Written by USA Track & Field’s Mountain Ultra Trail (MUT) Running Executive Committee members Richard Bolt, Nancy Hobbs and Jason Bryant. Approved by the MUT Executive Committee for publication on January 15, 2020.
[September 6 UPDATE: The 2020 World Mountain Running Championships have been cancelled. The USATF MUT Council will not name a team in 2020. Selection criteria for the 2021 World Mountain Running Championships will be announced in December.]
The World Long Distance Mountain Running Championships is regulated by the World Mountain Running Association (WMRA) under the patronage of World Athletics. The U.S. Long Distance Mountain Running Team will consist of 5 women and 5 men with the top 3 men and top 3 women scoring for the team.
The 2020 WMRA World Long Distance Mountain Running Championships will be hosted in Femés, Lanzarotte, Spain on November 14-15, 2020. Vertical ascent and descent for the approximately 42 km race will be announced in the spring.
[Sidebar: U.S. athletes interested in qualifying to race the 36th World Mountain Running Championships (short distance) can find the selection criteria here.]
2020 Long Distance Team Selection Standards & Procedures
A Standard: The top US finisher at the 2019 WMRA World Long Distance Mountain Running Championships, receives an automatic spot on the 2020 team provided they are within 10% of the overall race winner. If the automatically selected athletes do not accept their spots on the team, the second US finisher will receive a spot on the team provided they are within 10% of the overall race winner. (James Walmsley & Emily Schmitz)
B Standard: 2020 Long Distance Selection Races – The top U.S. male and top U.S. female finisher at:
- June 21, 2020 – RACE CANCELLED Broken Arrow Sky Race 26 km & USATF Long Distance Mountain Running Championships in Squaw Valley, CA. In addition, the second US Male and US female will also earn a team spot provided their time is within 5% of the winner’s time.
- August 8, 2020 – RACE CANCELLED Ragged 50K & USATF 50 km Trail Championships in Sunapee, NH. Automatic team spots are conditioned on the winners being within 5% of the course record; 4:17 for men and 5:11 for women.
C Standard: Remaining team members will be selected based on running resumes with consideration given to good results in the 2019 World Long Distance Mountain Running Championships, and/or team selection races and USATF Championships. Top 10 finishers from the 2020 USATF Mountain Running Championships who do not qualify for the US Mountain Running Team (short distance) will automatically have their resumes submitted for consideration. The selection committee will consider athletes percentage back from the winning time in any races mentioned above or listed on resumes submitted. Good performances in highly competitive races are more important than wins in uncompetitive races.
Athletes named to the team must be U.S. citizens and have a current USATF membership.
In addition to the five men and five women who qualify for the long distance team, an additional man and woman from the US Mountain Running Team (short distance) will be listed on the Final Entry Form (FEF) to fill in if a long distance team athlete drops due to injury. No changes to the roster can be made after the FEF is submitted in late October.
Team uniforms will be provided by USATF. If an athlete qualifies for the team but can’t make the trip due to injury or any other circumstance, the uniform must be returned to USATF. Mountain team members will receive partial funding from USA Track & Field with the exact amount TBA.
Question or resumes should be sent to Jason Bryant, email@example.com and Richard Bolt, firstname.lastname@example.org. Resumes must be received by September 15, 2020. Athletes who win selection races must confirm their acceptance of a team spot not later than September 15, 2020.
The team will be announced by October 1, 2020.
The first World Long Distance Mountain Running Challenge was held at Sierre-Zinal in Switzerland in 2004. The first team competition took place in 2009 in Austria. The U.S. Women have won the team title three times, as well as team silver twice and team bronze once. Additionally, three individual titles and two silver individual medals. The U.S. Men have two gold and four silver team medals, a bronze team medal, along with four individual titles and an individual bronze medal.
The 2016 selection process was published here.
The 2017 selection process was published here.
The 2018 selection process was published here.
The 2019 selection process was published here.