The 2013 NACAC Mountain Running Championships will take place at the Cranmore Hill Climb located in Cranmore, NH, on Sunday, July 21.
This is the tenth consecutive year that the NACAC Mountain Championship have been held, with the event rotating being the U.S., Mexico, and Canada. This is the fourth time for the U.S. to serve as host, having been the venue for the championships in 2004 and 2005 (Vail, CO,) 2009 (Cranmore, NH).
“In recent years the Cranmore Hill Climb as been the most competitive sub-ultra mountain race in the country and the 2013 edition looks to continue this tradition,” said Richard Bolt, USA Mountain Running team leader, “The addition of elite runners from Mexico and Canada will further improve the quality of the competition and make this race an exciting North American mountain running shoot-out.”
USA leads the NACAC results ticker with both individual gold and team gold-medal performances with 8 individual golds on the women’s side, seven individual golds on the men’s side. The U.S. women have only missed gold on the team side one year when they didn’t send a team in 2006. The U.S. men have won team gold four times, Mexico has two gold team medals, Canada has three.
This year’s course for the NACAC Mountain Championship follows the pattern of the World Mountain Running Championships with odd-numbered years being up and down races and even-numbered years being uphill races. However, there is a bit of a difference this year as the course will start with a descent and end with an ascent.
Race Director Paul Kirsch has mapped out an incredibly challenging lap-course which includes fire roads, single track trail, and grassy pathways with approximately 250 meters elevation gain per lap. The senior men will run three laps, the senior women and junior men will run two laps, while junior women will run one lap.
Teams from Canada, Mexico, and USA, are anticipated for the NACAC competition, although letters of invitation have been sent to all of the 31 member NACAC federations. Competition will be individual and team. Teams include up to four members with the top two finishers on each team scoring. Therefore, member nations need only send a two-member team to compete and score.
In addition to the NACAC Mountain Championships, there are three more elements to the Cranmore race. The event will host the U.S. Mountain Running Championships, and will be the sole team selection race for the 2013 U.S. Mountain Running Team (for senior men and women) which will compete in Poland in September. Finally, there is an open competition for any athlete who wishes to participate alongside the top athletes in the sport from USA, Mexico, and Canada.
Looking toward the championships in July, Kirsch says, “I’m very impressed with the athletes who will represent Team USA. Not only do we have the 2011 World Mountain Running Champion, we have team members who competed in the past two World Mountain Running Championships as well as past NACAC Mountain Championships. It’s going to be a competitive race in July!”
Meet Team USA. The women:
Morgan Arritola, 27, Ketchum, ID, burst onto the mountain running scene in 2012. A Nordic skier – and an Olympian (2010) no less – Arritola set her sights on running last year. She won the US Mountain Running Championships, earned a bronze medal at the 2012 World Mountain Running Championships and was named 2012 USATF Mountain Runner of the Year. Arritola runs for Team Salomon.
Megan Lund-Lizotte, 29, Basalt, CO, is a three-time member of the U.S. Mountain Running Team (2009, ’10, ’11), finishing 12th at the 2011 World Mountain Running Championships in Albania, where she was the second U.S. women’s team member to finish. Lund-Lizotte runs for Montrail and gave birth to her first daughter in 2012.
Amber Reece-Young (formerly Moran), 34, Arden, NC, placed 5th in 2011 at the USA Mountain Championships at Mt. Cranmore. In 2009, she took fourth at the USA 10k Trail National Championships and finished third at the 2011 NACAC Mountain Running Championships in Ajijic, Mexico, and second at the 2012 NACAC Mountain Running Champinships in Canada. Reece-Young is a two-time winner of the challenging Shut-In Trail Race and The Bear Hill Climb in NC. She has a speedy mile personal best of 4:44. Recently married, Reece-Young works as a school nurse and runs for Team Inov-8.
Michele Yates (formerly Suszek), 30, Littleton, CO, made her first U.S. Mountain Running Team in 2011, with a second-place finish at the USA Mountain Running Championships – a race won by eventual World Mountain Running Champion Kasie Enman. Suszek finished 21st at the 2011 World Mountain Running Championships. At the 2012 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in Houston – Yates finished in 43rd place. She is the 2012 and 2013 USA 50 Mile Trail National Champion as well as the 2013 USA 100km Champion. Yates is a Pearl Izumi athlete.
Joe Gray, 29, Newcastle, WA, finished 10th at the World Mountain Running Championships (WMRC) in 2010 leading the U.S. men’s team to its first-ever team silver medal. At the 2012 Championships Gray finished 14th, at the 2011 Championships Gray finished 11th and was a scoring member on the bronze-medal USA team in 2008. In 2009, Gray was the USA Mountain Running Champion and was named the men’s USA Mountain Runner of the Year in 2008, 2009, and 2010. Gray is the first male to win the NACAC Mountain Championship four times with victories in 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012. Gray shows tremendous depth in his running accomplishments having won the 2012 and 2013 USA 50km Road Running Championships, finishing 17th at the Boston Marathon this year – his debut at this distance, and finishing in 11th place at the 2012 USA Cross Country National Championships. Gray runs for Scott USA.
Max King, 33, Bend, OR, is certainly one of the most versatile runners in the nation with top results spanning road, trail, cross country, ultra, and track (steeplechase to be precise). King is the 2011 World Mountain Running Champion. He was also on the 2010 bronze-medal winning U.S. Mountain Running Team finishing a solid 16th place. He holds the course record at the JFK 50 Miler (set in 2012), and has won numerous US National Championships. King, father of two young children, works at FootZone Bend and runs for Montrail.
Glenn Randall, 26, Mesa, CO, made his first mountain running team last year. He was the top U.S. finisher placing a solid ninth. Randall is the 2010 Pikes Peak Ascent champion and has been racing with much success on the roads in 2013 including a third-place finish at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Dallas Half where he ran 1:06:21. He was a star cross country skier during his collegiate career at Dartmouth (graduated 2009) and runs for PowerBar and New Balance,
Ryan Woods, 33, Boone, NC, earned a spot on the 2011 U.S. Mountain Running Team by finishing third at the 2011 USA Mountain Running Championships. Ryan finished 49th at the 2011 World Mountain Running Championships in Albania. Woods won the 2011 Springmaid Splash 10k in Spruce Pine, NC, and was the overall 2010 La Sportiva Mountain Cup trail race series. He runs for La Sportiva and is employed as a Chiropractor.
For more information on USA Mountain Running visit this link and this link. For results and a recap of the NACAC Mountain Championships visit the www.usmrt.com site.