Written by USATF Championship Liaison Jason Bryant.
The 2016 USATF 30km Trail Championships will be held in Colorado Springs, Colorado on July 30 as part of Pikes Peak Ultra. Pikes Peak Ultra was an event created to showcase some of the very best trails in Colorado Springs. The race course takes runners from Bear Creek Regional Park, up High Drive, and into Cheyenne Canon. Runners will see Lower Captian Jacks, Seven Bridges, St. Mary’s Falls, Helen Hunt Falls, Mt. Rosa, Almagre, Deer Park, and Elk Park. The event is hosted by Mad Moose Events which hosts premier events on the Front Range and Western Slope of Colorado, as well as Moab, Utah.
The heat wave that has engulfed the country will make conditions hot come Saturday. The competitors looking for a National Champion title will need to bring their own heat to the race. A strong field will pack the start line with Joe Gray, Andy Wacker, and Matt Daniels leading the way for the men. Gray and Wacker have plenty of experience being at the front of the field in long mountain races. Add in mountain racing newcomer, Matt Daniels, to have three of the top six guys from the USATF Mountain Running Championships earlier this month. Gray was the winner there with Daniels finishing third and Wacker sixth. What effect will experience have in a longer mountain race? The women will kick up their own dust off the start line with several women having lots of ultra experience and some past speedsters battling at the front. Amanda Basham, Erica Baron, Gina Lucrezi, and Cat Bradley have all been posting some strong ultra results recently. Amanda Lee and Nicole Mericle have great speed in their background. We will see which skills will lead to the win when these two sides clash at a distance between ultra and short trail. Which competitors for men and women will bring additional heat and which competitors will wilt in the heat?
These elites will not be the only ones battling for National titles. As a USATF Championship, 5-year age group titles are on the line. These age groups begin with 40-44 and go up from there. Age group runners often know each other, looking forward to these battles on trails and the social time afterwards. We will have race coverage on Twitter @usmrt. You can find a more information on USATF and all USATF Championships at www.usatf.org. For more information about our USA Mountain team or to follow the team, go to www.usmrt.com. In addition to the 30K race that is hosting the USATF 30km Trail Championships, there is the Pikes Peak Ultra 50 mile race. This is the first 50 mile event, open to the public, in Colorado Springs. More information about Mad Moose Events can be found on their website, www.madmooseevents.com.