2022 U.S. 100K Road Team – Meet the Athletes

Written by U.S. 100K Road Team manager Lin Gentling. Photos provided by the athletes.

The Mountain Ultra Trail Running Executive Council of the USA Track & Field (USATF) is proud to announce the U.S. team members for the 31st International Association of Ultrarunning (IAU) 100K World Championships in Berlin Bernau, Germany. The event will be on 27 August, with 6 female and 6 male US athletes representing the United States from Colorado, Vermont, Utah, California, Arizona, Montana, Washington, Michigan, Texas, and Massachusetts. The town of Bernau is located just northeast of Berlin with the course focusing on the UNESCO World Heritage site, the Bauhaus monument. From here, the course will run on a flat, wind protected asphalt road through the Wandlitzer Chaussee forest. After an initial lap of 2.5K, there will be 13 more laps of 7.5K each.

This year’s team collectively has an impressive running resume with several having experience on previous world teams.

  • Sarah Cummings, 33, Park City, UT
  • Kalie Demerjian, 25, Trabuco Canyon, CA
  • Anna Kacius, 29, San Francisco, CA
  • Nicole Monette, 36, Oxford, MI
  • Elizabeth Northern, 35, Fort Worth, TX
  • Courtney Olsen, 34, Bellingham, WA
  • Zack Beavin, 27, Brookline, MA
  • Kris Brown, 33, Missoula, MT
  • Geoff Burns, 32, Colorado Springs, CO
  • Craig Hunt, 32, Flagstaff, AZ
  • Eric LiPuma, 29, Richmond, VT
  • Rajpaul Pannu, 31, Denver, CO

Of the 12 members, 5 have had prior 50K or 100K world championship experience. This team come from a long history of impressive running, many having achieved podium placement in recent high profile races and national championships around the United States.

The Women’s Team

Sarah Cummings, 33, Park City, UT

Sarah Cummings is a Brooks-sponsored ultra/trail runner based in Park City, UT. In 2021, she won the JFK 50 mile and was named the #5 ultra runner of the year by Ultrarunning Magazine. She was also a member of the 2019 U.S. 50K Team competing in Brasov, Romania. According to Sarah, “Representing the US in international competition is the greatest honor and I can’t wait to make the most of this incredible opportunity!”

Kalie Demerjian, 25, Trabuco Canyon, CA

Kalie Demerjian is from Southern California. She was the USATF 100 mile and 100K national champion this year. She also place 3rd at the Javelina Jundred in 2020. When Kalie is not running she spends her time tattooing and focusing on her art. According to Kalie, “I didn’t think I’d get this far so I’m just happy to be here.”

Anna Kacius, 29, San Francisco, CA

Anna Kacius is a member of the Impala Racing Team in San Francisco and ran in the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials in the marathon. After placing 6th at the JFK 50 Mile last fall, Anna discovered her love for ultramarathon distances, and went on to place 2nd at the USATF 100K Road Championship. According to Anna, “I’m beyond thankful for my teammates and the running community, who encouraged me to reach for this goal and helped me train every step of the way. Until recently, I never imagined I would have the opportunity to represent the U.S. in an international event. I feel both honored and excited to join such a talented group of women in Berlin.”

Nicole Monette, 36, Oxford, MI

Nicole Monette is a 37 year old from Oxford, Michigan, where she lives with her husband Patrick and their three young children. Monette placed 2nd at the 2022 USATF 100 Mile Road Championships, 3rd at the 2021 Desert Solstice 100 miler, and 2nd at the 2021 HOKA ONE ONE Project Carbon X2 100K. She runs for Hoka, works as a physical therapist in orthopedics and sports medicine and has a passion for coaching ultrarunners with Patrick Reagan Running. According to Nicole, “Being named to USA for the first time after over twenty years of competitive running has exceeded my wildest expectations. It feels like the culmination of years of hard work and ups and downs in this sport that has shaped me in many ways. To be able to represent my country on the biggest stage is truly and honor and I am humbled to be part of such a strong group of women and men.”

Elizabeth Northern, 35, Fort Worth, TX

Elizabeth Northern and her family live in Fort Worth, TX, where she is a senior research analyst at Tarrant County College – and she loves her job! She and her husband have two beautiful, perfect Irish twins who are 4 and 5 and full of life. Her running career highlights include finishing the 2016 and 2020 Marathon Olympic trials (68th and 73rd respectively), placing 6th at the 2019 IAU 50K Road World Championships, the 2019 USATF 50K Road National Champion, the 2021 USATF 100K Road National Champion, and the short-lived Guinness record holder for a 10KM while pushing a double stroller. According to Liz, “I am eager and honored to represent our country in this momentous event, alongside some of America’s finest distance runners. It is truly an exciting time to be racing, in light of our last two years enduring the pandemic.”

Courtney Olsen, 34, Bellingham, WA

Courtney Olsen is sponsored by Hoka One One, works full time in banking, and is a P.O.S. artist. She helped develop and is the current President of Bellingham Distance Project, a post-collegiate competitive running team. She has competed for Team USA at the 2019 IAU 50K World Championships, and in the 2020 IAU 6-HR Virtual Global Solidarity Run. Olsen placed 3rd at the 2021 HOKA ONE ONE Project Carbon X2 100K. She competed in the 2020 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials and has a marathon personal best of 2:36:18. According to Courtney, “One of the best experiences of my life was competing on the US team for the 2018 50K World Champs in Brasov, Romania. I fell in love with the city, with my teammates, with the team leads, with Aperol Spritz trucks, and I knew, if I were ever granted the opportunity to represent the US again, I’d be all in.”

The Men’s Team

Zack Beavin, 27, Brookline, MA

Zack Beavin is a reformed track runner (University of Kentucky) turned marathon runner (2:18) and finally ultramarathon runner. Most recently, Zack won the 2022 USATF 100K Road Championship, and placed 2nd at the 2021 JFK 50 Mile race. Originally, from Kentucky, he now works for New Balance and lives and trains in Boston, MA. According to Zack, “I’m thrilled with being named to the team! I feel my entire running career has been a slow, steady build to the distances I always knew would be my sweet spot, so I’m excited to finally be competing on the world stage in the discipline I always knew I’d be best suited for.”

Kris Brown, 33, Missoula, MT

Kris Brown is primarily a mountain runner who has harnessed his track background in order to delve into road ultras. He has been a part of the sport of running for nearly his whole life, boasting a USATF membership dating back to the mid-90s when he was 6 or 7 years old. Kris considers it one of the greatest achievements of his long running career to represent the United States at the IAU 100k World Championship. According to Kris, “I could not be more excited to be a part of the US team heading to the 100k World Championship. I really admire the group of athletes and coaches who I now call teammates, and I’m extremely proud to wear a uniform bearing my national colors.”

Geoff Burns, 32, Colorado Springs, CO

Geoff Burns has represented the USA three times at IAU World Championship events (5th at 2018 and 2016 100 km championship, 10th at the 2015 50 km championship). He was the 2016 USATF 100K Road Champion, where he set a still-standing championship record of 6:30, and he was the runner-up in the 2021 and 2022 USATF 100K Road Championships. He lives in Colorado Springs, CO, where he works for the USOPC as a physiologist at the Olympic and Paralympic Training Center. He holds a PhD in kinesiology and also serves as an adjunct assistant professor at the University of Michigan. According to Geoff, “It’s a paramount thrill for any athlete to be able test yourself on your sport’s biggest stage against the best in the world, and a paramount privilege to do so for the flag of your country. This is what I live for, and I couldn’t be more excited. I’ve had some big setbacks and injuries since the last time I enjoyed the privilege, so I definitely feel the gravity of this opportunity a little more. I cherish it, and I can’t wait to empty myself out there for my teammates and the USA.”

Craig Hunt, 32, Flagstaff, AZ

Craig Hunt is a 2014 graduate of Central Connecticut State University where he won 6 Individual Northeast Conference titles. Since graduating he has produced a marathon personal best of 2:15:29, finished 10th at the 2019 IAU 50k World Championships, and competed at the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials. Hunt placed 6th at the 2021 HOKA ONE ONE Project Carbon X2 100K. Craig currently lives and trains in Flagstaff Arizona where he works as a personal trainer and is the Head Cross Country Coach of Coconino Community College. According to Craig, “I am excited to represent the USA at my second World Championships. It’ll be great to compete internationally again and share my journey with my athletes at Coconino Community College.”

Eric LiPuma, 29, Richmond, VT

Eric LiPuma is a runner and full-time graphic designer who trains on the hilly dirt roads and trails of northern Vermont. He races primarily trail ultramarathons but has enjoyed dabbling in road racing as well. In 2018 he was the USATF 50K Road Champion and in 2019 represented the U.S. at the IAU 50k World Championships in Romania where he placed 24th. According to Eric, “Representing the United States is always an honor and I’m incredibly excited to run this historic event! After a summer season of trail running, I’ll be looking forward to finishing it off on the roads of Berlin as a member of Team USA.”

Mad City Ultras

Rajpaul Pannu, 31, Denver, CO (#34). Photo: Mad City Ultras.

Rajpaul Pannu is a first generation Indian-American raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. He picked up running as a teenager after creating a New Year’s Resolution to become healthier, eventually leading him to run in high school, collegiate, and now post-collegiate for Hoka. Rajpaul currently resides in Denver, Colorado, but still makes time for his hometown of Hercules, California as well. Raj placed 4th at the 2022 USATF 100K Road Championships, 2nd at the 2022 USATF 50K Road Championships, and 2nd at the 2021 HOKA ONE ONE Project Carbon X2 100K. Rajpaul takes a quote from Bruce Lee to express his feelings about making Team USA: “The medicine for my suffering I had within me from the very beginning but I did not take it. My ailment came from within myself, but I did not observe it until this moment. Now I see I will never find the light unless, like a candle, I am my own fuel.” – Bruce Lee

Team USATF Staff

This group of three has been team leading to every 100K world championship over the course of the last 20+ years. They are:
Lin Gentling, Rochester, MN – Team Leader
Timo Yanacheck, Madison, WI – Assistant Team Leader
Dr. Lion Caldwell, Albuquerque, NM – Team Physician

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