Story and photos by Richard Bolt, USA Team Leader.
Editor’s Note: Our thoughts and prayers are with our friends in Mexico who have been affected by the recent earthquake in Mexico City. Where to donate to the Mexico earthquake victims.
On Sunday, September 24 three nations will meet in Golden, Canada for the 14th annual North American, Central American & Caribbean (NACAC) Mountain Running Championships. Hosted for the first time in Golden, British Columbia and held in conjunction with the Golden Ultra, championship runners will compete on the hilly 10.5K course with 387 meters of ascent & descent.
“Golden is both excited and honored to be hosting this championship. This year there are more than 500 runners coming to town for the 3-day mountain running festival and the NACAC 10 km will be the highlight event on the final day of festivities” said Golden Ultra race director Magi Scallion.
The host Canadian team will be made up of Gareth Hadfield, Allan Brett, Benoît Gignac, Greg Hetterley, Chantelle Groenewoud, Karley Rempel, Adrienne Gomes and Colleen Wilson. According to Canada team leader Adrian Lambert; “The Canadian team is honored and excited to once again be hosting the NACAC Championships. We look forward to showing the American and Mexican team the beautiful mountains in Golden, BC.”
The Canadian team is a mix of athletes who competed at the World Mountain Running Championships this year including Gareth, Allan, Adrienne and Chantelle; Benoit and Greg who are former members of the national team as well as newcomers to the mountain running team. The team has strong track and cross country experience which should help on the fast, runnable course.
Representing Mexico in the championship for the men will be defending men’s champion Juan Carlos Carera Casas as well as Salvador Pedro Angel Perez, Azael Mejia Gonzalez and Kevin Teodoro Aguilar. On the women’s side, Susana Bautista Villegas and America Esmeralda Romero Gutierrez will toe the start line for Mexico. The coach and delegate for Team Mexico will be Miguel Angel Lopez Navarro.
Team USA announced in July includes Megan Roche (Sunnyvale, CA), Soleil Gaylord (Telluride, CO), David Fuentes (Austin, TX), Josh Eberly (Gunnison, CO) and Mike Popejoy (Flagstaff, AZ). Kim Nedeau (Leverett, MA) was selected but had to withdraw recently due to injury. Richard Bolt (Mountain View, CA) will be the USA Team Leader and Nancy Hobbs (Colorado Springs, CO) will be in attendance as a representative of the World Mountain Running Association.
This is the 14th consecutive year that the NACAC Mountain Running Championship has been held, with the event rotating being the U.S., Mexico, and Canada. This is the fifth time for Canada to serve as host, having been the venue for the championships in 2007 (Canmore, Alberta), 2010 (Canmore, Alberta), 2012 (West Vancouver, BC) and 2015 (West Vancouver, BC).
For LIVE updates from the race follow the US Mountain Running Team on Twitter.