Sunday, September 28, 2008

Max King reigns supreme at the Xterra Trail Running National Championships

At last weekend's NW Mountain Running Championships Joe Gray (Lakewood, WA) edged out Max King (Bend, OR) for 1st place and $800 in prize money. Before yesterday's Xterra Trail Running National Championships Max told Joe that this would be a "rematch". True to his name, the King (Max) reigned supreme beating not only Joe Gray but also Eugene based speedsters Ben Bruce and Ryan Bak. From the official press release:

BEND, OR - Several hundred athletes from 21 states gathered at the upscale Old Mill District in Bend today for the fourth annual XTERRA Trail Running National Championship on an incredibly beautiful, crisp and clear morning along the Deschutes River. Outside Magazine called this the best trail running town in America, and some of the fastest runners from around the state of Oregon and across the nation came to put its reputation to the test.

Ultimately the king of XTERRA trail running turned out to be none-other than Bend’s very own Max King. The local favorite set the standard high turning out close to five-minute miles for a winning 21km course time of 1:08:01. After just winning a six-day 125 mile race through the Rockies earlier this month and coming in second at the 2008 Northwest Mountain Running Championships last weekend, King was able to use his hometown advantage to edge out steeplechase star Ben Bruce, 26, of Eugene, Oregon by just over a minute. Ryan Bak, 27, also from Eugene and King’s teammate on the 2008 USA World Cross Country Team, took third in 1:09:41.

“When I spoke to Ryan, he said he was just coming to do the race for fun. Both he and Ben entered the race at the last minute, but I knew they would be tough competition” King said.
Being from Bend, King was familiar with the course and was able to run part of the upper track last night giving him a good feel for the twists and turns. “I love to run a course with tight curves. It might be because of my low center of gravity” he joked. It was a close race for the first section, but at mile 3 Max took the lead and never looked back. When talking to Bruce and Bak, they said that as primarily track racers, “The course was more technical than they were used to. Max was able to take the sharp turns and really open up his lead.” “It’s a great course and nice to show all these runners from out of town what we have here in Bend and how you can go from this really cool downtown-type setting to forested single track in just miles,” said King. “Today was beautiful in Bend, the trails weren’t dusty, just perfect. Bend is really a great place for XTERRA to be, and I think that showed today.”

Overall Top 5 Men

Max King, 28 (Bend, OR) 1:08:01
Ben Bruce, 26 (Eugene, OR) 1:09:04
Ryan Bak, 27 (Eugene, OR) 1:09:41

Joseph Gray, 24 (Lakewood, WA) 1:13:53
Rich Skorczewski, 31 (Portland, OR) 1:15:01

In the women’s race it was marathon specialist Susannah Beck, 40, who took home the women’s top prize with her time of 1:23:07. This Eugene native “duked it out” for first place with Bend local Kami Semick, 42, who finished just 19 seconds later. These two ultra trail runners battled each other just six weeks ago at the USATF 50 Mile Trail Championship in Crystal Mountain, Washington where Beck and Semick also took the first and second place respectively.

This morning, it was an all out tug of war as Beck took the lead from the start giving way to Semick at mile six, and then regaining the lead at mile ten to take the women’s title. 2008 Northwest Mountain Running Championships Lisa Nye, 40, of Bend, who was under the weather and only made it to the race by her children’s urging, came in an impressive third at 1:25:11. Runners for the championship 21km distance ranged in age from 16 to 84.

John Keston, the race’s most senior participant from Sunriver, Oregon, is originally from England and honored the event by singing a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem at the awards ceremony. “I have only been racing competitively since I was 55” said Keston after completing the event in just 2:19:16.

After a 50+ event XTERRA Trail Run Series, 22 regional champions went head to head at this morning’s race to see how they stacked up against the competition. Usually behind the scenes instead of the starting line, Philly Series race director Don Morrison said, “This was a great, fast race. The rolling hills were beautiful but not too technical. Everyone had a great time.”

Overall Top 5 Women

Susannah Beck, 40 (Eugene, OR) 1:23:07
Kami Semick, 42 (Bend, OR) 1:23:26

Lisa Nye, 40 (Bend, OR) 1:25:11

Katie Caba, 37 (Bend, OR) 1:25:18

Lisa Goldsmith, 44 (Colo Springs, CO) 1:27:52

Complete results can be found at:

Photos can be found at:

An article from the Bend Bulletin can be found at:

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Nominations open for USATF Mountain & Ultra Runner of the Year Awards

Nominations are now open for the following awards: 
USATF Mountain Runners of the Year – Open and Masters
USATF Ultra Runners of the Year – Open and Masters
USATF Mountain/Ultra/Trail Contributor of the Year

The Mountain/Ultra/Trail running (MUT) council of long distance running will select the 2008 USATF Mountain Runners of the year and Ultra Runners of the Year  based on nominations received from interested athletes, coaches, and administrators involved in the sport. The following is the selection criteria for the 2008 USATF Mountain and Ultra Runners of the Year:

1) Nominated athlete must show top results in US mountain/trail competitions for 2008 (November 1, 2007 through October 31, 2008) - this will include mountain races (these may be on paved/gravel surfaces as long as there is significant elevation loss or gain) and trail races of varying lengths below the ultra distance. USATF ultra runners of the year results on trail and ultra road courses above the marathon distance in both national and international competition.
2) The nomination window includes the period: Nov 1, 2007 through Oct 31, 2008.
3) Show top results in international competitions for 2008
4) Be an ambassador for the sport - athlete promotes and supports mountain running
5) Be a USATF member for 2008 - athlete MUST have a current USATF membership
6) To be considered for the masters category, athlete must be a minimum of 40 years of age.

To nominate an athlete, send BY NOVEMBER 10, 2008, the following information to and

Nominated athlete's name, age or birth date (if you know it), athlete contact information, brief bio, reason for nomination in 2008.

Nominations received by November 10  will be considered in the selection process. After all nominations are compiled, the MUT council will vote (by November 20) for the mountain runner and ultra runners of the year from nominations received. The USATF Mountain and Ultra Runners of the Year will be honored at the annual convention in Reno, NV, on Saturday, December 6. Should you have any questions about the procedure, please contact: Dave Dunham at 

We also will accept nominations for contributor of the year for mountain, ultra, trail. Past Contributor of the Year recipients have been: American Ultra Running Association, Teva, La Sportiva, North Texas Trail Runners, the Mad City 100 km, and the White Mountain Milers.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Joe Gray and Max King duel at Mt. Hood

Fresh from his 16th place finish at the World Mountain Running Championship the previous weekend, Joe Gray (Lakewood, WA) edged out Max King (Bend, OR) to win the Northwest Mountain Running Championships at Mt. Hood. This race was also the final race in the La Sportiva USATF-Oregon Mountain Running Series. The top male and female USATF member were awarded a free pair of shoes from La Sportiva.

Starting and finishing at Timberline Lodge, the 6 mile "up/down" course featured 2000' of climb and descent on pave road, dirt road, ski slope, rough single-track, the PCT and just a touch of snow at the top of the course. The weather conditions during the race (starting at high-noon) saw frequent rain showers, temperatures ranging from the high 40's at the bottom of the course to the low 40's and wind at the top of the course which was 1000' above the tree-line. Presented by END Outdoor, the NW Mountain Running Championship offered $6000 in prize money and attracted the fastest men's field of any trail race held in 2008. The official results have yet to be posted, but here are the top 10 female and male finishers:

Women’s Top Ten
Lisa Nye, Bend OR, 39 years old, 50:45 ($800 + $250 top of the hill)
Katie Caba, Bend OR, 37 years old, 51:33 ($400)
Jennifer Sventek, Bend OR, 37 years old, 54:18 ($200)
Carla McHattie, Portland OR, 24 years old, 56:24
Amanda Phillips, Portland OR, 29 years old, 56:45
Julie Leasure, Portland OR, 37 years old, 58:17
Ahna Jura, Bend OR, 34 years old, 58:35
Audra Herndon, Boring OR, 25 years old, 58:57
Kelly Kruell, Portland OR, 48 years old, 59:37 (first place masters, $300)
Joanna Harper, Portland OR, 51 years old, 1:00:03

Men’s Top Ten
Joseph Gray, Lakewood WA, 24 years old, 39:23 ($800 + $250 top of the hill)
Maxwell King, Bend OR, 28 years old, 39:25 ($400)
Erik Skaggs, Ashland OR, 26 years old, 41:35 ($200)
Richard Bolt, Portland OR, 38 years old, 42:58
John Howell, Portland OR, 34 years old, 44:00
Anthony Rinck, Hillsboro OR, 32 years old, 45:40
Kyle Skaggs, Ashland OR, 23 years old, 45:48
Ian Torrence, Ashland OR, 35 years old, 46:20
Aaron Coe, Portland OR, 25 years old, 46:23
Joe Gambles, Boulder CO, 26 years old, 46:45
Dean Giblin, Portland, OR 43 years old, 49:12 (first place masters, $300)

Pictures of the race can be found at:

When available, official results will be posted at:

Read a race report from the Rogue Valley Runners:

Final scoring for the La Sportiva USATF-Oregon Mountain Running Series will be posted shortly on this blog.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Oregon Trail Runners Featured in Competitor Magazine

3 Oregon based trail runners were featured in the September issue of Competitor Northwest magazine.  Brothers Kyle and Erik Skaggs (Ashland, OR - pictured) were profiled in Ultrarunning's Young Guns for their recent exploits at the GORE-TEX Trans Rockies Run and the Quad Dipsea.  Kyle & Erik won the inagural Trans Rockies and Kyle won the Quad Dipsea in his first attempt, just missing the record by one minute.  Kyle also won the Wasatch 100 and Hardrock 100 mile races.  Richard Bolt (Portland, OR) was profiled in The Highest Point for his mountain running exploits.  

Sunday, September 14, 2008

World Mountain Running Championship - Race Day

Written by Dave Dunham - Junior Coach for the Teva US Mountain Running Team

24th World mountain running championships Crans Montana Switzerland

The weather has been consistent during our stay in Switzerland and race day would be no different as fog, some drizzle, and temps in the 40s were the order of the day.

A long day of racing kicked off with the open race at 8 am. Team leader Richard Bolt (Portland, OR) lead the charge over the same course the men would compete on. Bolt (no relation to the 100m specialist) finished in 3rd place covering the course in 6628. Nancy Hobbs the Manager of the Teva US mountain running team and serves as the treasurer for WMRA finished in 6th and 2nd in her age group in 8938. The overall winner was Pascal Bertrand in 6318.

The World champs kicked off with simeltaneous starts. The junior boys (in Venthone) and the junior girls (in Montana village) began their respective races at 1030 am. The girls would cover 4.2 km (2.6 miles) with 1,100 feet of climb and the boys would cover 8.3 km (5.1 miles) with 2,420 feet of climb.

The girls (2 runners score) took 10th with Alex Dunne leading the way with a third place finish in 2333 and Yasmine White taking 38th in 2752 in the field of of 47 runners representing 19 countries. The race winner was Laura Park from England in 2234. The team title was taken by England with 8 points.

On the boys side three runners score in the field of 75 runners representin 25 countries. Tim Smith was the top US finisher taking 5th place in a time of 4302 and was closely followed by Levi Grandt who placed 13th in 4400. Jonny Stevens took 31st in 4539 and Paul Petersen took 50th in 4731. The team took 4th with 49 points. Turkey was the leading team with 13 points and the race winner was Sindre Buraas of Norway in 4212.

The women were the next to start (at 11 am) running the same course as the boys. The team (3 score) took 8th with 82 points in the field of 97 women representing 32 countries. Brandy Erholtz was the top US finisher taking 11th in 4740. Megan Kimmel was next placing 33rd in 5003, followed by Rachael Cueller was 38th in 5037, and Laura Haefeli was 44th in 5132. The winner was Andrea Mayr in 4357. The team title was taken by Norway with 24 points.

The final race of the day (1115) was the mens race, with 161 runners from 37 countries toeing the line with four runners scoring. The US team had its best performance yet scoring a Bronze medal. The team was lead by Rickey Gates finishing 12th in 5717 followed closely by Joe Gray in 16th in 5753 and Eric Blake 23rd in 5822. The final scoring member was Simon Gutierrez in 25th in 5834. Also running excellent races were Matt Byrne in 34th in 5911 and Zac Freudenberg in 36th in 5915. Team USA had the fastest sixth man among all of the countries. The overall champion was Jonathon Wyatt of New Zealand in 5503. The top teams were Italy 43 points, Switzerland 59 points, and the US with 76 points.

Pictures can be found at:

Complete race results can be found at:

Video of the Men's Race at 6k by Dave Dunham

Video of the Junior Men's Race at the start by Dave Dunham

Video of the Women's Race at the start by Dave Dunham

Video of the Men's race finish by TommyG

Written by Dave Dunham - Junior Coach for the Teva US Mountain Running Team

Saturday, September 13, 2008

World Mountain Running Championship - Day 3

Pictured above is the start of the technical meeting where pre-race details were confirmed. The weather will be cool and cloudy but not raining. The junior women and junior men will both start at 10:30 AM local time Sunday. The senior women will run the same 8.4k course and start at 11:00 AM. The senior mens 11.9k course starts in Sierre at 11:15 AM. All the US athletes are charged up and ready to go, spending their final hours tonight talking strategy with their teammates. Unofficial results will be available on this blog tomorrow afternoon.

Richard Bolt

World Mountain Running Championship - Day 3

Above is a picture of the US team marching in the opening ceremonies. It's a cool 50ish degrees and raining but the energy level is high as the athletes are looking forward to tomorrows races. We marched 500m from the town center at the base of the "funicular" to Hes-co, the University of Applied Sciences of Western Switzerland. In 1 hour, I'll be at the technical meeting where race numbers will be distributed.

Richard Bolt, Team Leader

World Mountain Running Championship - Day 3

Pictured above is a photo of the Norwegian delegate presenting information about a possible course for the 2010 World Mountain Running Championship (Songefjord, Norway). We also learned that the 2009 Championship will not be in Italy. While the local organising committee was funded and prepared, the Italian Athletic Association would not support the Championshipdue to other commitments in Italy. Scotland announced an intention to bid for the 2011 Championship. The Pikes Peak Hillclimb will be the 2010 World Long Distance Mountain Running Championship. More info later today. Next up is the parade of nations and opening ceremonies - both of which could be re-located or shortened due to weather. Currently it's raining and 45 degrees.

Richard Bolt, Team Leader

Friday, September 12, 2008

World Mountain Running Championship - Day 3

This morning I'm off to Sierre for the World Mountain Running Congress meetings. Reps from 39 countries will convene to vote on where the Championship will be held in 2009. Later today we'll have the parade of nations and opening ceremonies. Tonight will be the pre-race Technical Meeting where we'll recieve race numbers and timing chips.

Richard Bolt, Team Leader

World Mountain Running Championship - Day 2

This afternoon I ran the 8.33k course with the junior Mens team. Starting in the narrow streets of Venthone at 840m above sea level, the course ran along paved roads, gravel roads, single track trail, grass fields on the way to the finish in the town center of Crans-Montana at 1500m above sea level. Only one of the 4 junior men have run in a World Championship - all agreed that a conserative start would be wise as there are plenty of passing opportunities in the 2nd half of the race. Many first time juniors tend to start too quickly and loose large amounts of time later in the race. The junior womens race starts in Montana-Village at 1190m above sea level and joins the junior mens course 3.5k from the finish. The junior womens course has a very fast downhill start followed by rolling uphills before the final big climb 1.5k from the finish. Tomorrow will be a rest day for the athletes as team staff will be attending the World Congress and Technical Meetings.

Richard Bolt
Team Leader
Teva US Mountain Running

World Mountain Running Championship - Day 2

This morning we took team USA photos at our hotel on a foggy, misty day. Here is a photo of me (Portland, OR) and Joe Gray (Lakewood, WA). Later this afternoon I will be previewing the course with the junior Mens team.

Richard Bolt, Team Leader, Teva US Mountain Running Team

Thursday, September 11, 2008

World Mountain Running Championship - Day 1

I arrived yesterday in Crans-Montana, Switzerland for the 24th World Mountain Running Championship. The rest of Team USA arrived today; the first official day of the event. We picked up our credentials, race packets and previewed the course. I ran the senior men's course - 11.7k and 1046m of ascent - with team members Zac Freudenberg, Matt Byrne and Eric"quadzilla" Blake. It's a great course that starts in Sierre, climbs up thru vinyards, forests and small villages on the way to the finish on Crans. Of particular interest here is the "funicular", a very steep cable railway that climbs 3000 vertical feet from Sierre to Crans in 12 minutes. The bus or a car takes 20 minutes and the runners will make it in 50 minutes. More info about the World Championship can be found at: 24th World Mountain Running Trophy

Richard Bolt