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Selection criteria announced for 2023 US Mountain and Trail Running Team

November 24, 2022

Team will compete in World Mountain & Trail Running Championships in Innsbruck, Austria

/ENDURANCE SPORTSWIRE/ – The second World Mountain & Trail Running Championships (WMTRC) is scheduled for June 6-10, 2023 in Innsbruck-Stubai, Austria. This biennial event is organized by the World Mountain Running Association (WMRA), the International Association of Ultrarunners (IAU) and the International Trail Running Association (ITRA), with support from World Athletics.

This event follows the inaugural World Mountain & Trail Running Championship in Thailand in November 2022 which replaced the World Mountain Running Championship (1985-2019), World Long Distance Mountain Running Championship (2004-2019) and Trail World Championship (2007-2019).

WMTRC Race Schedule

  • Wednesday, June 7 – VERTICAL MOUNTAIN race (7.0 km, 1020 meters vertical).
  • Thursday, June 8 – 45 km SHORT TRAIL race (3200 meters vertical).
  • Friday, June 9 – 86 km LONG TRAIL race (6000 meters vertical).
  • Saturday, June 10 – 13.7 km CLASSIC MOUNTAIN up/down race (2 laps – 781 meters vertical).
  • Saturday, June 10 – 6.7 km U20 CLASSIC MOUNTAIN up/down race (1 lap – 370 meters vertical).

This championship is open to all World Athletics member federations. Course maps with elevation profiles [PDF]. The early General Information Sheet for this world championship has been published. You can find a copy at this link.

MOUNTAIN races are up to 4 athletes per country, per gender to start, 3 to score. Individual and team titles will be awarded (team title based on cumulative position). TRAIL races are up to 6 athletes per country, per gender to start, 3 to score. Individual and team titles will be awarded (team title based on cumulative time). With these event allocations the maximum possible team size per country is 48 athletes.

33,000 euro in total prize money is available in the senior races.

The U.S. Team

USA Track & Field (USATF) plans to field a team of 44 athletes with the following event allocations:

VERTICAL MOUNTAIN – 4 men & 4 women
40 km TRAIL race – 5 men & 5 women
80 km TRAIL race – 5 men & 5 women
CLASSIC MOUNTAIN race – 4 men & 4 women
U20 CLASSIC MOUNTAIN race – 4 men & 4 women

How to Qualify

VERTICAL MOUNTAIN Team

A Standard * – U.S. winner of the 2022 vertical mountain race at the 2022 World Mountain & Trail Running Championships. (Allie McLaughlin).
B Standard ** – Top 4 eligible^^ men and top 3 eligible women at the 2023 USATF Vertical Mountain Running Championships hosted by the Sunapee Scramble (New Hampshire) on Saturday April 29.
C Standard (Alternates) *** – If automatic selections do not accept, substitute team members will be selected based on running resumes with consideration given to top results at USATF Championships. Top 10 finishers from the 2022 USATF Mountain Running Championships who do not qualify for the world championship CLASSIC MOUNTAIN race will automatically be submitted for VERTICAL team consideration. The selection committee will consider athletes’ percentage back from the winning time in any races listed on resumes submitted.

Vertical Mountain Selection Timeline

  • Qualifying Race – April 29, 2023
  • Team Announced – May 5, 2023
  • No athlete substitutions after May 24, 2023

40 km SHORT TRAIL Team

A Standard – U.S. winner of the Short Trail race at the 2022 World Mountain & Trail Running Championships. (None)
B Standard – Top 2 eligible men/women at the Fourmidable 50K in Auburn, CA (February 18, 2023) and top 2 eligible men/women at the Breakneck Point Trail Marathon in Beacon, NY (May 6, 2023). If automatic selections do not accept, spots DO NOT roll down to the next finisher.
C Standard – Remaining team members will be selected based on running resumes with consideration given to top results at USATF Championships. The selection committee will consider athletes’ percentage back from the winning time in any races listed on resumes submitted. Top 10 finishers from Breakneck Point will automatically be considered for resume selection.

Short Trail Selection Timeline

  • Qualifying Performance Window – Races between January 1, 2022 to April 15, 2023
  • Athlete Resumes Due – No later than April 15, 2023
  • Team Announced – May 8, 2023
  • No athlete substitutions after May 24, 2023

80 km LONG TRAIL Team

A Standard – U.S. winner of the Long Trail race at the 2022 World Mountain & Trail Running Championships. (Adam Peterman)
B Standard – Top 3 eligible men and top 3 eligible women at the Lake Sonoma 50 Mile in California (April 8th, 2023). If automatic selections do not accept, spots DO NOT roll down to the next finisher.
C Standard – Remaining team members will be selected based on running resumes with consideration given to top results at USATF Championships. The selection committee will consider athletes’ percentage back from the winning time in any races listed on resumes submitted.

Long Trail Selection Timeline

  • Qualifying Performance Window – Races between January 1, 2022 to April 8, 2023
  • Athlete Resumes Due – No later than April 8, 2023
  • Team Announced – April 15, 2023
  • No athlete substitutions after May 24, 2023

CLASSIC UP/DOWN MOUNTAIN Team

A Standard – U.S. winner of the Classic Mountain race at the 2022 World Mountain & Trail Running Championships. (None)
B Standard – Top 4 eligible men and top 3 eligible women at the 2023 USATF Mountain Running Championships hosted by the Sunapee Scramble (New Hampshire) on Sunday April 30.
C Standard (Alternates) – If automatic selections do not accept, substitute team members will be selected based on running resumes with consideration given to top results at USATF Championships. Top 10 finishers from the 2022 USATF Vertical Mountain Running Championships who do not qualify for the world championship Vertical Mountain race will automatically be submitted for CLASSIC team consideration. The selection committee will consider athletes’ percentage back from the winning time in any races listed on resumes submitted.

Classic Mountain Selection Timeline

  • Qualifying Race – April 30, 2023
  • Team Announced – May 5, 2023
  • No athlete substitutions after May 24, 2023

U20 CLASSIC MOUNTAIN Team

A Standard – n/a
B Standard – n/a
C Standard – Athletes ages 16-19 (before December 31, 2023) are eligible to submit a resume (via this Google Form) and coaches letter of recommendation for consideration. U20 men should have a 16:45 or better 5 km road or XC time and U20 women should have a time of 19:30 or better. Equivalent times from alternate race distances will be considered. In addition U20 must supply a letter of recommendation from a parent/guardian or coach.

U20 Mountain Selection Timeline

  • Qualifying Performance Window – Races between January 1, 2022 to April 15, 2023
  • Athlete Resumes Due – No later than April 15, 2023
  • Team Announced – April 22, 2023

Additional Information

^^ All athletes must be current USATF members, U.S. citizens, eligible to represent the United States at an international championship, and have a passport valid through January 1, 2024.

If a senior athlete withdraws after May 24, an athlete on the team for a different distance may be asked about filling the withdrawn position. The selection committee will be consulted on any replacement athlete selections between May 8 and the team’s arrival in Austria. The team staff will make the decision if withdrawal occurs on site and athlete substitution is still allowed. Athletes are never obligated to fill the replacement positions.

This team is funded by USA Track & Field and the American Trail Running Association.

Team uniforms will be provided by USATF. If an athlete qualifies for the team but can’t make the trip due to injury or any other circumstance, the uniform must be returned to USATF.

Athletes who automatically qualify for multiple events will be allowed to race multiple events at the world championships.

Team members will receive funding from USA Track & Field and the American Trail Running Association with the reimbursement amount TBA. While the exact cost of sending a team to this championship is unknown at the time of this writing, it is the intention of the USATF MUT Council to make this a fully funded team for all athletes and staff (except juniors).

Questions or resumes should be sent to Richard Bolt, richardabolt@gmail.com. Athletes who earn spots at the 2023 USATF Mountain Running Championships must confirm their acceptance of a team spot no later than May 6, 2023.

Questions about the U20 (formerly junior) MOUNTAIN team can be emailed to Paul Kirsch, pkirsch2@gmail.com. U20 athletes can fill out the online application form at: https://forms.gle/jvev9y8CvX8ZSVd28

USATF MUT selection committee members are Richard Bolt, Max King, Meghan Canfield, Nancy Hobbs and Jason Bryant. For the U20 MOUNTAIN team, Paul Kirsch, Anita Ortiz, Max King, Eric Blake and Jason Bryant.

USATF Team Staff will be led by Richard Bolt. Remaining team staff for this event are TBA.

* The A standard is for world champions from the previous world championship (Thailand).
** The B standard is based on USATF championship and/or U.S. selection race results.
*** The C standard is based on evaluation of athlete resumes by the USATF MUT selection committee.

Contact: Nancy Hobbs, American Trail Running Association, 719-573-4133