After last years event cancellation, 2021 will mark the 15th edition of the World Mountain Running Association’s (WMRA) International U18 Mountain Running Cup. This invitation only event provides a unique opportunity for youth mountain runners from around the world to test themselves against the worlds best. Much more rugged than the typical U.S. high school cross country race, the course will be an up and downhill circuit approximately 5 km in length with 207 meters of ascent and descent.
Trip Duration: Team travel from the United States to Manchester, UK will depart Tuesday, July 20, and arrive on Wednesday, July 21. Course preview will take place on July 22 and 23. The race is on July 24. Team departure will be on July 25 for a total of 4 nights lodging. Team members are welcome to arrive earlier and stay longer, but will need to provide their own lodging and transportation to and from the venue/airport. Ambleside is located 140 km North of Manchester airport (MAN).
Team USA athlete eligibility requirements:
- For athletes who are at least 16 year old and not yet 18 in 2021.
- Athletes must be a 2021 USA Track & Field (USATF) member.
- To be considered for the team, athletes should have posted a 16:45 or better (boys) and 19:30 or better (girls) in a 5 km road or cross country event. Equivalent times – from an alternate race distance that translates to the aforementioned time criteria – may be considered for distances other than 5 km.
- Athletes should have experience training and racing on mountain running courses similar to the event.
- Athletes should be mature, motivated, with a positive attitude to proudly represent the United States and sponsors internationally, under the rules of USATF and the event governing bodies.
- Provide a letter of recommendation from a coach, parent, or mentor-runner along with athlete race results.
The U.S. U18 Mountain Running Team will be comprised of up to 4 youth girls and 4 youth boys along with staff members Mark Weeks and Anita Ortiz.
Running resumes should include road, trail, track, and cross country results, current training info and will be accepted through May 21, 2021. Submit your resume on this Google Form and send your recommendation letters to: Mark Weeks, firstname.lastname@example.org, and Anita Ortiz, email@example.com.
The team will be announced by May 28, 2021.
This is a partially funded USATF team and there is potentially a small stipend from the WMRA to cover travel expenses. Accommodations, meals, as well as transfers to/from the Manchester airport are covered by the local organizing committee. Uniforms are provided by USATF. If an athlete makes the team but can’t make the trip due to injury or any other circumstance, the uniform must be returned to USATF.
Expected program for the 2021 International U18 Mountain Running Cup:
- Wednesday, 21 July – Countries outside Europe including the USA arrive in Ambleside.
- Thursday, 22 July – European teams arrive in Ambleside.
- Friday, 23 July – Morning course inspection. Afternoon technical meeting for coaches, athlete parade and opening ceremony.
- Saturday, 24 July
- U18 Mountain Running Girls race – 1:00 PM
- U18 Mountain Running Boys race – 1:45 PM
- Medal Ceremony, Parish Centre and closing ceremony
- Evening lake cruise for all athletes
- Sunday, 25 July – All teams depart Ambleside.
Do you want to know what it’s like to represent the USA at the WMRA International U18 Mountain Running Cup? Check out the story from last years team who raced in Susa, Italy – “USATF Youth Mountain Runners Race Through History in Susa Italy.”
You can find results from all previous editions of the International U18 Mountain Running Cup on the WMRA website.