USATF’s Mountain Ultra Trail Council has announced the 2016 USA Long Distance Mountain Running Team which will compete in this year’s World Mountain Running Association (WMRA) Long Distance Mountain Running Championships on June 18, in Podbrdo, Slovenia, as part of the Gorski Marathon.
This will be the 13th WMRA Long Distance Mountain Running Championships and the second time the championships have taken place at the Gorski Marathon. The course challenges runners with technical trails and elevation gain/loss, as it climbs out of the narrow valley of the Baca River. In the past twelve years, the US men’s teams have claimed team gold twice and silver twice, which they did last year in Zermatt. The US women’s teams have claimed team gold three times and bronze once, which also came last year.
The US women’s team has veteran Team USA ladies in Megan Kimmel, Silverton, CO, Maria Dalzot, Bellingham, WA, Anita Oritz,, Eagle, CO, and Amber Reece-Young, Asheville, NC, while Kristina Pattison, Louisville, CO, joins her first US Team. The US men’s team returns all three of last year’s scoring team members, led by 2015 individual silver medalist Andy Wacker, Boulder, CO, along with Peter Maksimow, Manitou Springs CO, and Mario Mendoza, Bend, OR. Matt Shryock, Anchorage, AK, and Ted Farley, Bozeman, MT, are new to the team. All are experienced mountain runners.
“It is a blessing to be representing Team USA again at the World Long Distance Championships. I’ve looked at the course profile and it looks insane and intimidating, but I believe this team will be ready to chase after a team gold medal and improve on last year’s silver. Can’t wait to experience Slovenia and its steep mountains with a wonderful group of athletes.” – Mario Mendoza
“It is an honor and an exciting opportunity to represent the U.S. at the World Long Distance Mountain Running Championship in Podbrdro, Slovenia. I am proud to stand on the starting line with my teammates and competitors who all inspire me on and off the trails. The Gorski Marathon will be challenging, but Team U.S.A. will be prepared thanks to the support of friends, family and the trail/mountain running community.” – Maria Dalzot
“I feel incredibly fortunate to have qualified for the World Mountain Running Championship this summer. The opportunity to race a talented field in the beautiful mountains of Slovenia is a rare privilege. I am feeling well rested from a long Alaskan winter and look forward to gaining strength and speed over the next few months as the sun returns. Go team USA!” – Matt Shryock
“I’m very honored to be on the team and to represent our country doing what I love.” – Kristina Pattison
“Over 70 years ago, a battle took place on the border of Italy and Yugoslavia. Bombs fell and war raged. My mother and her family were concerned about their lives, not a race. That was their battle. In 2016, I will travel to Podbrdo, Slovenia, 70 kilometers from the area of my family, as part of Team USA. This time to do battle on foot at the WMRA Long Distance Mountain Running Championships. I feel privileged to represent Team USA again with this fine group of women and men in Podbrdo. Not a battle of life and death, but one of countries, of medals and of honor. This is our battle.” – Peter Maksimow
“I am honored to be racing with and against such a high caliber of athletes in such a beautiful place!” – Ted Farley
“I am certainly excited to be representing the USA in what is always a highly competitive World Mountain Long Distance Championship.” – Megan Kimmel
“From the snowy peaks of the Triglav to the shores of Lake Bled, America wants to win gold in Slovenia! You may ask, how can a group of rugged, trailblazing frontiersmen from the American West dare to compete against the storied history and unequaled class of European mountain running? Well, like the snowmelt beer that comes from our mountain streams, it takes patience, as the heat and pressure sculpt the raw ingredients into something unique and spectacular. While the Rockies and Cascades, have made us, we will conquer the Julian Alps of Slovenia. And, if all our training: miles, planks, and American IPAs, have served us well, we will earn another Gold for the Red White and Blue! So “hop hop”, hurry up, June, we are ready to take on the hardest, most technical trail marathon you can throw at us! I hope you cheer us on, and if you see a bunch of Yanks drinking 400-year-old Maribor grapevine wine and singing the Star Spangled Banner on June 18th, you’ll know we did our part to represent the Stars and Stripes.” – Andy Wacker
“I feel grateful for the opportunity to represent the US in the World Long Distance Challenge.” –
Staff members include Team Leader Jason Bryant, Elkin, NC, and assistant team leader Nancy Hobbs, Colorado Springs, CO. Nancy is also the treasurer of the World Mountain Running Association.