Monday, July 26, 2010

Great Northwest Mountain Run - Mt. Hood

The second race in the 2010 La Sportiva / USATF-Oregon Mountain Running Series took place this past weekend at Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood.  The 3rd Annual Great Northwest Mountain Run was put on by Kevin Foreman and his excellent XDog Events crew.  Yassine Diboun (Portland, OR) won the overall race and collected the $100 cash prize from USATF-Oregon.  Complete results will be available soon at:

The next race in the series will be the 33rd Annual Mt. Ashland Hillclimb on Saturday, August 7.  Find race information here:

Friday, July 23, 2010

Pikes Peak Ascent to host WMRA World Long Distance Challenge: Team USA announced

The Pikes Peak Ascent will be held on Saturday, August 21. This year’s race is hosting the 7th WMRA World Long Distance Challenge, an event which brings together athletes from around the globe to compete for team and individual prizes. Last year’s Challenge was held in Austria. Previous hosts included Switzerland, France, and Great Britain. The U.S. also hosted in 2006 with the Pikes Peak Marathon. The event will be hosted in Slovenia in 2011.

Each country participating in the Challenge must designate their team members prior to race day. Teams can include up to five athletes with the top three to score. Team results will be calculated from the aggregate time of the best three athletes in each team. In the event of a tie, the team with the third runner nearest the winner will take precedence. Among the countries expected to compete are Slovenia, England, Scotland, USA, and Australia.

Representing Team USA on the men’s side will be Eric Blake, New Haven, Conn., Rickey Gates, Aspen, Colo., Zac Freundenburg, St. Louis, Mo., Tommy Manning, Colorado Springs, Colo, and Ryan Hafer, Colorado Springs, Colo.

Blake, Gates, and Manning (runner-up at last year’s Ascent) will be representing the U.S. at the World Mountain Running Championships this September in Slovenia. Both Blake and Gates are veterans of the World Mountain Running Championships having competed there four times previously, though neither has raced the Ascent. Freudenberg recently competed in the NACAC Mountain Running Championships for Team USA, is a past member of the U.S. Mountain Running Team (’08, ’09), and has competed in the Ascent with a best finish of fourth place. Even though Hafer has not yet represented USA on a mountain team, he is an accomplished mountain runner having won the Ascent in 2005 and the Barr Trail Mountain Race earlier this month.

The five women on Team USA are all from Colorado, each has been on a past, or is on the current U.S. Mountain Running Team, and all but two have raced the Pikes Peak Ascent.

Brandy Erholtz, Bailey, is a three-time mountain team member (’08, ’09, ’10) and a past winner on the Peak (2008). Megan Kimmel, Silverton, a two-time mountain team member (’08, ’09), and the defending champion at the Ascent, Lisa Goldsmith, Nederland, two-time mountain team member (’97, ’06) and a seven-time finisher at the Ascent including two wins. New on the Peak this year will be Laura Haefli, Del Norte, four-time mountain team member (’04, ’05, ’07, ’08) with a bronze individual medal in 2007, and Kelli Lusk, 2003 mountain team member. Both Haefeli and Lusk have raced and won the Barr Trail Mountain Race which is a precursor to the Ascent.

Nancy Hobbs

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Gray, Erholtz win NACAC Mountain Running Titles

Joseph Gray (pictured right) and Brandy Erholtz (pictured left), both of the USA, were victorious at the 7th North American Central American and Caribbean (NACAC) Mountain Running Championships on July 9th, 2010. Canadians Taylor Murphy and Ivan Babikov rounded out the podium on the men's side.

American Megan Lund and Canadian Maria Zambrano were the second and third women respectively. The Canadian men narrowly edged out the USA to win the NACAC men's race, while the American women put in a commanding performance to win the NACAC women's race.

In the men's race, the American men led early with the Canadian men close behind. Joseph Gray established an early lead on the first ascent and never looked back, finishing nearly 30 seconds ahead of his closest competitors. The final ascent, the steepest and most demanding terrain on the course, proved decisive for the team finish, with Adrian Lambert passing Brandon Lord in the final 100m to ensure a Canadian victory over the Americans.

In the women's race, the USA team proved too strong for the Canadians, with three of the top four positions being filled by the American women.

The event was held at the Canmore Nordic Centre in Canmore, Alberta, after grizzly bear activity on the Nakiska Ski Resort forced the organizers to make a last-minute course change. The final course was approximately 7.5 km long, with 600m of ascent and 130m of descent.

Full results :

Special thanks to Adrian Lambert (pictured center) from the Canadian Mountain Running Association for hosting the US Mountain Running Team.

Friday, July 9, 2010

2010 Team Member Eric Blake wins at Loon Mountain Race,

Reprinted from the Running Around CT Blog

Mountain runner Eric Blake (recently named the Central CT women's coach) has a good story now for when people ask him, "What's the craziest thing that ever happened to you when you were running?"

Last weekend, Blake was running the second to last race in the New England Mountain Running Series, a 5.5-miler at Loon Mountain in New Hampshire. He was in the lead and close to the finish when he came upon a black bear.

Blake wasn't really paying attention at first; neither was the bear.

But then the two spotted each other. Blake, running in 95 degree heat up a punishing incline, just kept on running up the trail - toward the bear.

"It was so hot," he said. "I wasn't thinking straight. You normally would run away."

Instead the bear ran away.

And Blake, who is leading the series, won in 46:32. He has one more race in the series, at Ascutney in Vermont, this weekend.