Inaugural USA Ultra Team Invitational Results
This past weekend teams from Altra, Hoka, Nike, Salomon and The North Face battled for prime positions on the steep trails of the Marin Headlands out side of San Francisco. The racers where participating in the inaugural USA Ultra Team Invitational which was held in conjunction with The North Face Endurance Challenge. Organized by USA Track & Field’s Mountain/Ultra/Trail (MUT) Running Council, scoring for the USA Ultra Team Invitational was done by cumulative time of men’s and women’s teams, with the lowest time of the top three runners winning the Invitational.
On the men’s side, the Nike Trail Team (pictured below) won a convincing victory with Zach Miller winning the race, Ryan Bak taking 3rd and Dan Kraft finishing 7th in a cumulative time of 19:16:21. Over 1 hour & 20 minutes back was second place team Hoka One One lead by Jorge Maravilla (4th), Chris Price (15th) and Jeremy Wolf (17th) in 20:38:57. Full men’s team scores are here:
In the ladies race it was Salomon Running (pictured above) taking the team win lead by Canadian trail running super star Ellie Greenwood (2nd) along with teammates Anne-Marie Madden (6th) and Simona Morbelli (14th) for a cumulative time of 23:22:33. Coming in second was The North Face team with Melanie Bos (15th), Rachel Paquette (16th) and Rory Bosio (19th) in a cumulative time of 25:11:36. Full women’s team scores are here:
“On the heels of a successful inaugural team invitational event at The North Face, more events which showcase elite team competition are sure to follow,” said Nancy Hobbs, chairperson of USATF’s Mountain Ultra Trail Council. “This is a testament to the growth in our sport and the additional opportunities events such as this can provide athletes who not only participate in individual competition, but also work together in a team environment.”
Regarding the team scoring concept, Hoka One One pro Michael Wardian said, “I know it helped to keep me pushing when things were getting ugly out there.”
Ryan Ghelfi from the winning Nike Trail Team commented, “Running for my team at TNF 50 mile made huge difference in my mental status when I was going through some low times around mile 30. I knew that I had to stay positive and focused so my team could count on me when I was needed. I don’t think I would have been able to place in the top 10 individually if I had not been racing for my teammates. I can’t wait for the opportunity race with the Nike Trail crew again at Lake Sonoma 50 next year!”
From Salomon Running’s Ellie Greenwood, “I must admit before the day of the race I felt that the team competition was rather low key and I was motivated to race hard just for myself, but as ever – once there started to be a little chatter about the team invitational I got excited. I have been part of a team at various other races and it certainly adds a new dynamic that I love to a race – if the going gets tough then I never want to let my team mates down. On the Salomon team we are lucky to often travel and stay together at races already, but certainly it helped enhance that team spirit amongst our ladies. I look forward to this team invitational hopefully gaining momentum and more exposure at future races, as it certainly adds a new and fun element to racing.”
A big thank you to ultra running veteran Kami Semick who lead this effort for the MUT Council. The 2016 USA Ultra Trail Team Invitational will be held at the Lake Sonoma 50 mile race on April 9. Lake Sonoma is also a US team qualifier for the 2016 IAU Trail Championships (Oct. 29, 2016 in Geres, Portugal).