Article by ATRA Executive Director Nancy Hobbs.
Team USA will be among the 39 countries to be represented at the IAU Trail World Championships on Saturday, May 30, in Annecy-le-Vieux, France. The start and finish for the 86-kilometer trail race will be at Plage d’Albigny. The course will include 5,300 meters of total climbing and will test the competitors’ endurance and strength. Hosted by the Maxi-Race, more information about the event can be found here.
This is the fourth time, the International Association of Ultrarunners will organize a world trail running event. However, 2015 marks the first time the event has been given the title of Trail World Championships as opposed to the prior three installations when the race was dubbed a challenge-level event. This designation has elevated the competition and attracted nearly 300 competitors – 177 men and 109 women.
The U.S. team of five men and three women includes veterans of international competition as well as newcomers to the international stage, all vying for podium spots on race day. Athletes were named to the team by USATF’s mountain ultra trail executive committee based on their finish at designated selection races and secondarily on running resumes. The full selection criteria can be found here.
Team USA, led by veteran administrator Richard Bolt, Mountain View, CA, includes Alex Varner, 29, San Rafael, CA, Alex Nichols, 29, Cimarron, CO, Yassine Diboun, 36, Portland, OR, David Laney, 26, Ashland, OR, and Tim Tollefson, 29, Lincoln, CA, on the men’s side. And for the women, Krissy Moehl, 37, Boulder, CO, Amy Rusiecki, 35, South Deerfield, MA, and Cassie Scallon, 33, Boulder, CO.
The U.S. team receives official uniforms from its national governing body, USATF, but no funding. To support the team, a creative fundraiser was designed by Portland, Oregon-based Bogg’s Trail Butter. Co-founder Jeff Boggess branded a ‘Team USA Red, White & Blue’ Trail Butter to support the team. For the month of May, a portion of the proceeds from the sale of Trail Butter’s Team USA ‘Red, White & Blue’ will go directly to Team USA. The goal is to sell 1000 jars of the trail butter which includes Goji berries, blueberries, coconut flakes to celebrate the colors of Team USA.