Written by USATF Mountain, Ultra & Trail Running Council member Kami Semick.
On Saturday, December 5, 2015, the best ultra runners from around the world will gather in the Marin headlands to compete at the inaugural USA Ultra Team Invitational. The USA Ultra Team Invitational is a team scoring event designed through the efforts of USATF’s Mountain, Ultra, Trail (MUT) Council’s executive committee. This Invitational was created to provide an opportunity for elite-level competition by brands who sponsor athletes in the US and abroad.
Although a first time for a USA Ultra Team Championship, the event host, The North Face Endurance Challenge, has a long history of conducting best-in-class trail events. The North Face Endurance Challenge Championship, presented by GORE-TEX, started in 2007 and quickly grew to become one of the premier ultra running races for the 50-mile distance. This year’s event becomes host to the first edition of the USA Ultra Team competition.
“We are always looking for ways to further the sport of trail running and support this growing community of endurance runners” The North Face Director of Sports Marketing Katie Ramage said. “Teaming up with USATF at The North Face Endurance Challenge, Championship helps showcase these incredibly talented individuals and teams while bringing a fresh element to the ECS event, now in it’s ninth year.”
Excitement for the event builds as Altra, HOKA One One, Nike, Salomon, and The North Face teams prepare for the event. These five teams have confirmed both male and female team entries. Each team has entered five men and five women, with the top three finishes for each gender scoring.
“The North Face Endurance Challenge has become an end of year institution in the sport, and we are happy to be see this event evolve into a team championship for 2015. Salomon looks forward to supporting our athletes as they go up against the best endurance athletes in the world” writes Salomon Athlete Team manager, Connor Curley.
Jeremy Howlett, manager of Team Altra adds,”We are excited for the team aspect that is being implemented at the Endurance Challenge in San Francisco this winter!”
The race will begin at 5 a.m. December 5. Scoring will be done by cumulative time, with the lowest time of the top three runners winning. Scores will be tracked for male teams and female teams independently.
For details on the event, visit: https://www.thenorthface.com/get-outdoors/endurance-challenge/california.html.