATF member for 2008, and to be considered for the masters’ category athlete must be a minimum of 40 years of age.
For a list of past winners in the other categories, please visit www.usatf.org.