Written by Nancy Hobbs, Executive Director of the American Trail Running Association.
On Sunday, October 30, the day after the Trail World Championships, the nine athletes and two staff of Team USA shared thoughts about the event.
The nine-member contingent was asked two questions: 1) What one word would you use to describe the course; and 2) Provide one memory, or situation from the event that sums up your experience at the event – good, bad, positive, or negative.
Team USA Athletes:
Jared Burdick: Epic
“All the climbs were painful and also beautiful. It was a really nice environment. They (the climbs), were all painfully beautiful I guess.”
Larisa Dannis: Historic
“It flet very historic. It puts into perspective how young our country is. Experiencing the history – like running on cobblestones through villages – it’s great to be somewhere you can really experience the history.”
Corrine Malcolm: Sadistic
“There was all this not communication communication. It’s just a part of racing in Europe. If you were running and you needed to be moved somewhere else, they physically moved you. They didn’t say anything, they just grabbed you and put you somewhere else (on the course).”
Mario Mendoza: Unrelenting
“One of the water stations (62km), had a lot of town pride. It was heart warming and cozy and it definitely felt good when you were feeling down. It was really cool. You could tell that the townspeople were all really excited to see the race going through it. They were so pumped to see everyone coming through.”
Tyler Sigl: Brutal
“Leading into the first water stop (to 15km) and think I could actually do this and then things fell apart.”
Alex Varner: Punishing
“Where my legs were cramping so badly at the top of the last climb, I couldn’t steer. The medical guys asked me if I was OK. I said I was OK, I just couldn’t turn.”
YiOu Wang: Astounding
“I remember following a group of women bombing downhill in the complete darkness and laughing at the absurdity of it all.”
Team USA Staff: (The one word question was to describe the event)
Richard Bolt: Distressed
“I think we’ve seen really great team work at this event. Even thought Team USA performed below what our athletes had hoped, they still supported each other, cheered each other, and helped get everyone to the finish line who could make it.”
Nancy Hobbs: Culture
“Providing this opportunity for countries to come together and share their culture is what makes international events so enjoyable. There is of course the competition, but beyond this aspect, there is camaraderie, friendship, and a sense of family which extends well beyond international borders.”
* At press time we didn’t have full team results. The US men finished 15th among the 25 teams with a combined score of 32:59:12. The winning team was France timed in 25:37:10. Team USA did not finish in the women’s team competition. There were 16 women’s teams with Team France capturing the gold with a combined time of 30:38:12 The top three finishers for the team score and countries could register up to 6 athletes. All of the teams on the podium – France, Spain, and Great Britain – receive full funding from their federations to attend the World Trail Championships. Team USA receives partial funding.