Championships return to New England in 2016
The Collegiate Running Association, a partner organization of the American Trail Running Association (ATRA), has announced that the third-annual Collegiate Running Association Mountain Running Championships will take place on July 3, 2016, at the Loon Mountain Race, hosted by acidotic RACING, in Lincoln, New Hampshire. For the third consecutive year, prize money will be distributed to the top college finishers in the Men’s and Women’s 10-kilometer race.
The Loon Mountain race will also serve as the USATF Mountain Running Championships, the sole selection race for the 2016 Senior Men’s and Women’s US Mountain Running Team. The top six overall finishers in the men’s race and top four finishers in the women’s race will automatically qualify to represent the U.S. at the 32nd WMRA World Mountain Running Championships on September 11, 2016, in Sapareva Banya, Bulgaria.
“The Loon Mountain Race is one of the premier mountain running races in the U.S. and has an outstanding reputation as a great event with a very challenging course,” said Steve Taylor, President and co-founder of the Collegiate Running Association. “To be able to partner with acidotic RACING and the USATF Mountain Running Championships at the Loon Mountain Race is a win-win for the athletes, community, and the sport of mountain running. Prize money reserved specifically for college students, plus prize money for the top U.S. runners, coupled with the opportunity to qualify for the World Mountain Running Championships as a member of Team USA, has proven the last two years to be a great combination. We are excited to be back in Lincoln at the Loon Mountain Resort and part of this first class event that will serve as a destination location for college students wishing to challenge themselves on the New Hampshire Mountain.”
“When we created the Collegiate Running Association in 2013, one of our priorities was to get college students more involved in Mountain and Trail Running,” said Jon Molz, co-founder of the Collegiate Running Association. “Our hope was that by introducing competitive championship opportunities in these areas specifically for college students, ultimately Team USA would become even stronger at the international level. It’s exciting to see that become reality as college students have finished in position to qualify for Team USA six times in the past two years with Patrick Smyth and Morgan Arritola each claiming both the U.S. and Collegiate titles in 2015.”
Loon Mountain Co-Race Director, Paul Kirsch, expressed similar excitement over the partnership with the Collegiate Running Association, saying “the mountain running success of college athletes like Allie Ostrander and Olympic Trials marathoner Max King is a testament to me of how mountain running is really just another aspect to the overall discipline of running. The Loon Mountain Race will give collegiate runners the chance to toe the line with the best mountain runners in the country. As mountain and trail running have continued to grow, I think it’s important for collegiate runners to see opportunities past what they can do in cross country and track – opportunities that can include international travel with Team USA in mountain running.”
In order to be eligible to compete in the Collegiate Running Association Mountain Running Championships, participants must either be enrolled in a college course at the time of the race or have completed a course during the spring semester (January 1-July 3, 2016). In order to be eligible for Collegiate Running Association prize money, participants must be free members of the Collegiate Running Association. In order to qualify for the US Mountain Running team, participants must be members of USATF.
“Our US mountain running program has greatly benefited from the work that Steve Taylor and Jon Molz have accomplished with the Collegiate Running Association. Fostering competitive opportunities for our nation’s collegiate runners has been instrumental in attracting and retaining these same athletes well into their future in our sport. It’s the perfect fit to our US Championship program and enhances the appeal to media, sponsors, and fans of our sport,” said Nancy Hobbs, USATF Mountain Ultra Trail Council chairperson.
Registration for the Loon Mountain race is now open and is just $25 before March 1 and $30 after. Register today.