Press release from ATRA strategic partner Collegiate Running Association.
The Collegiate Running Association has announced the fifth-annual Collegiate Mountain Running National Championships will take place on July 8, 2018, at the Loon Mountain Race, hosted by acidotic RACING, in Lincoln, New Hampshire.
For the fifth consecutive year, prize money will be distributed to the top college finishers in the men’s and women’s collegiate championships. This marks the third time in the past five years that the 10.62-kilometer Loon Mountain Race will host the U.S. and Collegiate National Championships concurrently.
The Loon Mountain race will also serve as the USATF Mountain Running Championships, the sole selection race for the 2018 Senior Men’s and Women’s US Mountain Running Team. The top four overall finishers in the men’s and women’s races will automatically qualify to represent the U.S. at the 34th WMRA World Mountain Running Championships on Sunday, September 16, in Canillo, Andorra.
Additionally, this year’s event will host the 15th annual North American, Central American & Caribbean (NACAC) Mountain Running Championships.
Named the “Most Competitive Hillclimb” by Runner’s World Magazine, this ridiculously tough race will force participants to climb over 2,000 vertical feet. The legendary climb straight up Upper Walking Boss makes another appearance, providing one of the toughest, awe-inspiring kilometers in the fast-growing sport of mountain running, reaching an incline of over 40%.
“We are excited to return to the Loon Mountain Race for the third time in the past five years. As one of the premier mountain running races in the U.S., it consistently delivers a great, destination event with a course that will challenge athletes at every level,” said Steve Taylor, co-founder of the Collegiate Running Association. “It will be another epic year and we know anyone who participates or attends this event will be truly inspired by the course, the people. and the scenery. To be able to partner with our friends at acidotic RACING for the Loon Mountain Race is a win-win for the athletes, community, and the sport of mountain running. Prize money reserved specifically for college students, plus prize money for the top U.S. runners, coupled with the opportunity to qualify for the World Mountain Running Championships as a member of Team USA, and to watch the NACAC championships unfold all at the same time is monumental.”
“Our boss is tougher than your boss.”
“When we created the Collegiate Running Association in 2013, one of our objectives was to promote and open opportunities in mountain and trail running to college students,” said Jon Molz, co-founder of the Collegiate Running Association. “To date, all four of our mountain running championships have been held alongside the U.S. championships. Since our first collegiate mountain running championship in 2014, 12 college students have qualified for the U.S. Mountain running team through their performance at the U.S. and Collegiate Championships. We believed introducing competitive championship opportunities in mountain running for college students would ultimately make Team USA even stronger at the international level. It’s exciting to see that become reality as college students have finished in position to qualify for Team USA 12 times since 2014.”
Loon Mountain Co-Race Director, Paul Kirsch, expressed similar excitement over the partnership with the Collegiate Running Association, saying “What the CRA has done over the years to generate interest in mountain running has been phenomenal. We have seen CRA champions go on to compete for the US Mountain Running Team at the World Championships and to continue to spread the word on the sport. I am really excited to include the CRA Mountain Championships at Loon again this year.”
The Loon Mountain Race is open to the public. In order to be eligible to compete in the Collegiate Running Association Mountain Running Championships, participants must either be enrolled in a college course at the time of the race or have completed a course during the spring semester (between January 1 and July 8, 2018). Collegiate participants must also be free members of the Collegiate Running Association to be eligible for the collegiate prize money. In order to qualify for the US Mountain Running team, participants must be current members of USATF and finish in the top four in the U.S. Championship.
“Our US mountain running program has greatly benefited from the work that Steve Taylor and Jon Molz have accomplished with the Collegiate Running Association. Fostering competitive opportunities for our nation’s collegiate runners has been instrumental in attracting and retaining these same athletes well into their future in our sport. It’s the perfect fit to our US Championship program and enhances the appeal to media, sponsors, and fans of our sport,” said Nancy Hobbs, USATF Mountain Ultra Trail Council chairperson.
Registration for the Loon Mountain race is now open. Register today.
In 2016 Matt Daniels (Adams State), Hayden Hawks (Southern Utah) and Bethany Sachtleben (GMU/NOVA) qualified for the US Mountain Running Team at the Loon Mountain Race.
ABOUT COLLEGIATE RUNNING ASSOCIATION:
The Collegiate Running Association (CRA) is a 501c3 non-profit organization founded November, 2013 with a mission to promote healthy lifestyles among college students by providing and expanding opportunities in the sport of running. The vision of the CRA is to offer national championship events in road, mountain, and trail running with prize money specifically reserved for college students enrolled in at least one class. Since 2014, the CRA has awarded over $80,000 in prize money specifically to college students in road, mountain and trail running events. Membership is open to the public (click here).