This coming Sunday, July 8, the 2018 USATF Mountain Running Championships will take place at Loon Mountain in Lincoln, New Hampshire. First held in 2006, the Loon Mountain Race is a 10 km mostly uphill race starting at the base of the resort, climbing 3200 feet and finishing at the mountain summit. Thirteen past members of US Mountain Running Team and a shed-load of speedy newcomers will toe the starting line in the hunt for highly coveted 2018 team spots, podium positions and cash prizes.
This years event will be the sole selection race for the US Mountain Running Team; a group of 4 U.S. women and 4 U.S. men who will represent the United States at the World Mountain Running Championships September 16 in Andorra.
The top 4 U.S. men & women to cross the finish line will automatically make the 2018 US Mountain Running Team. USATF members competing in this championship will also be eligible for $3000 in prize money.**
The Loon Mountain Race also serves as the 15th North American, Central American & Caribbean (NACAC) Mountain Running Championship. Teams from Canada, Mexico, El Salvador and the United States will compete for individual & team medals.
Alongside these championships, the Collegiate Running Association (CRA) will hold its 5th Collegiate Mountain Running Championships. In order to be eligible to compete in the Collegiate Running Association Mountain Running Championships, participants must either be enrolled in a college course at the time of the race or have completed a course during the spring semester (between January 1 and July 8, 2018). Collegiate participants must also be free members of the Collegiate Running Association to be eligible for the collegiate prize money.
In an effort to boost female participation in mountain running, race directors Paul Kirsch & Chris Dunn partnered with the great folks at Trail Sisters to offer a special discount to first time female participants at the Loon Mountain Race. The goal was to boost the historical 31% female participation race to over 50% this year. As of this writing, over 53% of the 850 pre-registered runners are women – success!
Also new for 2018 there will be World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) complaint anti-doping tests conducted at the USATF Mountain Running Championships. Athletes have been calling for more drug testing in a effort to ensure a level playing field and this will be one small step to making that happen. These tests are funded and coordinated by our running federation; USA Track & Field.
The following is a list of elite athletes scheduled to compete in the 2018 Loon Mountain Race:
The men’s elite field:
Joseph Gray (Colorado Springs, CO) – Joe (top photo) recently returned from Long Distance Mountain Running Championships in Poland where he was 3rd overall and a member of the US bronze medal team. Joe won the 2016 World Mountain Running Championships in Bulgaria and finished 4th in the same event held in Premana Italy in 2017. Joe has won multiple USATF Mountain Running Championships, has been on over 20 U.S. teams in mountain running and cross country and recently signed with HOKA ONE ONE team. Joe first qualified for the US Mountain Running Team in 2008 when he helped the U.S. team win it’s first ever team medal at the World Mountain Running Championships in Crans Montana, Switzerland.
Andy Wacker (Boulder, CO) – Andy finished 5th at the 2018 Long Distance Mountain Running Championships after leading the race through the 20 km mark. Andy has been a top 5 finisher at the Mount Washington Road Race – site of four USATF Mountain Running Championships. He been a member of multiple U.S. national teams including three times last Summer when we raced at the World Mountain Running Championships, Long Distance Mountain Running Championships and the Trail World Championships. In 2016, Andy was a member of the gold medal winning U.S. men’s team at the 2016 World Mountain Running Championships. At the 2017 event he was a member of the U.S. bronze medal winning team.
Matt Daniels (Boulder, CO) – Matt finished 3rd at the 2016 Loon Mountain Race; was a member of the gold medal winning team at the 2016 World Mountain Running Championships in Bulgaria. Matt also competed for the U.S. team at the 2017 Long Distance Mountain Running Championships in Premana, Italy.
Ben Bruce (Flagstaff, AZ) – Ben has raced in XTERRA Trail Running National Championships finishing 2nd to Max King in 2009 and tying for first with Joe Gray in 2012. According to his HOKA ONE ONE Northern AZ elite page: “A force on the track, the roads and cross country, Ben has been runner-up in the Steeplechase at the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships (2010), in the 3k at the USA Indoor Championships (2013) and in the 5k at the USA Road Championships (2010). He was fourth at the 2010 USA Cross Country Championships, which earned him a trip to represent the U.S. in Bydgoszcz, Poland at the World Championships. He also ran the World Half Marathon Championships later that year in Nanning, China and the World Track and Field Championships the following year in Daegu, South Korea. In 2016, he competed at the 2016 World Half Marathon Championships in Cardiff, Whales–his fourth World Team. Later that year he finished 13th at the Olympic Trials in the 10,000 meters. His 2017 is off to a big start with a 28:09.29 10,000 meter personal best at the Stanford Invitational.”
David Fuentes (Austin, TX) – Dave finished 5th at the 2016 Loon Mountain Race and was also member of the gold medal winning U.S. team at the World Mountain Running Championships. More about Dave from his Durata page: “As a professional runner for Skechers Performance, Fuentes qualified, raced, and won Gold at the World Mountain Running Championships with Team USA. David also qualified and raced at the 2016 Olympic Marathon Trials in Los Angeles. David has won multiple half marathons as well as the 2011 Rock n Roll San Antonio Marathon in just his 2nd try at the distance. Not to be confined to just the long races, David has won nearly every major road race in Austin over the past 5 years. He holds numerous course records in the state of Texas and continues to strive to greatness at every distance.”
Mike Popejoy (Flagstaff, AZ) – Mike was a member of the U.S. team at last years NACAC Mountain Running Championships in Golden, Canada. He has an 8k PR of 24:13; 10 miles in 49:28 and half marathon in 1:04:56. Mike finished 8th at the 2016 Loon Mountain Race.
Joe Simmons (American Fork, UT) – Joe was a member of 2017 Junior US Mountain Running Team and finished 22nd at the World Mountain Running Championships in Premana, Italy. He is currently running at Idaho State University.
Travis Fuller (Sat Lake City, UT) – Travis is a Sub 9 minute Steeplechaser and has a 3:45 1500 meter PR. He also won the 2018 Sate Lake City Marathon in 2:27:54 and is new to mountain running.
Rob McCann (Mississauga, Canada) – Rob will be part of Team Canada competing at NACAC Mountain Running Championships. He is a steeplechase and distance running standout at Drake University and has PR’s of 8:46.44 in the 3000 Steeplechase, 4:15.39 in the indoor mile and 1:55.57 for 800 meters.
Seth Marcaccio (Canada) – Seth is a 2017 graduate of Fanshawe College in London, Ontario. More about Seth: “The 22-year-old from Byron accomplished as much during his final season with the Fanshawe Falcons cross country team earlier this year. In recognition of his record-breaking campaign, the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association named Marcaccio their Male Athlete of the Year, making him the only long distance runner to ever win the award. And that’s not the only first Marcaccio has earned over the past few months. His gold medal run at the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) National Championship in April not only set a course record in Sault Ste. Marie (25:39, a full 20 seconds faster than the second place finisher), it made Marcaccio the first individual gold medalist in Fanshawe College history. On top of that, Marcaccio was also named a CCAA All-Canadian and a CCAA Academic All-Canadian, carrying a 4.12 grade point average.”
Several runners are coming over from the Craftsbury Green Racing Team; a training group for several top cross country skiers and biathletes in Vermont. The Loon Mountain Race has a history of welcoming cross country skiers and biathletes, including past participants Noah Hoffman, Justin Freeman, Kris Freeman, Sean Doherty, Caitlin Patterson, Morgan Arritola and Corinne Malcolm.
Jake Brown (Craftsbury, VT) – Jake is a member of the Craftsbury Green Racing Team. From the U.S. Biathlon Team web page: “Jake started skiing at the age of four in the backyard of his parent’s Minneapolis home and ski-racing on Minnehaha’s team in the ninth grade. A competitive runner as well as a skier in college, Jake was a part of Saint Olaf’s 2013 NCAA D3 National Championship cross-country running team. After graduating in 2015, Jake spent his final year of NCAA skiing eligibility at Northern Michigan University in Marquette, MI where he trained under the tutelage of coach Sten Fjeldheim and alongside a number of the top collegiate skiers in the nation. Jake started his pursuit of biathlon in the summer of 2016 and currently lives in Lake Placid, NY where he trains with the US Biathlon X-team.”
Akeo Maifield-Carucci (Craftsbury, VT) – Seth is a cross country skier for Craftsbury Green Racing Team. Like all cross country athletes he has strong climbing skills and he was 3rd at the 2011 Bridger Ridge Run in Montana at the age of 18.
Raleigh Goessling (Craftsbury, VT) – Also part of the Craftsbury Green Racing Team, Raleigh is a US Biathlete and cross country skier and graduate of the University of New Hampshire.
The women’s elite field:
Addie Bracy (Longmont, CO) – Addie finished 7th at the recent Long Distance Mountain Running Championships in Poland. She also won the 2016 and 2017 USATF Mountain Running Championships held at Loon Mountain and Mt Cranmore respectively. Addie is a former standout track athlete who has competed throughout Europe. The 2016 Loon Mountain Race was her first event in a transition over to Mountain Running. Addie was also part of the gold medal winning women’s team at the 2017 World Mountain Running Championships in Italy.
Allie McLaughlin (Nashville, TN) – Allie won the 2014 Loon Mountain Race, was the bronze medalist at the 2014 World Mountain Running Championships in Italy. She finished 2nd at Last year’s USATF Mountain Running Championships held at Mt. Cranmore and was a member of the women’s gold medal winning team at the 2017 World Mountain Running Championships. Allie works in the music industry, skydives and is a mild mannered but fierce competitor.
Kasie Enman (Huntington, VT) – Kasie is the 2011 World Mountain Running Champion, multi time winner of the Vermont City Marathon and has represented the United States at at three World Mountain Running Championships. She finished 2nd at the 2017 Long Distance Mountain Running Championships in Premana, Italy. Along with Addie, Allie and Caitlin, Kasie was a member of the women’s gold medal winning team at the 2017 World Mountain Running Championships.
Caitlin Patterson (Craftsbury Common, VT) – Caitlin raced for the United States at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games as a cross country skier. She was the winner a this year at Cranmore Mountain Race and finished 2nd at the Broken Arrow 26km Skyrace last weekend in California. Caitlin is a fierce climber, has a lot of mountain running experience and still cross country ski races for Craftsbury Green Racing Team.
Daniella Moreno (Santa Barbara, CA) – In 2017, Dani finished 21at at the Long Distance Mountain Running Championships helping the U.S. women’s team win a team silver medal. In 2016 she finished 4th at the USATF Half Marathon Trail Championships in Bellingham, WA. Dani also won 2018 Broken Arrow 26km Skyrace and is a strong mountain, ultra and trail runner. This will be her first time racing the USATF Mountain Running Championships.
Maggie Callahan (Fairbanks, AK) – Maggie is a member of the Hudson Elite racing team and has PR’s of 9:20 for 3000m, 10:03 for 3000m steeplechase and 1:16:56 for a half marathon. She is a graduate of the University of Arizona and her hidden talents are “baking, playing devil’s advocate, math, braiding cornrows.”
Kelsey Dickinson (Craftsbury, VT) – Kelsey is a teammate of Caitlin Patterson at the Craftsbury Green Racing Team. She has competed in both collegiate skiing at the College of Saint Scholastica and skied in biathlon races at the world cup level.
Heidi Caldwell (Craftsbury, VT) – Heidi is currently the head running coach at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center. She ran her first mountain race at Mount Washington where she finished 2nd in the women’s race. Heidi was a standout collegiate runner at Brown in cross country running. Fun Fact: her cousins are both Olympic cross country skiers.
Johanna Taliharm (Tallinn, Estonia) – Johanna competed in biathlon for Estonia at the Winter Olympic Games in 2014 and 2018. She is has been a Montana State University (MSU) skier and finished seventh in the 15-kilometer freestyle at the 2017 NCAA Skiing Championships.
Shelley Doucett (New Brunswick, Canada) – Shelley is a member of Team Canada for the NACAC Championship, finished 3rd at the Mount Washington Road Race two years in a row. While still fairly new to mountain running, Shelley has had great success in recent races she has run.
Annie Bergasel (U.S. citizen living in Oslo, Norway) Annie was a three time cross country running All American in College. She was the 2006 NCAA Woman of the Year Award winner, in recognition of excellence in academics, athletics, community service and leadership as well as the 2006 Walter Byers Award winner as the top National Collegiate Athletic Association female scholar-athlete. Bersagel represented the United States during the 2011 Pan American Games for the 10,000m in Guadalajara, Mexico, with a fourth-place finish as the top American in 35:23.31. Bersagel ran the second-fastest half marathon for a US athlete in 2014 at IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in 70:10.
Karley Rempel (Canadian citizen living in Boulder, CO) – Karley is a member of Team Canada in the NACAC competition. She is a strong climber and brings a lot of track speed to her mountain running.
Amber Zimmerman (Albuquerque, NM) – Amber was a standout runner at the University of New Mexico and has a 4:26 PR at 1500 meters. This will be Amber’s first mountain race.
Marianne Hogan (Montreal, Canada) – Marianne is a member of Team Canada for the NACAC Championship and winner of the 2017 Gore-Tex TransAlpine Run. She also finished 17th at 2017 Long Distance Mountain Running Championships in Premana, Italy. Also in 2017 Marianne won and set a course records at the Quad Rock 50 Mile and Behind the Rocks 50 Mile. She also won the 2017 Moab Red Hot 55 km.
Meggan Franks (Canadian citizen living in Mississippi) – Meggan is part of Team Canada for the NACAC Championship. She is a multi-time member of Canadian Mountain Running Team and also competed in 2013 NACAC Mountain Running Championship when it was held at Mt. Cranmore in New Hampshire. She is originally from Alberta. Meggan had qualified to race the 2018 Long Distance Mountain Running Championships for Team for Canada but had to withdraw due to a back injury.
Emma Cook-Clarke (Calgary, Canada) – Emma is part of Team Canada for the NACAC Championship and won a silver medal at the 2017 Canadian Cross Country Running National Championships for the University of Calgary.
Denali Strabel (Anchorage, AK) – Denali is a standout cross country skier and runner from Alaska. She finished 3rd at the famous Mount Marathon race in 2016. Denali also finished 4th at the 2017 Flagstaff Sky Race, 7th at 2017 Run the Rut 50k and 10th at the 2017 USATF Trail Marathon Championships / Moab Trail Marathon.
Michelle Hummel (Albuquerque, NM) – Michelle finished 3rd at 2017 USATF Trail Marathon Championships / Moab Trail Marathon, was 1st woman at the 2018 Angel Fire Endurance Run and has competed at the U.S. Snowshoe National Championships.
Find a complete list of pre-registered runners here.
Results from the 2016 Loon Mountain Race – the last time this event hosted the USATF Mountain Running Championships.
** A total of $3000 in Prize Money will be distributed to the Top 4 Men and Women who are USATF Members and US Citizens.
Prize money will be awarded as follows:
1st Place: $600
2nd Place: $450
3rd Place: $300
4th Place: $150
Upper Walking Boss Prime Presented by Northeast Delta Dental
We’ll have a timing mat at the bottom of UWB and at the top at the finish line. Three fastest times for both genders will win these premes:
Upper Walking Boss is a double black diamond ski slope with grades up to 40%.
Top photo by Magdalena Bogdan.