Event directors Jeff Hixon, Chris Dunn and members of the acidotic Racing (aR) team finished up an exploratory trip at Waterville Valley resort this past weekend to help finalize the race course for the USATF Mountain Running Championships taking place on September 29. Joining them was Paul Kirsch who will be the races elite athlete coordinator and is coach of the US junior team for the World Mountain Running Championships.
The inaugural Waterville Valley Mountain Race will be a two lap up & down format race climbing and descending 3000 vertical feet over 8 miles on and around the alpine ski trails of the Waterville Valley Resort. Runners will be challenged by steep climbs on grass and loose rock as well as scenic glades.
According to Kirsch, “I am confident this new course will be quite worthy of a mountain team selection race. The climbs are not for the faint of heart.”
The national championship event will feature separate men’s & women’s starts, $3000 in prize money, and USATF medals for the top 10 overall and top 3 in each men’s & women’s 5 year age group. The top 4 men and top 4 women* will earn automatic spots on US Mountain Running Team to compete at the World Mountain Running Championships on November 15 in Villa La Angostura, Argentina.
In addition to being a USA Track & Field national championship, the Waterville Valley Mountain Race will be part of the USATF New England Mountain Running Circuit; now in its 23rd year. Learn more about the mountain circuit here.
With this event being a USATF Championships event, athletes are subject to drug testing by a certified WADA lab. Athletes who participate in this competition may be subject to formal drug testing in accordance with USATF and IAAF rules, in accordance with USOC, USADA, or IAAF procedures.
Nestled in the heart of the White Mountains, Waterville Valley is an ideal mountain running & outdoor sports destination. Home of the first network of trails in the United States, the town is surrounded by towering peaks including 5 of the White Mountain 4,000 footers. Dozens of trails start right in the heart of town and lead to endless destinations including cliffs, waterfalls, flumes, rockslides, and stunning vistas. With trails ranging from old dirt roads to high alpine scrambles and everything in between, they have a trail for all ages and abilities.
For more than a decade, Kirsch, Dunn and aR have hosted numerous past mountain championship & team selection races at Loon Mountain & Mt Cranmore. In 2019 they add a new venue with Waterville Valley, creating a trio of classic New Hampshire mountain running races. Learn more about acidotic Racing on their website.
Photos by acidotic Racing.
*US citizenship and current USA Track & Field membership required.