Sunday, August 30, 2009



Simon G., Rickey G., and I (Joe G.) raced up north in the Piemonte region of Italy in a small town known as Susa. For Rickey and I, it was the last tune up before the big one next week. Simon came across the Atlantic for Susa's historic race, which has been around since 1989!
The race featured a good field with runners from Ethiopia, Japan, USA, New Zealand, Kenya, France, and of course some strong Italians. Many of them with superb road times. The race went out fast as usual. The partenza (start) changed from last year. There had been some construction going on...for a few years. So, finally this year I was able to run the original start of the course. However, an avalanche ruined any hopes of comparing times from the year as the route from 7k on was modified. Approaching the 2k mark, you could see a pack of Ethiopians and Kenyans with Simon and Jono hanging in there as well. A few kilometers later the pack thinned out and I found myself in the mix. Simon was right there as well with Rickey lurking a few seconds back. Jono blew the race open and the ranks stayed pretty much the same nearing 10k. The fog near the top also limited any changing of places being that you if you had someone 10 seconds ahead, they became invisible. In the end I placed 5th, Simon ended up 8th right in front of Rickey at 9th.

At the finish with our friend from Japan
At the prize ceremony. One of the longest waits for a ceremony you will ever experience. First a remembrance of the Partigiani (battle that eventually liberated Italy in 1945) is carried out, moments later a church service along with some singing goes on for a bit. After service, following the Catholic tradition, Communion takes place. Then, after a few hours of hunger, the prize ceremony goes on simultaneously with lunch
During the week of the race a cultural celebration takes place in Susa. After some traditional dances and music from Mexico, Slovakia, and Italy the race directors announced the elite field with the locals in attendance. Its amazing how excited the town is for the runners, for such a small town they had more enthusiasm about mountain running than many of the races I have been to in America

Post-race quote from GU (Who is no longer allowed to say he is old, since he keeps running fast and beating all the young guys)
Simon G.
"It's good to be back in Europe racing, had a solid run and looking forward to supporting the US team at Worlds next week!"
Well hope to see the rest of the team next week, safe travels......Spero che abbiate un buon viaggio!!!

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Mountain Team is on Twitter

You can now follow the happenings of the Mountain Team on Twitter.

Members of the team will be posting there over the next 2 weeks as they get to Italy for the Mountain Champs on September 6th.

Monday, August 17, 2009

2009 USMRT Junior Team - Bios

Athlete Bios- Junior Team

Juniors must be at least 16 in the year of competition and not yet 20

Junior Women’s team

Robyn Arnold, Redlands, CA – Age 16*
Robyn attends Redlands High School in Redlands, CA she will enter her junior year in the fall. She has quite a range of accomplishments across various distances including a remarkable fifth place overall and first place junior finish in the Mt Baldy Run to the Top. Her coach stated “Robyn is a very impressive athlete with a pure passion for running.”

Robyn says “I love the challenges that come with mountain running and I'm very excited to be a part of this USA team." Her personal bests include 18:02 for 5km (XC).

Alexandria Dent, Scott Depot, WV -Age 17*
Alexandria will be entering her senior year at Hurricane High School in Scott Depot, WV. She
ranks in the top 10 all-time in the state of WV in the 3200m and 1600m. Her high school coach notes that “she has no fear when it comes to racing.” Alex feels that “Being picked as a junior member of the U.S. Mountain Running Team has been a surprise and an honor. I've never dreamed of being given such an opportunity! I'm most looking forward, while in Italy, to meeting new people, running in new places and seeing new things.” Her personal bests include 5:08 for 1600m, 11:08 for 3200m and 18:42 for 5km.

Megan Morgan, Del Mar, CA – Age 17
Megan attends Torrey Pines High School in Del Mar, CA. She will enter her senior year this fall. She has been racing track and cross country for five years and for the last three years has been attending high altitude camps. Megan has placed fourth at the CA state XC championships, fifth at the Footlocker Western Regional championships, 24th at the Footlocker XC national championships, and 12th place at the USA XC championships. Her coach notes that she “has it all, intelligence, engaging personality, incredible athletic talent, old-fashioned work ethic, and a pure passion for running.” Her personal bests include 5:00 for the mile, 10:31 for two miles, and 17:46 for 5km.

2009 Teva U.S. Mountain running tea
m – Junior Men’s team

Brandon Lord, Hixson, TN – Age 17
Brandon will be entering his senior year at Baylor High School in Chattanooga, TN. During his
junior year, Brandon captured 2nd place in both the 1600 & 3200m at the TN state meet and won the Emerging Elite 2 mile at the Nike Outdoor Nationals. He notes that “over half of my training takes place on hills, I love trail running and for that reason really enjoy running on the mountains locally.” Brandon’s coach feels that he “is an emerging and virtually untapped talent. He comes from a deep swimming background, providing a strong aerobic base. He thinks tactically whilst in the midst of a race, gauges his effort, and plans his attacks accordingly.” His personal bests include: 4:16-1600m, 9:15-3200m, and 15:19 for 5km.

Dan Nafziger, Harrisonburg, VA – Age 18
Dan will be entering his freshman year at George Mason University, VA. He was injured for part of his senior year at Harrisonburg High School, VA. Injuries curtailed his XC season, however he bounced back and was named team MVP and was Captain of his track team. His accomplishments include 10 times being a VA state selection, winning both the mile and two-mile at the Region III championships, and finishing 15th at the VHSL state cross country championships during his junior year. His coach feels that his “background experiences, including adversity; have made Dan both fitter and hungrier to train hard and smart.” Dan notes "I'm really excited to represent the U.S. and work with my teammates to compete against the rest of the world. Being selected for the team makes all of the hard training I'm doing all the more worthwhile." His personal bests include: 1600m-4:23, 3200m-9:29, and 5km (XC) – 15:57.

Brian Rooney, Arlington, VA – Age 19
Brian recently completed his freshman year at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD. While in high school (St. Albans) he was IAC conference champion in cross country and track and was named All-District in XC and track three times. While at Johns Hopkins he was All-conference in cross country and was also named freshman of the year. He has trained at altitude in both Golden and Boulder CO. Brian said he is “honored to be a part of the U.S. Junior Mountain Team and look forward to competing in Campodolcino." His high school coach noted that Brian has “strength as a distance runner and strength of character.” His personal bests include: 800m-1:59, 1600m-4:27, 5000m-15:19, and 10km: 33:46.

Tim Smith, Roanoke, VA – Age 19 Tim completed his freshman year at the University of Richmond in Richmond, VA. Last year in Sierre Crans-Montana, Switzerland, Tim distinguished himself by placing fifth at the World Mountain Running Championships. While in High School he was All-State in cross country and finished 22nd in the Footlocker South Region cross country championships. At Richmond he finished sixth in the Atlantic 10 indoor track conference championships in the 3,000m (8:37). He recently won the AEP festival 10k in Roanoke over a challenging and hilly course. Tim’s college coach states, “Tim has become stronger over the past 12 months and is excited about the possibility of returning to the team this year.” Tim notes “I'd just like to express how much I appreciate being selected to the U.S. junior team again. It's a huge honor to be able to represent my country in this race. I'm very excited about the world championships!” His personal bests include: 1600m-4:17, 3200m-9:16, 5k-15:28, and 10k-32:58.

* age at time of World Championships 2009

Monday, August 10, 2009

Gates & Erholz race at Sierre Zinal. finish in top 5

Two members of the 2009 Teva Mountain Running Team raced over the weekend at the 31km Sierre Zinal mountain race, both finishing in the top 5.

Gates finished 4th overall, with a time of 2:38.52.
Complete Men's Results

Erholz finished fifth overall, with a time of 3:14.05.
Complete Women's Results

Sunday, August 2, 2009

2009 Teva U.S. Mountain Running Team Announced Today

From Nancy Hobbs:

Photo: Matt Byrne and Nancy Hobbs at the 2008 World Mountain Running Trophy.

Colorado Springs, CO --- The Teva U.S. Mountain Running Team will compete in the 25th World Mountain Running Championships in Campodolcino, Italy on September 6, 2009. Campodolcino is located in the province of Sondrio in the Lombardy region located approximately 100 kilometers north of Milan. This year’s team includes the following athletes: (*Ages are listed at time of World Championships)

Senior Men: Joseph Gray, 25, Lakewood, WA; Zac Freudenberg, 31, St. Louis, MO; Matt Byrne, 34, Scranton, PA; Tim Parr, 27, Gunnison, CO, Andrew Benford, 22, Ravenswood, VA, and Rickey Gates, 28, Boulder, CO.

Senior Women: Christine Lundy, 39, Sausalito, CA, Megan Kimmel, 29, Silverton, CO, Megan Lund, 25, Basalt, CO, and Brandy Erholtz, 32, Bailey, CO.

Junior Men: Tim Smith, 19, Roanoke, VA; Brandon Lord, 17, Hixson, TN; Dan Nafziger, 18, Harrisonburg, VA; Brian Rooney, 19, Arlington, VA

Junior Women: Megan Morgan, 17, Del Mar, CA; Alex Dent, 16, Scott Depot, WV; and Robyn Arnold, 16, Redlands, CA.

This year’s races are held on an up/down loop course (as opposed to even-numbered years when the events are held on uphill-only courses) with the senior men running approximately 13.02 km, the senior women and junior men running a distance slightly over 8.68 km, while the junior women run approximately 4.34 km.

The women’s team includes four athletes with the top three finishers scoring for the team. Six athletes will represent the men’s team with the top four finishers scoring. The junior men’s team includes four athletes with the top three scoring while the junior women’s team is comprised of three athletes with the top two scoring. Team manager Nancy Hobbs, Colorado Springs, CO, team leader Richard Bolt, Portland, Oregon, team manager for the juniors Dave Dunham, Bradford, MA, and women’s team manager Ellen Miller, Vail, CO will accompany the team to Italy.

At the USATF annual convention in Reno, NV, on December 6, the Mountain Ultra Trail Running (MUT) Council chose two races from which automatic qualifiers to the U.S. team will be selected. The USA Mountain Running Championships were hosted at Mt. Cranmore (11km) on June 28 in North Conway, NH. The top three U.S. men – Gray, Freudenberg, and Byrne – and the top U.S. woman finisher – Lundy – earned automatic berths on the team.

The Cheyenne Canon Mountain Race in Colorado Springs, CO, was the site of the second and final selection race on July 26 (approximately 8km for women and juniors and 12km for men) where the top two U.S. men – Parr and Benford – and the top two U.S. women – Kimmel and Lund – earned automatic berths.

After the final selection race, the remaining members of the senior squad, (one male - Gates, one female - Erholtz), were chosen by the 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.

The junior team members were selected based on their running resumes and required a letter of support from a coach, parent, or mentor. Junior athletes must be at least 16 and not yet 20 in the year of competition.

Bios on the aforementioned athletes and photos will be distributed later this week.