Gnar Gnar to host 2020 USATF Mountain Running Championship and Selection Race

[JUNE 15, 2020 UPDATE – The Gnar Gnar Mountain Race has been cancelled]

Go Beyond Racing’s Gnar Gnar presented by Nike Trail debuted in 2018 as a short but tough mountain running challenge in the shadow of iconic Mt Hood. After two years as a fun low key 10K located close to Portland, the Gnar Gnar has been named the 2020 USA Track & Field (USATF) Mountain Running Championships, Collegiate Running Association (CRA) Mountain Running Championship and U.S. team selection race for the 2020 World Mountain Running Championships. The race will take place on August 16th at the Mount Hood Ski Bowl in Government Camp, Oregon.

With $13,000 in prize money up for grabs, the Gnar Gnar will be the sole selection race for the U.S. Mountain Running Team where the top 4 men and top 4 women to finish will qualify to race the World Mountain Running Championships (10 km) in Lanzarote, Spain, November 14-15, 2020. Athletes must be USATF members prior to the race, U.S. Citizens and eligible to represent the United States in international competition.

Gnar Gnar is the second race in Oregon to host this championship following the 2015 USATF Mountain Running Championship at Mt Bachelor outside Bend. The majority of mountain running championships held since 2004 have taken place in New Hampshire and have been hosted by the Mt Washington Road Race (7.6 miles, 4200′ of climb), Cranmore Mountain Race, Loon Mountain Race and most recently, the Waterville Valley Mountain Race.

For 2020, runners in the 7.4 mile championship will start out at 3600′ above sea level running up the “Gnar Gnar” trail. Yes, it’s gnarly steep! About a mile up, they’ll head over on the Low Road for 1.5 miles to the first aid station. From there they continue onto the Summit trail, Powerline trail, and then Optimator trail, making their way around Multopor Mountain and back to the aid station at mile 5.4. Then it is uphill again, on Horse trail, under the lift, onto Skyline Road and Sunrise trail to the finish line at 5000′ above sea level.

Click to open the interactive Gnar Gnar map so you can explore the race route.

According the Gnar Gnar race director Renee Janssen, “We are thrilled to be selected to host the USATF Mountain Running Championships at our Gnar Gnar race this year. It’s a great opportunity for runners from all around the country to experience a Go Beyond Racing event and see what running at Mt. Hood is like. We love showing people new trails and predict that many will want to come back. And, it is going to be super exciting to watch the field compete for those World Championship team spots!”

Defending USATF Mountain Running Champions will be Joseph Gray (Hoka One One) and Grayson Murphy (Saucony) who were winners of the 2019 Waterville Valley Mountain Race in New Hampshire. Joseph and Grayson went on to win the 2019 World Mountain Running Championships last November in Argentina.

2019 World Mountain Running Champion and defending US Champion Grayson Murphy.

USATF National Championship medals will be presented to the top 10 overall USA Track & Field (USATF) athletes and top three in each 5-year masters’ age group starting at 40. All finishers (regardless of USATF membership) will receive a Gnar Gnar finisher medal, and the top three overall and top three in each age group (10-year increments) earn an awards from Go Beyond Racing.

USATF prize money breaks down as follows (men and women earn same amounts):

  • 1st place: $1,500
  • 2nd place: $1,000
  • 3rd place: $800
  • 4th place: $600
  • 5th place: 500

USATF Masters (40+) male and female prize money is (podium winners excluded so no double dipping):

  • 1st place: $300
  • 2nd place: $200
  • 3rd place: $100

There is an additional $3,000 in prize money from the Collegiate Running Association, available to the top three college men and women.

  • 1st place: $750
  • 2nd place: $500
  • 3rd place: $250

Athletes who participate in National Championships and Team USA competitions are subject to drug testing performed by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) in accordance with the USADA Protocol for Olympic and Paralympic Movement Testing.

2019 World Mountain Running Champion and defending US Champion Joseph Gray.

Joining the eight athletes who qualify at Gnar Gnar to race the 36th World Mountain Running Championships (10 km) will be an additional 10 elite U.S. athletes who will compete in the 17th World Long Distance Mountain Running Championships (42 km). Selection criteria for the U.S. Long Distance Mountain Running Team can be found here.

Resumes for the U.S. Long Distance Mountain Running Team should be sent to Jason Bryant, and Richard Bolt, Resumes must be received by August 17, 2020.

PRO TIP: Check out the video below from the inaugural Gnar Gnar by former US Mountain Running Team member and silver medalist at the 2017 World Long Distance Mountain Running Championships Tayte Pollmann.