2023 International U18 Mountain Running Cup – Team USA Selection

In 2023, the 16th edition of the World Mountain Running Association’s (WMRA) International U18 Mountain Running Cup will be held in Annecy, France, May 26-27. This invitation-only event provides a unique opportunity for youth mountain runners from around the world to test themselves against the world’s best. Much more rugged than the typical U.S. high school cross country race, the course will be an up and downhill circuit approximately 4.4 km in length with 230 meters of ascent and descent.

Venue: Annecy is located in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of Southeastern France
Website: https://www.u18wcup.maxi-race.org/
Date: Saturday, May 27, 2023
Trip Duration: Team travel from the United States to France will depart Tuesday, May 23, and arrive on Wednesday, May 24. Course preview will take place on May 25-26. The races are on May 27. Team departure will be on Sunday, May 28, 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. International Geneva Airport is located about 44km from Annecy.

Photo: Marco Gulberti.

Team USA athlete eligibility requirements:

  • For athletes who are at least 16 years old and not yet 18 in 2023. [See WMRA U18 regulation 206.2 Age Categories.]
  • Athletes must be a 2023 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 to be announced soon.

Running resumes should include road, trail, track, and cross country results, current training info and will be accepted through April 1, 2023. Submit your resume on this Google Form and send your recommendation letters to: Nancy Hobbs, nanohobbs@gmail.com.

Photo: Marco Gulberti.

The team will be announced by April 10, 2023.

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 Geneva 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 2023 International U18 Mountain Running Cup:

Wednesday, May 24th – Off continent (including Team USA) Teams arrival
Thursday, May 25th – Teams and WMRA officials arrival. 19:00 hours – Team lunch – Maxi-Village
Friday, May 26th – Course Preview. Technical Meeting. Opening Ceremony
Saturday, May 27th

  • 11h00 : U18 Cup – Girls Race (Semnoz)
  • 11h30 : U18 Cup – Boys Race (Semnoz)
  • 17h00-18h30 : Award and closing ceremony (Annecy MaXi-Village)
  • 20h00-23h20 : Farewall party (Annecy MaXi-Village)

Sunday, May 28th – Teams and WMRA officials departure

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 the 2019 team who raced in Susa, Italy – “USATF Youth Mountain Runners Race Through History in Susa Italy,” and the results from the 2022 U.S. U18 Mountain Running Team.

You can find results from all previous editions of the International U18 Mountain Running Cup on the WMRA website.

The 2023 U18 team selection committee includes Richard Bolt, Paul Kirsch, David Fuentes, Eric Blake, Max King, Mark Weeks, Peter Maksimow, Nancy Hobbs and Morgan Arritola.

Photo: Lin Gentling.