LARGEST TRAIL RUNNING PRIZE PURSE IN NEW ENGLAND

North Conway, NH –  May 30, 2011:  For the second year in a row, the entire US Mountain Running Team will be selected at a single race, with this year’s team selection taking place at the 24th annual Cranmore Hill Climb at Cranmore Mountain Resort on Sunday June 26th at 9AM.  The race serves as the 2011 US Mountain Running Championships, with the top 6 men and top 4 women in the US Champs being selected to represent the US at the World Mountain Running Championships in Tirana, Albania on September 11th, 2011.  The field will be competing for a prize purse of $3100, funded primarily by primary race sponsor, Northeast Delta Dental.  The prize purse is the largest known prize purse for a trail race in New England.

“We’re very excited to have Northeast Delta Dental sign on as a sponsor for this year” remarked Race Director Paul Kirsch, who is also president of the White Mountain Milers running club.  “Tom Raffio and Delta Dental have been such phenomenal supporters of top notch racing in New England, with their sponsorship of Mt. Washington, the Bill Luti 5 Miler and Beach to Beacon.  Running is a great sport for anyone to try, and Delta Dental helps give our region National exposure in the running community,” continued Kirsch.

The 2011 Cranmore race will consist of 3 laps up and down the mountain for men, and 2 laps for women, mimicking the distance at the Albanian World Championships course.  Each 3.87 kilometer lap will ascend and descend 206 meters, testing not only the runners climbing and descending abilities, but also their ability to transition between the two.

The field for the race is extremely strong with at least 15 former members of the US Mountain Running Team expected.

The men’s field includes:

Eric Blake (New Britain, CT), a five time member of the mountain team including the 2010 Silver medal team,  previous winner of the Mt Washington Road Race and 2010 winner of the USATF-New England Mountain Running Circuit.

Joe Gray (Lakewood, WA), a three time member of the US Team who finished 10th at the World Mountain Running Championships in Slovenia in 2010 and won the 2009 Cranmore Hill Climb/US Mountain Running Championships.

Max King (Bend, OR), winner of multiple events in 2010, including the US Half Marathon Trail Championships, XTERRA World Championships, and who also placed 16th at the World Mountain Running Championships in Slovenia.  King also was second US finisher at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Spain in March of 2011.

Kevin Tilton (North Conway, NH), a two time member of the US Mountain Running Team, who also won the Cranmore Hill Climb in both 2008 and 2010.

Tommy Manning (Colorado Springs, CO), who was 3rd at the 2010 Cranmore Hill Climb, finished 6th at the US Mountain Running Championships in 2010 at Mt. Washington, and was the third US finisher at the World Mountain Running Championships in Slovenia last year.

Ryan Woods (Boone, NC) who has a personal best of 13:50 at 5000 meters on the track but also is no stranger to mountain and trail running.  He won the La Sportiva Mountain Cup in 2010 and who also finished 2nd at both the 2009 and 2010 10k US Trail Running Championships.

Matt Byrne (Scranton, PA), who finished 3rd at Cranmore in 2009, and 4th at Mt Washington in 2008.  Byrne has been a two time member of the mountain running team, including the 2008 Bronze medal team.

Jared Scott (Flagstaff, AZ), who finished first at the Don’t Fence Me In 30K Trail Race, as well as a 6th place finish at the US Snowshoe National Championships.

Mario Mendoza (Bend, OR), who was the USATF Trail Runner of the year in 2010 and finished 3rd at the USA 15k Trail Championships in 2011.  Mario also finished 3rd at the 2010 XTERRA National Championships.

Peter Maksimow (Manitou Springs, CO), a member of the 2005 mountain running team, who has been showing strong prominence in Colorado with wins at the mostly-uphill Run to the Shrine 10k in 39:16. Maksimow also  recently won the Cheyenne Mountain Trail Race 25k and Greenland Trail 50k.

Judson Cake (Bar Harbor, ME) who has shown dominance in New England in trail running, snowshoe racing and road racing, will compete in his first USA Mountain Running championships.

The women’s field includes:

Brandy Erholtz (Evergreen, CO), a three time member of the US mountain running team,  and two time champion at the Mount Washington Road Race, Erholtz comes in looking to repeat or better her second place win at the 2009 Cranmore Hill Climb.

Chris Lundy (Sausalito, CA) looks to repeat her win at the 2009 Cranmore Hill Climb.  Lundy is a four-time member of the mountain team, and was a member of both of the US Women Gold Medal Teams in 2006 and 2007.

Gina Lucrezi (Natick, MA) finished in fifth at the 2009 Cranmore Hill Climb and won the 2010 edition.  She also was the USATF-NE Mountain Running Champion in 2010, scoring the first ever 600 point perfect score in the 6 race New England mountain circuit.

Kasie Enman (Huntingdon, VT) was the 4th place finisher at the 2009 Cranmore Hill Climb and has been a top 3 finisher at the Mt. Washington Road Race.  Enman was the top New Englander at the 2008 US Olympic Marathon trials in Boston.  Kasie recently set a new course record at the Northfield Mountain race in May 2011.

Laura Haefeli (Del Norte, CO) who is an excellent downhill runner is the sole American woman to win an individual medal at the World Mountain Running Championships (2007) and was a member of the 2004, 2005 teams and gold medal winning women’s team in 2007.  She is also a former record holder of the Masters Record at the Mt. Washington Road Race.  Haefeli finished in 3rd place in 2009 at Cranmore when it last served as the US Mountain Champs.

Megan Lund (Basalt, CO) is a two time member of the mountain running team and two-time Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier.  Megan finished 16th at the 2009 World Mountain Running Championships and finished in 6th Place at the 2009 Cranmore race.

Amber Moran (Skyland, NC) is an accomplished road and trail runner with a 17:00 5km personal best who finished in 8th place at the 2009 Cranmore Hill Climb and in 7th place at the 2010 US Mountain Running Championships at Mt. Washington.

Michele Suszek (Loveland, CO) is an Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier and has won 5 marathons over her career.  Her marathon PR is a 2:38 at the 2009 Seattle Marathon.  Suszek also finished second at the 2010 Xterra National Championships

Ashley Arnold (Carbondale, CO) is a trail and ultra runner with an impressive 3rd place finish at the 2010 edition of the grueling Leadville 100 Mile Ultramarathon.  Ashley is a winner of multiple ultra marathons and most recently took third place at the Jemez Mountain 13 Mile race in Los Alamos, New Mexico.

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The Cranmore Hill Climb is not just for elite athletes but is also open to any runners willing to test themselves against the mountain.  Complete race information and registration can be found at www.whitemountainmilers.com/cranmore.   The race would not be possible without its sponsors, including Northeast Delta Dental, Inov-8, Hammer Nutrition, USATF New England and Julbo USA.