Editors note (August 8, 2018): After confirming that Maude Gorman had cheated in several trail races, she has been removed from the team.
The following seventeen American athletes will be competing at the 2018 Skyrunning World Championships which will be held from 13-15 September in Kinlochleven in the Scottish Highlands. Races in three skyrunning disciplines will take place: VERTICAL, SKY and ULTRA with twenty-seven medals at stake. (Above photo by Mike Scott)
The races are open to both individuals and country teams. Individual world championship titles and medals will be awarded in each discipline as well as a combined title based on the best results of the Vertical and Sky races. For more information about the 2018 Skyrunning World Championships visit: http://www.skyrunning.com/2018-skyrunning-world-championships/
30 athletes applied to run on the US Skyrunning Team. The 17 selected athletes were chosen based on outstanding mountain/trail running results both inside and outside of the United States. Track and cross country results were also taken into consideration. Additionally athletes were asked to show some evidence of stewardship of our sport and provide some insight about their individual character. To learn more about the selection process and US Skyrunning visit http://www.vtxcski.org.
The selected athletes are paying their own way to the championships in Scotland. Team Leaders are covering uniform costs and are currently fundraising for the 2018/19 season. To make a contribution to the US Skyrunning Team visit their GoFundMe page.
Samantha Doner (California) – “I absolutely love exploring/ trail running in my home town of Mammoth Lakes California . I have competed in many trail races around the United States and am beyond excited to expand my knowledge, skills and potential future in this sport that I love so very much !!!” Sarah finished 2nd at the 2018 Silver State half marathon (Reno, NV), 2nd at the 2017 Mount Baldy run to the top- (Mount Baldy, CA) and 6th place at the 2017 USATF Half Marathon Trail Championships / Birkie Trail Race (Hayward, WI).
Jackie Dubnicka (Wisconsin) – “I am very excited to be representing USA at the World Skyrunning Championships in Scotland. I hope to be an inspiration for young runners as they begin to dabble in extremely challenging and technical races themselves.” Jackie finished 2nd at the 2018 USATF 100 KM Road Championships (Madison, WI), 1st at the 2018 Frozen Otter 64 Mile Ultra Trek (Fond du Lac, WI) and 1st at the 2017 Dances with Dirt Devil’s Lake Extreme Marathon (Baraboo, WI).
Heather Edic (Alaska) – “The Ben Nevis Ultra in Scotland will be my first international running race and I feel very fortunate to be part of the first ever US Skyrunning Team. I am excited to explore a new country and new trails, gain new adventure partners, as well as inspire more Americans to try out Skyrunning!” Healther finished 1st at the 2017 McCall Trail Running Classic (McCall, ID), 2nd at the 2017 Continental Divide Trail Run (Steamboat Springs, CO) and 2nd at the 2016 Old Gabe 25K (Bozeman, MT).
Lauren Fritz (Alaska) – “I have raced all over the world for cross country skiing, but Ben Nevis Ultra in Scotland will be my first foray into international trail running, and hopefully not my last. I’m beyond excited to see the terrain and the country and mix it up with some of the best mountain runners in the world and just explore a new part of the world through Skyrunning adventures.” Lauren finished 1st at the 2017 Girdwood Trail Marathon (Girdwood, AK), 1st at the 2016 Resurrection Pass 50-Miler (Cooper Landing/Hope, AK) and 2nd at the 2012 Mt. Marathon Race (Seward, AK).
Hillary Gerardi (Vermont) – “It will be a privilege to be able to be a part of the US Team at the Skyrunning World Championships this year. Living abroad, and racing in the Skyrunning circuit, I so frequently represent the US informally, but have not yet had the opportunity to really be a part of a US team. It is an honor to be participate alongside the country’s best skyrunners and to help Skyrunning to become more well known in the United States.” Hillary finished 4th at the 2018 Ultra Skymarathon (Madeira, Portugal), 2nd at the 2017 Mont Blanc Vertical Kilometer (Chamonix, France) and 2nd at the 2017 Dolomites Skyrace (Italy).
Kristi Knecht (Arizona) – “It is always an honor to represent team USA. I love the US Skyrunning Series and I cannot wait to experience the Skyrunning experience at an international level. Competing as a representative of our country and as a teammate to some of USA’s best mountain runners in one of the most rugged, challenging, and beautiful races in the world will be incredible!” Kristi finished 20th at the 2017 World Long Distance Mountain Running Championships (Premana, Italy) helping the U.S. to a team silver medal, she won the 2017 US Skyrunning 50 km Ultra Championships (Flagstaff, AZ) and finished 3rd at the 2016 US Skyrunning Ultra Championships / Audi Power of Four 50 km (Aspen, CO).
Daniella Moreno (California) – “I am very excited to be competing in Scottland. I have had my eye on the Skyrunning circuit for a few years now and I am excited to see what I can do on the world stage. Doing both the VK and Skyrace will be a great experience, and I can’t wait!” Dani finished 9th at the 2018 USATF Mountain Running Championships (Lincoln, NH), 1st at the 2017 XTERRA World Trail Championships 21k (Kualoa Ranch, HI), 2nd at the 2017 USATF Trail Half Marathon Championships (Hayward, WA) and 1st at the 2017 North Face Endurance Challenge Trail Half Marathon (San Fransisco, CA).
Denali Strabel (Alaska) – “Being new to Skyrunning racing, it is such a privilege to be able to compete against the best in the world at the Skyrunning World Champions in Scotland. I hope to gain experience that will help me understand more about this wonderful sport of skyrunning and possibly inspire more Americans to try it out!” Denali finished 3rd at the 2018 Kal Knoya Ridge Run 13k (Anchorage, AK), 4th at the 2017 Flagstaff Skyrace 39k (Flagstaff, AZ) and has had multiple top 5 finishes at the Mt. Marathon Race in Seward, Alaska.
Michael Barlow (Colorado) – “I’d fantasized when in high school about racing at the international level for the US in track/XC, but the elite level and talent required became more apparent as I grew older. It wasn’t until recently that I found opportunities in Ski Mountaineering and mountain/trail racing where that possibility has reappeared. I haven’t raced with a team since I was in high school, and the added responsibility of both representing my country with a team of other guys will offer a new inspiration and motivation in my pursuit of the sport.” Michael finished 6th at the 2015 Tromsø Hamperokken Skyrace (Norway), 4th place at the 2016 Run The Rut 25k (Montana) and 1st place at the 2016 Whiteface Skyrace (New York).
Tayte Pollmann (Utah) – “I’m honored to race with the first ever complete US Skyrunning Team at the World Skyrunning Championships in Scotland. I hope to share my enthusiasm for the crazy climbs with my teammates and come away with an inspiring performance for Team USA!” Tayte was a member of the US junior team at the 2015 World Mountain Running Championships (Wales), finished 3rd at the 2017 World Long Distance Mountain Running Championships (Premana, Italy), won the 2017 Broken Arrow Skyrace 52 km (Squaw Valley, CA) and finished 3rd at the 2016 Speedgoat 50 km (Snowbird, UT).
Noah Brautigam (Vermont) – “Skyrunning embodies everything I love in sport – technical and exciting terrain, intense competition, and a community of mountain lovers. Getting the opportunity to represent my country, compete against the best in the world, and explore a new landscape at the Skyrunning World Championships is a dream come true.” Noah finished 2nd at the 2018 Squaw Peak 50 Mile (Provo, UT), 1st place at the 2017 Silver State 50 km (Reno, NV) and 3rd at the 2016 Power of Four 50 km (Aspen, CO).
Jimmy Elam (Utah) – “I’m ecstatic to be part of the US Skyrunning team in Scotland! It’s been eight years since I could say that I was part of a team at Chico State University, and I can’t wait to work together with my new teammates at the Skyrunning World Championships.” Jimmy finished 1st at the 2018 Broken Arrow Skyrace (Squaw Valley CA), 1st at the 2018 Quad Rock 50 mile (Fort Collins CO) and 6th at the 2017 Speedgoat 50 km (Salt Lake City, UT).
Matt Lipsey (Pennsylvania) – “To represent the stars and bars means the world to me. What an experience it will be to compete, grow, and be enriched by one another as a team, as competitors, but most importantly as fiery souls through that experience. I’m be ecstatic to say the least. My favorite part about running are the places it has taken me and the people it has shown me – this is the cherry on top.” Matt won the 2017 Whiteface Vertical Kilometer (Wilmington, NY), won the 2017 The Boulder Beast (Lock Haven, PA) and won the 2018 7 Sisters Trail Race (Amherst, MA).
Ben Robinson (Pennsylvania) – “Competing at the Skyrunning World Championships in Scotland to me is a dream come true to represent the USA! This experience will allow me to put all my hard work to play at a large stage and allow the US to be well represented at the World Championships.” Ben won the 2017 Ultra Race of Champions 50k and holds the course record (Skylark, VA), won the 2017 Jupiter Peak Steeplechase 17 mile (Park City, UT) and won the 2017 Bellingham Trail Marathon (Bellingham, WA).
Benjamin Stout (Idaho) – “It is truly an honor to have the opportunity to do what I love most while representing my country and getting a taste of international competition at the Skyrunning World Championships in Kinlochleven. I’m beyond excited at the prospect of romping through a landscape as compelling as the Scottish Highlands this September!” Ben finished 2nd at the 2018 Moab Red Hot 55 km (Moab, UT), finished 6th at the 2017 Run The Rut 50 km (Big Sky, MT) and 5th at the 2017 Broken Arrow Skyrace 52 km (Squaw Valley, CA).
Chris Grauch (Colorado) – “I am elated and honored to represent and compete as part of the US Skyrunning Team at the Skyrunning World Championships. I hope to help the US team to a podium finish and have a great time running in the Scottish Highlands!” Chris finished 3rd in his age group at the 2017 Masters World Mountain Running Championship (Pruske, Slovakia), won the masters division of the 2018 USATF Mountain Running Championships (Lincoln, NH), finished 7th at the 2016 USATF 30 km Trail Championship (Colorado Springs, CO) and was 3rd at the 2014 Flagstaff Skyrace 39 km (Flagstaff, AZ).
Ryan Kerrigan – Team Staff Member (Vermont) – “It is a privilege and an honor to lead the inaugural US Skyrunning Team to the Skyrunning World Championships in Kinlochleven, Scotland. These athletes comprise a unique canvas of US mountain runners. Many of their strengths are rarely highlighted in shorter/less technical US mountain races. I feel we have a lot of growth in front of us as a team but will leave a big footprint on our first attempt. I am a native Vermonter and Scotland is a bit like Vermont on steroids. The landscape, weather and competition will be awe inspiring and humbling. We’re leaning into it!”
Hanni Guinn – Team Staff Member (Vermont) – “I am honored to have the opportunity to support the US Skyrunning Team at the Skyrunning World Championship in Kinlochleven, Scotland. As a Rolfer, I am impressed by the agility, strength and performances these runners have achieved. I look forward to aiding in their success and witnessing Skyrunning at it’s greatest in the vast expanse of the Scottish Highlands.”