The US Ultra Trail Team will be among the 39 countries to be represented at the IAU Trail World Championships this coming Saturday, October 29, in Braga, Portugal. The start and finish for the 85.5 kilometer trail race will be at the Rio Caldo bridge in Braga. The course will include 5,000 meters of total climbing and will test the competitors’ endurance and strength. Hosted by Carlos Sa Events, more information about the event can be found here.
This is the fifth time, the International Association of Ultrarunners will organize a world trail running event. However, 2016 marks the second time the event has been given the title of Trail Championships as opposed to the prior three installations when the race was dubbed a “challenge” event.
The U.S. team of five men and five women was announced in July and 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 (MUT) executive committee based on their finish at designated selection races and secondarily on running resumes. The full selection criteria can be found here.
The US Ultra Trail Team, led by veteran administrators Richard Bolt (Mountain View, CA) and Nancy Hobbs (Colorado Springs, CO) and includes YiOu Wang (San Anselmo, CA), Mario Mendoza (Bend, OR), Devon Yanko (San Anselmo, CA), Alex Varner (Mill Valley, CA), Corrine Malcolm (Bellingham, WA), Ryan Bak (Bend, OR), Larisa Dannis (Mill Valley, CA), Tyler Sigl (Seymour, WI), Sabrina Little (Waco, Texas) and Jared Burdick (Syracuse, NY).
Quotes from US Ultra Trail Team athletes:
“I’m really grateful and honored for the opportunity to compete for the USA team again. It’s always a surreal experience to see the best runners from so many different countries compete in one race together. These experiences are what I will remember from the sport. It’s a blessing to be able to travel to a country i’ve never been in and see the mountains of Portugal with a great group of people.” – Mario Mendoza
“Getting to represent the US in Portugal is a something I’ve been working so hard for! I’m going to be lining up alongside women that I look up to immensely, from our own team and from all over the world, it’s all a little surreal. I’m most proud/fond of taking fourth at Gorge Waterfalls 100km, winning US 50 mile nationals at Cayuga, and winning the Birkie Trail Marathon at home in Wisconsin.” – Corrine Malcolm
“I look forward to competing with my teammates on team USA and going up against some of the best trail runners from around the world. Getting to explore a new country for me is just icing on the cake.” – Alex Varner
“Being on the US trail world team is a dream come true. I can’t wait to represent Team USA and compete in my first international competition. I’m looking forward to the incredible challenge of the race that lies ahead and to the vast amounts of fun that will be associated with it!” – Tyler Sigl
“I’m extremely excited to be on this team. I’ve always found that running takes on so much more meaning when people are working towards a common goal or purpose. It becomes less about the individual and more about the bond between them. To be able to represent the USA for a team competition is crazy pants. I’m both honored and humbled to be a part of the team. Both the men’s and women’s teams are very strong and I’m looking forward to racing with them!” – Jared Burdick
“I am thrilled to be a member of Team USA. I am looking forward for the opportunity to take part in a World Championship event and represent my country.” – YiOu Wang
“2016 has been a year of reflection and rejuvenation for me. I decided to take the summer off from racing and focus on what I love most: adventuring in the mountains. For the past month I’ve been up in northern New Hampshire. Running the rugged peaks and wild trails that sparked my passion for this sport – all the while surrounded by vibrant fall color – has recharged me like nothing else. I’m deeply honored for the opportunity to represent Team USA at the Trail World Championships. This will be my first time in Portugal – and running in Europe at that! – which will certainly make for a remarkable event. When it comes to the race itself: as always, my only goals are to run with happiness, consistency, and to fully embrace the experience.” – Larisa Dannis
You can learn more about US ultra running team by visiting our new website. We’ll be sending Twitter updates about this team from @USAultrarunning. You can find pictures of Team USA at last years IAU Trail Championships on Google Photos.
Editor’s note: at the time of publishing athletes Devon Yanko, Sabrina Little and Ryan Bak have withdrawn due to injury. Because the Final Entry Form (FEF) has been submitted to the IAU, the team is unable to bring replacement athletes.