Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Moab to host the USA Trail Marathon Championships

The Nation’s top elite runners will be competing in the November 8th USA Trail Marathon Championships in Moab, UT.  The race is full with over 1500 runners signed up for the Marathon, ½ Marathon and 5k events.  The Marathon, with its USA Championship title has drawn over 50 elite runners who will via for top honors.  Some of the top contenders to win are David and Megan Roche who have each won USA titles at Trail 10km and Megan also won the USA Trail 50km title.  Justin Ricks and Kalib Wilkinson, among others, will be ones to watch for contention at the front.  Dave Mackey will bring plenty of experience as a master likely to compete for the overall title as well.  Chris Lundy will be another of the women to watch for with plenty of trail and championship experience of her own.  Anita Ortiz will look be a top masters and overall contender for the women.  Participants will run a beautiful, rugged course that features trails along the Kane Creek Corridor such as Pritchett Canyon, Hunter Rim, Jackson Trail as well as some unnamed trails, and trails through Private Property including a fixed rope section.  The top runners in the Half Marathon will be recognized as National Champions in addition to receiving the $2500 prize purse.


Not for the faint of heart, the Moab Trail Marathon has a reputation for being one of the toughest cross country races around.  The course features a mix of Moab’s unique 4wd roads and trails; This course travels up, down, and through several stunning canyons.  Rugged terrain and spectacular scenery bring runners from around the World to compete on this course.  2014 is the 6th edition of this race. The course was designed by world class local runner, Danelle Ballengee, who is known to set challenging courses.  The course actually crosses the path of her famous fall in 2006 where she survived at 60 foot fall and two freezing nights with a shattered pelvis only to be saved by her dog, Taz and neighbor, Dorothy Rossignol.


Race organizers are thrilled at the response and looking forward to a successful event.  Moab is a wonderful host town to events like this.  And the course couldn’t be any better.  The scenery is absolutely stunning.  This year the race organizers have coupled with several local non-profit organizations that will also be helping out on race day.  Proceeds from the race will go to benefit these non-profit organizations including Community Rebuilds, Friends For Wheelin’, Humane Society of Moab Valley, Trail Mix, Young Life, Grand Mtn Bike Team, Grand County Search and Rescue, and others.


The race starts at 8:30am on November 8th.  Top finishers are expected to finish in less than 2 hours, and the cutoff is set at 8 hours.  It is recommended that those hikers, bikers, and jeepers wishing for solitude recreate elsewhere, although spectators are welcome.  The event is being held under permit from the BLM and SITLA.

For more information check out the website www.moabtrailmarathon.com or call Danelle at 259-7844 or 970-389-4838.   The event is full, so they are not accepting registrations, although local Kids are welcome to compete in the ‘Kid’s K’, which features running through an arch and cave, going down a ladder, and through a bouncy house.  Parents need to sign their kids up. (At Milts Stop & Eat on Friday Nov. 7th, between 3:30-7:30 or race morning between 7 and 9am)