The USATF Marathon Trail Running Championships were hosted by the Moab Trail Marathon in Moab, Utah, on Saturday, November 7, a day that marked the final USATF Championship of 2020. National Championship titles were awarded to Allie McLaughlin (30 – Colorado Springs, CO) and Adam Peterman (25 – Missoula, MT).
Due to COVID-19 safety measures, there were 20 start waves staged ten minutes apart to accommodate the nearly 400 runners competing in the event, approximately 70 of whom competed in the USA Track & Field championships division. There was light drizzle before the start of the first wave at 7 a.m., but the clouds began to clear and conditions were nearly ideal with temperatures in the upper 50s to low 60s throughout the day. However, the winds picked up to 25 miles per hour with strong gusts, but not until most of the runners had finished the marathon.
The elite men started at 8:00 a.m., followed by the elite women at 8:10. The men’s race started out at a blistering pace and by the half marathon point, Andy Wacker (32 – Boulder, CO) was in the lead. Close on his heels were defending champion Peterman, David Sinclair (28 – Norden, CA), Michelino Sunseri (28 – Kings Beach, CA), and Travis Morrison (28 – Salt Lake City, UT).
Peterman overtook Wacker with six miles to go and crossed the finish line for the win in 2:57:04. His time was faster than his course record of 2:57:28 set last year, but the course was a bit shorter due to a change in the start line to accommodate COVID-19 safety measures. Wacker finished in 3:02:20, followed by Sinclair 3:05:45, Sunseri 3:06:46, and Morrison 3:09:28. The first master (40 and over), was Jeason Murphy (40 – Salida, CO), in 3:30:30, finishing in 12th position.
On the women’s side McLaughlin led from start to finish clocking 3:36:48. Behind her, the rest of the field were jostling for the final podium spots with Brittany Charboneau (32 – Denver, CO), taking second in 3:42:27, followed by Janelle Lincks (27 – Boulder, CO) in 3:47:24. In fourth, Ashley Brasovan (29 – Golden, CO), with a time of 3:48:20, and Mary Kate McGuire (26 – Pocatello, ID) in fifth with a time of 4:03:37. Christy Aish (43 – Conifer, CO) was the first master finishing in 10th place timed in 4:18:52.
Other USATF masters’ age-group winners were:
- 45-49: Kelly Mortenson (49 – St. Paul, MN) 4:07:42 and Jennifer Sober (45 – Jupiter, FL) 4:38:30
- 50-54: Dan Vega (53 – Colorado Springs, CO) 5:04:28 and Jessica Stanford (51 – Draper, UT) 4:51:38
- 55-59: no male finishers in this age group – Anita Ortiz (56 – Eagle, CO) 4:50:00
- 60-64: Rich Howarth (60 – Superior, CO) 5:12:41 and Anita Rawlinson (64 – Moab,UT) 6:28:19
- 65-69: Sheldon Subith (65 – Hemet, CA) 5:33:32 – no female finishers in this age group
Race director and former US Mountain Running Team member Danelle Ballengee said, “Hosting a championship really adds to the flavor of the event. I’m happy with the turnout in site of these challenging times during the pandemic and thank all of the runners and volunteers for their understanding and compliance with the guidelines we put in place for this year’s event to make it safe for everyone.”
Official men’s championships race results:
Official women’s championships race results:
Complete results for all events at the 2020 Moab Trail Marathon can be found on the Racing Underground website.
Photos by USATF Championship liaison Lin Gentling and Nancy Hobbs. Video by Nancy Hobbs.