Cayuga Trails / USATF 50 Mile Trail Running Championship Preview

Held in conjunction with the Cayuga Trails 50 Mile this coming Saturday June 4 – Championship titles, prize money, and spots on the USA Ultra-Trail Team up for grabs. GiddyUp!

On Saturday, June 4, the USATF 50 Mile Trail Championships will be held in Ithaca, New York. This is the fifteenth time the USATF 50 Mile Trail Championships has been contested, and the third consecutive year that Cayuga Trails 50 has played host to the championships.

Not only is the event hosting the championship event, but also serves as the final selection race for the USA Ultra-Trail Team which will compete in the IAU World Trail Championships on October 29, in Geres, Portugal. Already earning spots on the team are Alex Nichols and Caitlin Smith for their top finishes for Team USA at the 2015 World Championships, Zach Miller and Megan Kimmel with their wins at the North Face 50 Miler in December 2015, Jim Walmsley and YiOu Wang with victories at the Lake Sonoma 50 in April.

Last year’s men’s champion Mario Mendoza (third at Lake Sonoma 50 Miler this year), will not return to defend his title. The 30-year-old Bend, OR, resident is focused on the World Long Distance Mountain Running Championships in Slovenia on June 18, where he will be one of the members of Team USA.


Top men registered include Zach Ornelas, Jared Burdick, Dylan Bowman, Tyler Sigl, Matt Flaherty, and Jan Welford. Ben Nephew, a top masters, could also be a contender for a podium spot. There will be strong competition in the masters categories with entrants registered in every age group up to 65-69.

Women’s defending champion Amanda Basham is not expected to race, but there is a talented field ready to earn the title including Caitlin Smith, Laura Kline, Sabrina Little, Heather Hoechst, Corrine Malcolm, and Karen Holland. In the masters’ category, the 40-44 category has the most registrants, and there will be champions awarded up to the 55-59 category based on current registrations.

In addition to USATF medals for the top ten men and women overall, and the top three in each masters age category for men and women starting at 40-44 in five year increments, the prize purse is $7000 distributed equally between men and women – $1500 for first, $1000 for second, and $500 for third. The top masters’ male and female will each earn $500.

Richard Bolt serves as the USATF liaison to the event, and Nancy Hobbs, chairperson of USATF’s Mountain Ultra Trail Council, will be on hand to provide support.

In addition to the 50 Miler, there is a companion marathon event.

Follow the event on Twitter @USAUltrarunning with the hastag #CayugaTrails. Event details are available at For a full race preview, visit:

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