2021 World Mountain & Trail Running Championship – Team USA Selection

Written by USA Track & Field’s Mountain Ultra Trail (MUT) Council’s Team Selection Task Force^. Approved by the MUT Executive Committee on January 27, 2020.

The inaugural World Mountain & Trail Running Championships is scheduled for November 11-14, 2021 in Chiang Mai, Thailand. This new biennial event is organized by the World Mountain Running Association (WMRA), the International Association of Ultrarunners (IAU) and the International Trail Running Association (ITRA), with support from World Athletics.

This event replaces the World Mountain Running Championship (1985-2019), World Long Distance Mountain Running Championship (2004-2019) and Trail World Championship (2007-2019). These championships have been discontinued.

World Mountain & Trail Running Championship Race Schedule:

  • Friday, November 12 – 40 km TRAIL race, followed by VERTICAL UPHILL races in the evening.
  • Saturday, November 13 – 80 km TRAIL race.
  • Sunday, November 14 – 10-12 km up and down MOUNTAIN race (6-8 km for U20 – formerly juniors).

This championship is open to all World Athletics member federations. MOUNTAIN races are up to 4 athletes per country, per gender to start, 3 to score. Individual and team titles will be awarded (team title based on cumulative position). TRAIL races are up to 6 athletes per country, per gender to start, 3 to score. Individual and team titles will be awarded (team title based on cumulative time). With these event allocations the maximum possible team size per country is 48 athletes.

Because of the high cost of sending a team to this championship and budget constraints, the United States plans to field a team of 34 athletes with the following event allocations:

  • 40 km TRAIL race – 5 men & 5 women
  • VERTICAL UPHILL – no dedicated team (athletes selected for the 40 km TRAIL or MOUNTAIN races can participate)
  • 80 km TRAIL race – 5 men & 5 women
  • MOUNTAIN race – 4 men & 4 women
  • U20 MOUNTAIN race – 3 men & 3 women

U.S. Team Selection Criteria

40 km TRAIL race
A Standard * – 2019 World Long Distance Mountain Running Champion Jim Walmsley earns an automatic team spot.
B Standard ** – n/a
C Standard *** – Remaining team members will be selected based on running resumes with consideration given to top results in the 2019 World Long Distance Mountain Running Championships, and USATF Championships. Top 10 finishers from the 2021 USATF Mountain Running Championships who do not qualify for the world championship MOUNTAIN race will automatically have their resumes submitted for consideration. The selection committee will consider athletes percentage back from the winning time in any races listed on resumes submitted. Good performances in highly competitive races are more important than wins in uncompetitive races.

80 km TRAIL race
A Standard – n/a
B Standard – n/a
C Standard – All team members will be selected based on running resumes with consideration given to top results in the 2019 Trail World Championships, and USATF Championships. The selection committee will consider athletes percentage back from the winning time in any races listed on resumes submitted. Good performances in highly competitive races are more important than wins in uncompetitive races.

MOUNTAIN race
A Standard – 2019 World Mountain Running Champions Grayson Murphy and Joseph Gray earn automatic team spots.
B Standard – Top 3 at the 2021 USATF Mountain Running Championships / Gnar Gnar race on August 15 at Mt. Hood Ski Bowl, Oregon. Top 4 if Grayson Murphy or Joseph Gray finish in the top 3, or if they decline their spots.
C Standard – If the 2021 USATF Mountain Running Championships / Gnar Gnar are cancelled or if any of the top 4 finishers decline their spots, additional team members will be selected from resumes.

U20 MOUNTAIN race (formerly junior)
A Standard – n/a
B Standard – n/a
C Standard – Athletes ages 16-19 (before December 31, 2021) are eligible to submit a resume (via this Google Form) and coaches letter of recommendation for consideration. U20 men should have a 16:45 or better 5 km road or XC time and U20 women should have a time of 19:30 or better. Equivalent times from alternate race distances will be considered. In addition U20 must supply a letter of recommendation from a parent/guardian or coach.

Championship

Selection Timeline

Qualifying Performance Window: Races between January 1, 2019 to September 15, 2021
Athlete Resumes Due: No later than September 15, 2021
Team Selected: No later than September 30, 2021
Team Announced: October 1, 2021.
No athlete substitutions after October 22, 2021.

Championship

Additional Information

All athletes must be current USATF members, U.S. citizens and have a passport valid through July 1, 2022.

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.

Team members will receive funding from USA Track & Field and the American Trail Running Association with the reimbursement amount TBA. While the exact cost of sending a team to this championship is unknown at the time of this writing, it is the intention of the USATF MUT Council to make this a fully funded team for all athletes and staff (except juniors).

Questions or resumes should be sent to Richard Bolt, richardbolt@trailrunner.com and Meghan Canfield, coachmeghancanfield@gmail.com. Athletes who earn spots at the 2021 USATF Mountain Running Championships must confirm their acceptance of a team spot not later than September 15, 2021.

Questions about the U20 (formerly junior) MOUNTAIN team can be emailed to Paul Kirsch, pkirsch2@gmail.com. U20 athletes can fill out the online application form at: https://forms.gle/1eK7JVUSfQGh3QX19

USATF MUT selection committee members are Richard Bolt, Max King, Meghan Canfield, Nancy Hobbs and Jason Bryant. For the U20 MOUNTAIN team, Paul Kirsch, Anita Ortiz, Max King, Eric Blake, Jason Bryant and Brandy Erholtz.

Championship

^ Task Force members responsible for this selection criteria are Richard Bolt, Nancy Hobbs, Meghan Canfield, Lin Gentling, Michael Wardian, Eric Blake, David Fuentes, Addie Bracy, Jason Bryant, Max King, Hayley Pollack and Brandy Erholtz.

* The A Standard is based on world championship results.
** The B Standard is based on USATF championship and/or U.S. selection race results.
*** The C Standard is based on evaluation of athlete resumes by the USATF MUT selection committee.

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