Team USA for Long Distance Mountain Running Champs Announced.
The 2015 WMRA World Long Distance Mountain Running Championships will be hosted by the Zermatt Marathon on July 4, 2015 run in the shadow of Switzerland’s Matterhorn. The U.S. Long Distance Mountain Running Team consists of 5 women and 5 men with the top 3 men and top 3 women (cumulative times from the top three runners) score for the team competition.
Our Team USA includes a talented group of elite trail running athletes. Crested Butte’s Stevie Kremer won the 2012 World Long Distance Mountain Running Championships and finished 7th that same year at the shorter World Mountain Running Championships held in Ponte di Legno, Italy. Eric Blake has been a member of several past US Mountain Running Teams including the silver medal winning men’s team at the 2010 World Mountain Running Championships in Slovenia. Bellingham, Washington’s Maria Dalzot was on the junior US Mountain Running Team in 2007 where she won a team silver medal at the World Mountain Running Championships in Ovronnaz, Switzerland. The ever popular “Team Roche”, also known as Megan and David, have been named to their second US team after competing in last Septembers World Mountain Running Championships in Casette di Massa, Italy.
Find out more about these talented trail athletes and the rest of this year’s Team USA below:
Maria Dalzot, 27, Bellingham, WA – Twitter: @mariadalzotRD Sponsor: La Sportiva. “Ever since competing on the junior U.S. World Mountain Running Team in 2007, it has been a dream of mine to make the senior women’s team. It is exciting to think that 8 years later I have achieved this goal and, coincidentally, I will be returning to Switzerland. It is an honor to be on a very strong team with such accomplished women.”
Brandy Erholtz, 37, Evergreen, CO – Twitter: @RunTeamColorado Sponsors: New Balance, Injinji, Honey Stinger. “I’ve had my eye on the Zermatt Marathon for a couple of years now as I love uphill mountain races and I learned of the race when my husband and I stayed the night in Zermatt back in 2011. I feel honored to be selected to represent the USA and look forward to a strong performance from our entire team and running in a beautiful location.”
Megan Kimmel, 35, Silverton, CO – Sponsor: Asics. “All the more every year, as trail running continues to foster some of the strongest of athletes, I am honored to represent the USA in the World Long Distance Championships. To be able to run to the base of the worlds classic peaks is a big part of what running is about for me and with this race being held in Zermatt, I look forward to using this course as a tribute to mountain culture.”
Stevie Kremer, 31, Crested Butte, CO – Twitter: @kremerstevie Sponsors: Salomon, Julbo, Skratch, Crested Butte Mountain Resort, Hillsound Equipment, Brick Oven Pizza. “Not only am I excited to be part of Team USA this year, but I am looking forward to a marathon course, which favors the uphill in such an incredible place in Switzerland.”
Megan Roche (pictured above), 24, Sunnyvale, CA – Twitter: @MegRoche33 Sponsors: Nike Trail Team, Clif Bar. “It is such an honor to wear red, white, and blue, especially on the Fourth of July. I can’t wait to race alongside this amazing group of women! I will be studying for the Medical Boards this summer, and a study break on the slopes of the Matterhorn will provide the best perspective. The experience of running in such a beautiful area with such remarkable teammates will be something I always cherish, even if the mountain memories are mixed with mountains of flashcards.”
Eric Blake, 36, West Hartford, CT – Twitter: @ericmblake Sponsor: La Sportiva. “I look forward to representing the country and racing with my USA teammates this July in Zermatt, Switzerland. Looking at the profile of the course it looks like it will be a challenging uphill marathon but that’s a good thing!”
Peter Maksimow, 36, Manitou Springs, CO – Twitter: @RunTeamColorado, Instagram/Facebook: petermaksimow Sponsors: Inov-8, Swiftwick, Manitou Brewing Co., Team Colorado. “I am humbly honored to represent the USA at the WMRA Long Distance Mountain Running Championships at the Zermatt Marathon with this great group of gentlemen. The Swiss Alps are some of the most beautiful and serene areas in the world, so what better way to take it all in than by 26.2 miles on foot. Zermatt will test a runner’s all-around abilities with the fast first half, followed by the sustained climbing and culminating with a steep ascent to the finish. Plus, I can’t wait to get my photo with the Matterhorn while eating my weight in that beautiful Raclette.”
Mario Mendoza, 29, Bend, OR – Twitter: @Mendozarunner Sponsors: Nike Trail, Recharge Sports, Focus Physical Therapy. “I’m beyond excited and honored to be representing the US with these men. I feel blessed to have this opportunity to race with the best in the world. It’s truly a dream to put on that uniform and I know each of us will do the best we can. There are not many places in the world as beautiful as Zermatt. The Matterhorn is a unique and majestic mountain that just leaves you speechless. I’m going to need someone to keep me from running up the mountain the days leading up to the race. Don’t let me!”
David Roche (pictured above), 26, Sunnyvale, CA – Twitter: @MountainRoche Sponsors: Nike Trail, Clif Bar. “It is such an honor to be on Team USA. Like the Grinch at the end of that story, wearing red, white, and blue makes your heart feel like it has grown three sizes, which is really helpful in a trail race. The only thing that matches the history and difficulty of the Zermatt race is the beauty of the area. I have always wanted to see the Matterhorn, and seeing it when I’m in oxygen debt after 26 miles of uphill will probably add a few extra pretty colors to the stunning landscape.”
Andy Wacker, 26, Boulder, CO – Twitter: @wackerandy Sponsors: Feetures, adidas. “Last year, with the luck of a prospector and the audacity of an angry rattlesnake, Team USA struck hard to claim gold on Pikes Peak. No longer at home in the Wild West, this year we travel to the Swiss Alps to prove the Stars and Stripes are contenders on any continent. As returning individual bronze medalist, I hope to climb like a determined Alpine Ibex to new heights. I’m older and wiser, but just as reckless and with the race on the fourth of July, the ghost of Uncle Sam will inspire us all. In the words of Katy Perry we are going to ‘ignite the light and let it shine’ we’ll ‘own the night like the 4th of July.’ We will ‘make ’em go, ‘Aah, aah, aah’ as we ‘shoot across the sky-y-y’ or, I mean, trail.”
Former US Mountain Running Team athlete and longtime staff member Richard Bolt from Mountain View, CA will lead the team to Switzerland. Join the conversation with the hashtag #TeamUSAZermatt. You can get updates from the team by following @usmrt on Twitter.
The World Long Distance Mountain Running Championships is sanctioned by the World Mountain Running Association (WMRA) under the patronage of the IAAF. This is the first year the event has achieved “Championship” status. The first World Long Distance Mountain Challenge was held at Sierre-Zinal in Switzerland in 2004, and last year, the event was held at the Pikes Peak Ascent in Manitou Springs, CO. The first team competition took place in 2009 in Austria. The U.S. Women have won the team title three times and the individual title three times. The U.S. Men have two gold medals and one silver team medal, along with three individual titles. For prior years race results visit the WMRA website.