U.S. Trail Team Gears Up For World Championships in Thailand

Thirty-seven of the top off-road runners in the United States recently named to the 2022 U.S. Mountain & Trail Running Team are scheduled to compete at the inaugural World Mountain & Trail Running Championships November 4-6 in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Hailing from twelve U.S. states, these talented athletes will travel to Thailand with five USA Trail & Field (USATF) team staff members for this World Athletics sanctioned competition.

More than 500 elite athletes from 46 Member Federations are set to race during the four-day festival, which features 80km and 40km trail races plus uphill mountain races for senior athletes, and classic up and down mountain races for both senior and U20 (under 20 years old) athletes.

We announced the full team back in September. In advance of next week’s world championship kick-off we wanted to hear from the U.S. athletes about what they are looking forward to in Thailand and their race goals.

The 40K course has 2425 meters of ascent & descent. The 80K course has 4807 meters of ascent & descent. $33,000 in prize money is up for grabs in the trail races. Here are the eighteen ultra runners who will toe the starting line for Team USA on Saturday, November 5th at 6:30 AM local time.

40K Trail Athletes

Michelle Merlis

Michelle Merlis, 33, is a professional runner for Salomon Running based in Albany, NY. She qualified for the team by winning the 2022 Breakneck Point Trail Marathon and is looking forward to her first opportunity to represent her country, “Earning a spot on my first US Team is an actual dream come true; as the child of an immigrant, it’s the greatest honor to represent the country that has provided so much opportunity for my family. Part of what I’ve looked forward to most about competing in Thailand is the challenge of the training for such an event — and I can’t wait to celebrate all of the hard work by running with and against the best trail runners in the world!”
Follow her on Instagram @mountain.runner.michelle or Strava

Kristina Mascarenas

Kristina Mascarenas, 33, secured her spot for Team USA by winning the 2022 Pikes Peak Marathon, a race in her backyard in Colorado Springs, CO. Mascarenas is excited for her first opportunity to represent her country overseas, “This is my first time qualifying for the US team! It was something that seemed so unattainable that I had hardly allowed myself to dream of it! I can’t wait to wear our team uniform and go out to Thailand and give it my all! I just hope to make my running community proud!”
Follow her on Instagram @krismas924 or Strava

Stevie Kremer

Stevie Kremer, 38, sponsored by Salomon Running, has won the most competitive trail races in the country and overseas, including the Pikes Peak Marathon and Sierre Zinal. In addition to her trail running, she is also a world class ski mountaineering athlete. Kremer calls Crested Butte, CO home, where she is also working as a second grade teacher. She shares how special this opportunity to represent her country is to her as both an athlete and mother, “I honestly have zero expectations for Thailand. I’m beyond thrilled to represent Team USA with an incredible group of not only runners, but humans in general. There is something incredible with receiving USA gear and knowing you are racing against athletes from all around the world. With all I have going on in my world, especially being with my little guy, I can’t believe I am able to squeeze in a trip to the World Championship.”

Kimber Mattox

Kimber Mattox, 33, is a professional runner for Brooks Running based in Bend, OR. Mattox placed fourth at UTMB-OCC, set the Grand Canyon R2R FKT in May 2022 and was the 2021 USATF 50K Trail National Champion. Mattox has represented the US twice, but never at the 40K distance. She shares her thoughts moving up in distance and what it means to her each time she has represented her country, “Qualifying for and representing Team USA at the World Championships has always been special in terms of the team aspect of racing, but also little personal markers of my running career. The 2015 World Mountain Running Championship was one of my first big international races, then 2019 WMRC was a celebration of a return to running for me, and now in 2022 as I move up to the 40k distance, I am just excited to get to contribute to an incredible team of athletes and see what we can do as a team.”
Follow her on Instagram @kimbermattox

Ashley Brasovan

Ashley Brasovan, 31, is a professional runner sponsored by Hoka One One, Nun, Nuzest, Leki and Honey Stinger based in Golden, CO. Brasovan qualified for the team with her extensive resume of trail running success including third at the Broken Arrow 26K, third at the 2020 Pikes Peak Marathon, first at the 2021 Speedgoat 50K and second for Team USA at the 2018 and 2019 World Long Distance Mountain Running Championships. Brasovan shares her excitement about competing on a team representing the United States again, “This will be my fourth time representing the USA on international soil at a World Championships and I couldn’t be more thrilled to be picked amongst a great group of athletes. It is always so special to put on the USA jersey and be competing for a team again (vs just yourself). I am also excited to be a part of the inaugural world championships with all distances and ages represented – so cool to have so many athletes traveling to Thailand!”
Follow her on Instagram @ashley_brasovan or Strava

Max King

Max King, 42, is a professional runner sponsored by Salomon Running and 2011 World Mountain Running Champion. King qualified for the team by winning the 2022 Breakneck Point Trail Runs 42K and lives and trains in Bend, OR. He shares what he’s looking forward to most returning to Team USA, “It’s been awhile but I’m excited to be representing the US at a world championship again. It always feels special to be competing as a team and for me this is a whole new group of young athletes I’m excited to get to know and race with.”
Follow him on Instagram @maxkingor

Jonathan Aziz

Jonathan Aziz, lives in Colordao Springs, CO and is crossing over from road to trail running and finding instant success. This thirty-one year old athlete supported by the Boulder Track Club has qualified twice for the Olympic Marathon Trials and recently won the 2022 Pikes Peak Marathon, which earned him an automatic spot on the 40K team. Aziz shares how running fits into his busy life and how this opportunity to represent his country has him more inspired than ever, “I am working very hard to mature my career and personal life. I challenge that by pouring time and energy into running, which I do for fun. Every small win carries a lot of weight in my internal justification of this balancing act, say a colleague in awe of a modest recovery run, or just feeling good floating through my favorite outdoor spaces. An opportunity of this magnitude, to represent Team USA, should stoke my fire for quite some time.”

Noah Williams

Noah Williams, 27, representing the Altra Running (RED Team), lives in Leadville, CO and is a newcomer to the trails. Williams caught the attention of many in the sport when he finished second this past September at the 2022 Pikes Peak Marathon, only 47 seconds behind his fellow 40K teammate, Jonathan Aziz. Williams shares his excitement for this event, “I feel honored to represent the United States in Chiang Mai in the 40k trail race! Being selected for the first time was a shocker, but in a way I feel like I’ve been waiting a long time for this opportunity. I’m excited to experience a brand new culture while being with (and learning from) some American trail running legends.”
Follow him on instagram @nowawill

Joseph DeMoor

Joseph DeMoor, thirty-two year old professional athlete sponsored by La Sportiva and Gnarly Nutrition, is no stranger to racing overseas. Carbondale, CO based DeMoor won the VK Skyrunning World Championships this past year and is grateful for this opportunity to represent his country in Thailand, “Now, perhaps more than ever, international competition between athletes with different backgrounds, cultures, beliefs, and languages seems vitally important to our world at large. Grateful to wear the red, white and blue alongside so many strong athletes for Team USA.”
Follow him on instagram @josedemoor

Zach Miller

Zach Miller, 33, is a North Face athlete and former winner of the North Face 50 Mile Endurance Challenge, Madeira Island Ultra Trail, JFK 50 Miler and has been a member of the US team at the 2014 World Mountain Running Championships and 2018 Trail World Championships.
Follow him on Instagram @zachmiller38

80K Trail Athletes

Brittany Charboneau

Brittany Charboneau, 34, is a professional runner sponsored by The North Face, Mercuria Running, and Tailwind Nutrition based in Denver, CO. She qualified for the team by placing second at the 2022 Broken Arrow Skyrace 52K. In addition to her trail running success, she is also an accomplished marathoner with a 2:33 personal best. Charboneau shares what it means for her to represent the United States, “Ever since I was a little girl doing gymnastics in my backyard in a USA swimsuit, I’ve dreamt of representing Team USA so this is a dream come true! I’m so stoked to get to run among the best in the world and since this is my first team, I’m excited to get to be with the best American trail runners — what a crew!”
Learn more about Brittany and why she’s called the “funny runner” in our article The Four C’s of the Funny Runner.

Kaytlyn Gerbin

Kaytlyn Gerbin, 33, based in Issaquah, WA, is a professional runner sponsored by The North Face, OnX Backcountry, Leki, and GU. Gerbin placed third at the 2022 UTMB, a race many consider to be the “superbowl” of trail running. She has already represented the US once at the 2018 Trail World Championships and expresses her excitement for putting on the red, white and blue another time, “Racing with the US Trail Team in 2018 was an incredible experience, and I’m excited for this opportunity to represent the United States in Thailand. We have a strong team going into this year’s race!”
Follow her on Instagram @kaytlyn_g

Leah Yingling

Leah Yingling, 31, is a professional athlete for Salomon Running, specializing in longer distance trail races. She was second at the 2022 Canyons 100K and sixth at the 2022 Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run. Yingling trains in Salt Lake City, UT and shares her thoughts on being selected for the team, “Being selected for team USA is such an incredible privilege. I’m looking forward to soaking up all that Thailand has to offer and experiencing it all alongside an incredible group of women. It’s not often you get to race as a team and work together in this way. That’s pretty special.”

Addie Bracy

Addie Bracy is a professional runner for Nike, author and Mental Performance Consultant. Addie is a former USATF Mountain Running Champion and team gold medalist at the 2017 World Mountain Running Championships. Addie is also the founder of Out Run, Created to empower and connect LGBTQ+ individuals within the running community.
Follow her on Instagram @addiebracy

Adam Peterman

Adam Peterman, 27, is an ultrarunning superstar and has been one of the most prominent “up-and-comers” in our sport in the past two years. He’s set a course record at the iconic Speedgoat 50K in 2021 and won the 2022 Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run. He is sponsored by Hoka One One and lives and trains in Missoula, MT. Peterman shares his anticipation for his first US team and to experience the Thai trail running community, “I met a handful of folks this year who are trail runners from Chiang Mai. I was blown away by how highly they spoke of their trail system and trail running community in the area! The course looks epic and I’m really looking forward to experiencing that part of the world. This is also my first world team, which has been a goal of mine since I started running fifteen years ago.”
Follow him on Instagram @adampeterman_

Adam Merry

Adam Merry, 31, is a professional runner for Saucony based in Golden, CO. Merry has an impressive resume of course records including those at the McKenzie River Run 50K, Moab Red Hot 33K, and Run the Rock 50M. He is looking forward to digging deep for Team USA on race day, “To me, the opportunity to represent the USA at a world championship event is a huge honor and something I always hoped I’d be able to do but wasn’t sure if or when it might happen. The other athletes heading to Thailand are amazingly talented and it’s really humbling to be racing in their company! I’m excited to dig deep and leave it all out there to help our team score as high as possible!”
Follow him on Instagram @amerryrunner and Strava

Jeff Colt

Jeff Colt, based in Carbondale, CO, is a thirty-one year old professional runner sponsored by On Running, Ultimate Direction, Independence Run and Hike, Julbo and Drymax Socks. Colt qualified for the team with his impressive ultrarunning resume this past year in 2022 which included: third at the Black Canyon 100km, second at the Quadrock 25 mile and eleventh at the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run. Representing the US means more to Colt than most, “This is my first time representing team USA. It means a lot to me and I’m approaching this honor with dignity and respect. My grandfather served for the US Army at Anzio Beachhead during WWII. He also played a pivotal role in my upbringing and I will always remember him as my hero. I know that he would be proud to see me represent the USA in sport. This race is for my community, my country, and especially for my grandfather Dick Colt.”
Follow him on Instagram @easy_dog and Twitter @_JeffColt

Eric LiPuma

Eric LiPuma, 29, qualified for Team USA by winning the 2022 Broken Arrow Skyrace 52K and was also the top American on the US 100K team this past year. LiPuma lives in Richmond, Vermont and is sponsored by Black Diamond. He shares what he’s looking forward to most about the World Championships in Thailand, “I’m so excited to represent the USA for the second time this year! It’s an honor to call these athletes that I look up to and admire my teammates.”
Follow him on Instagram @el_puma_loco_

Stay tuned tomorrow (Sunday) for our next article about the Team USA athletes racing in the mountain races at the World Mountain & Trail Running Championships!

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