Indianapolis, IN --- The 2011 NACAC Mountain Championships take place in Ajijic, Jalisco, Mexico on July 17. This is the eighth consecutive year that the NACAC Mountain Championship have been held with the event rotating being the US, Mexico, and Canada. Mexico has been a great host in the past and we are excited to have a strong U.S. team competing with teams from Mexico and Canada.
This year's Championship will be held in conjunction with the 9th annual Carrera de La Chupinaya mountain race. The course is 13.8km of mainly technical singletrack done in one loop. The race starts at 5020' and climbs up to 7875' at about 7km before descending back to the start. This up and down NACAC Mountain Championship follows the pattern of the World Mountain Running Championships with odd-numbered years being up and down races and even-numbered years being uphill races.
Meet the team members:
Chris Lundy, 40, Saualito, CA, has the most international mountain racing experience. She was a member of the USA Team at Worlds in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2009 with the 2006 and 2007 teams winning gold and the 2009 team taking bronze. Lundy also won the individual NACAC Mountain title in 2007 and 2009 as a member of the winning women’s team. She holds the title of USA Mountain Champion from 2009. Lundy is a top road marathoner as well competing in the Olympic Trials in 2004 and 2008. Lundy was a three-time NCAA Div. I All-American for the University of Pennsylvania. Lundy is employed as a veterinarian.
Gina Lucrezi, 29, Newton, MA, is coming off a great 2010 with a National Champion title at the USA 10Km Trail Championships and runner-up at the USA 15Km Trail Champs. She was named the inaugural USATF Trail Runner of the Year series champion as well. Also in 2010, Lucrezi won both the USATF New England Mountain and Trail Championship races. She was the 2004 NCAA Div. III National Champion in the 1500 meters indoors for DeSales University and a ten time All-American. Lucrezi works in marketing for footwear company Inov-8 and runs on their team.
Amber Moran, 32, Arden, NC, placed 7th at the USA Mountain Championships at Mt. Washington in 2010. In 2009 she took fourth at the USA 10Km Trail Championships. Amber is a two-time winner of the challenging Shut-In Trail Race and The Bear Hill Climb in NC. She has a speedy mile personal best of 4:44. Moran works as a school nurse and runs for Team Inov-8.
Maria Dalzot, 23, Morgantown, WV, was a member of the 2007 Junior US Mountain Running team which took the silver medal at Worlds in Switzerland. Dalzot competed for the West Virginia University Cross Country team that won the Big East Championships in 2007 and placed top ten at NCAA Cross Country Nationals. She is currently a graduate student at West Virginia University.
Joe Gray, 27, Lakewood, WA, was 10th at the World Mountain Running Championships in 2010 leading the U.S. men’s team to its first ever team silver medal. He was a scoring member on the bronze-medal USA team in 2008. In 2009, Gray was the USA Mountain Running Champion and was named the men's USA Mountain Runner of the Year in 2008, 2009, and 2010. Gray is the first male to win the NACAC Mountain Championship twice with wins in 2009 and 2010.
Eric Blake, 32, New Britain, CT, has competed for USA five times at the World Mountain Running Championships and was a scoring member of both the 2010 silver medal team and the bronze medal U.S. team in 2008. He is two-time USA Mountain Running Champion with wins in 2006 and 2008. Blake holds the Treadmill Marathon World Record with a 2:21.40. He has been the Head Cross Country and Track coach at Central Connecticut State University since 2009. Blake runs for the Boston Athletic Association and the PowerBar Elite team.
Tommy Manning, 35, Colorado Springs, CO, made his first U.S. National Team in 2010 and had an incredible performance to help the team win their silver medal at Worlds finishing 3rd for the team. He was 6th at 2010 USA Mountain Running Championships. In 2009, Manning won the Route 66 Half-Marathon with a time of 1:09.57 and finished 34th at Boston in 2:26.57. He is teacher at Fountain Valley High School in Colorado Springs.
Mario Mendoza, 25, Bend, OR, was the 2010 USATF Trail Runner of the Year Series Champion with second place finishes at both the USA 15Km Trail Championships and Marathon Trail Championships in 2010. He also took 3rd at the national Xterra Trail Championships. At the 2010 USA Cross Country Championships, Mendoza finished 36th. Mendoza runs for Salomon and the Asics Aggies.
Richard Bolt, 40, San Jose, CA will be traveling as team manager. Bolt has been Team Leader for the US Mountain Running Team at the World Mountain Running Championships nine years including this year’s event to be held in Albania in September. Prior to his leadership role, Bolt competed as an athlete at the World Mountain Running Championships in 1999 and 2002 and is a member of the Salomon Trail Running Team. Bolt founded the USATF Oregon Mountain Running Series now in its 3 year and currently lives in San Jose, CA with his wife Kelly. As Director of Operations for a small software company Bolt travels to Portland, Oregon each week where he enjoys running the trails in Forest Park.
More information on USA Mountain Running can be found at www.usmrt.com and on the USATF website at www.usatf.org/Sports/Mountain---Ultra---Trail.aspx. Look for results and a recap of the NACAC Mountain Championships at the www.usmrt.com site.