Thursday, November 3, 2011

USATF Mountain Ultra Trail Council Announces Runners of the Year - Official Press Release

Indianapolis, IN ---- The Mountain/Ultra/Trail running (MUT) council of long distance running has named the 2011 USATF Mountain Runners of the year, Ultra Runners of the Year, Trail Runners of the Year, Trail Championship Series winners, and Contributor of the Year. The following individuals will be recognized at the USATF National Convention in St. Louis this December.

Mountain men open: Max King, 31, Bend, OR, is a first-time recipient of the USATF Mountain Runner of the Year title. King was the 2011 USA Mountain Running Champion and was the gold medalist at the World Mountain Running Championships in Tirana, Albania. King is also an accomplished road runner, having qualified for his second Olympic trials marathon with a 2:15:34 at the Baltimore Marathon.

Mountain men master: Tim Van Orden, 43, Bennington, VT, had a stellar year in 2011 including masters’ championship honors at the USA Mountain Running Championships, the USA 15km Trail Championships, the USA Half Marathon Trail Championships. He was the 2011 USATF New England Mountain Running Series - Masters Champion - 2nd Overall (Masters champion in 5 of the 6 races). He was the first finisher in the 40-44 age group at the 2011 Mt. Washington Road Race and at the 2011 World Masters Mountain Running Championships (Italy), he finished in tenth place in his age group.

Mountain women open: Kasie Enman, 32, Huntington, VT, is a first-time recipient in this category. Enman won the USA Mountain Running Championships to earn a spot on her first U.S. Mountain Running Team, and raced to a gold-medal winning performance at the World Mountain Running Championships leading the women’s team to its fourth-place finish. She also won and set a course record at the Loon Mountain Race, the Northfield Mountain Race, the Ascutney Mountain Race, and the Race to the top of Vermont. In addition to excelling in Mountain running, she has qualified for the Olympic trials marathon.

Mountain women master: Jacqueline Shakar, 51, Sutton, MA, led the master’s field at the USA Mountain running championships. She was a gold medalist in the 50-54 age group finishing in 16th place overall. She was the top 50+ and second master at the USATF New England Trail Running Championships at Northfield Mountain, the top master and fourth overall in the USATF NE Mountain running series. She finished in second place in the 50-54 at the Mt Washington Road Race, and was the top master at the Loon Mountain race, the Mt Ascutney Race, and Wachusett Mountain Race. She was the second masters finisher at the Pack Monadnock mountain race.  Shakar is a Board Certified Orthopedic Specialist by the APTA and she is a full time professor in the Physical Therapy Assistant Program at Mt. Wachusett Community College

Ultra men open: Michael Wardian, 37, Arlington, VA, wins his fourth consecutive Ted Corbitt Memorial USATF Ultra Runner of the Year Award in 2011. He finished in bronze-medal position at the 2010 IAU World 100km Championships in Gibraltar which was one of the first races in the nomination period. In 2011, he has had a fantastic year including a silver medal at the IAU World 100km Championships, a win at the USA 50km Road Championships and USA 50 Mile Road Championships (course record). He finished 19th at the Two Oceans Marathon (56km) in Cape Town, South Africa in April and was 11th at  Comrades Marathon in Durban, South Africa. Additionally, he competed in 13  road marathons in 2011, with a personal best at Grandma’s Marathon in 2:17:49 (his PR) where he also qualified for his  third consecutive U.S. Men's Olympic Marathon Trials.

Ultra men master: Co-Recipients Chad Ricklefs, 44, Boulder, CO,
 and Mark Godale, 41, Aurora, OH. Chad Ricklefs has been competing in ultramarathons at a national level since 1998 and reached an all-time high in his career in 2011, placing 11th overall at the 2011 IAU 100 km World Championships and first in the World Master's Championships division held concurrently with the World Open Championships. Mark Godale finished third master at the USA 100km Trail Championships, first master at the USA 50km Road Championships, second master at the USA 100km Road Championships, and first master at the USA 100 Mile Trail Championships and the 50 Mile Road Championships.

Ultra women open:  Meghan Arbogast, 50, Corvallis, OR, was named the Ruth Anderson Ultrarunner of the Year Award for 2011. She set a pending world best at the IAU 100km World Championships in 2011 where she finished in fifth place and automatically qualified for the 2012 U.S. 100km Team. She was the second female finisher at Miwok 100km, third at both the US 100km Trail Championships and Way Too Cool 50km and seventh female finisher at Western States 100 Miler.

Ultra women master: Connie Gardner, 47, Medina, OH, won national championships (overall AND master's) at both the USA 100 Mile Trail Championships and the USA 24 Hour Championships where she came within one mile of breaking the 24 Hour National women’s record. She was the top female finisher at both the FANS 24 Hour, and the Lt. J.D. Stone 50km and was the third female finisher at the Buckeye Trail 50km.

USA Trail Championships Series Winners – Recipients will be announced November 10. The invidiual series winners will be those who have garnered the most points in the second annual USA Trail Championships (sub-ultra) series. The events include the 10km, 15km, half marathon, and marathon trail championships as well as the USA Mountain Championships.

Contributor of the Year – Lin Gentling
Lin Gentling has been the team manager for the men, the women or both at the IAU World 100km Championships for nearly two decades.  She puts a lot of effort into making sure that the team members need to think about little more than their race as race day approaches by trying to make herself and her staff responsible for as many of the logistics as possible. Gentling’s organizational skills along with her experience in working with the team over so many years is a big part of the reason our USA 100km teams were so successful at the IAU World Championships 100km race this year.

New category awards for 2011 included:
Trail men open: Max King, doubles this year as the trail men’s open recipient. King won the USA Half Marathon Trail Championships and the USA 50km Trail Championships. He was the winner of the XTERRA National Trail Running Championships (the day after winning the USA 50km Trail Championships), the Siskiyou Out Back 50km Trail Race, and the McDonald Forest 50km Trail Race.

Trail men master: Tim Van Orden, doubles this year as the trail men’s master runner of the year.

Trail women open: Marci Klimek, 24, Phoenix, OR, winner of the USA 15km Trail Championships, second place at the USA Half Marathon Trail Championships. Currently leads the USATF trail series. Klimek is also a talented road runner having run 2:46:28 to win the 2011 Portland Marathon and 1:00:37 to win the 2011 Pear Blossom 10 Miler.

Trail women master: Jacqueline Shakar doubles this year as the trail women’s master runner of the year.

In order to be considered for the USATF Mountain and Ultra running awards an athlete must show top results in U.S. competitions for 2011 November 1, 2010 through October 1, 2011, to 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, as well as road races for the ultra category (distances beyond the marathon). International results are also considered. The nominee must be an ambassador for the sport. Nominee must be a USATF member for 2011, and to be considered for the masters’ category athlete must be a minimum of 40 years of age.

For a list of past winners in the other categories, please visit

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