Congratulations to the ultra ladies Kami Semick and Bev Abbs for finishing 1-2 overall in the ultra category. Both had amazing seasons! Congrats also to Rob Apple for running 577 miles in 11 ultras - he should get a free couch or something.
Dale Reichneder won the marathon-and-under category hands down with his nationwide trek (and the grand prize), with Michael Robbert and Bernie Boettcher not too far behind and each winning their age groups. Tania Pacev pulled ahead of Angela Brunson to win the top female slot and fourth overall. I finished up fifth this year (aka, first loser ;-)).
CARBONDALE, COLO., NOVEMBER 23, 2005 - In its January 2006 issue scheduled to hit newsstands at the end of November, Trail Runner magazine announces the winners of the world's largest trail race series.
The 2005 Trail Runner Trophy Series, co-sponsored by outdoor company LaSportiva, lasted from March 1, 2005 to September 30, 2005, and encompassed 106 North-American trail races and over 20,000 athletes. The Series-divided into two distance divisions (Marathon & Shorter and Ultra)-gave runners the chance to compete for prize packages from sponsor companies and a Grand Prize trip to Italy's Dolomite Mountains. Athletes earned points for completing races, and bonus points for top performances.
Marathon & Shorter Division - Men
Malibu, California, attorney Dale Reicheneder, 39, led the Series from start to finish. He applied his hard-working spirit to the Trophy Series calendar and pieced together a mind-boggling racing schedule that had him traversing the country and Canada. He raced in 23 events, drove a total of 4800 miles to and from them and amassed 60,319 frequent flier miles.
In April, Reicheneder confessed, "I have been given a lot of latitude in leaving work early Friday to fly somewhere--although I'm often racing with only a few hours of sleep and jet lag."
Not even runner-up Michael Robbert of Littleton, Colorado, could match Reicheneder's frantic racing schedule. Robbert, who finished second to Woodside, California's Scott Dunlap in the 2004 Trophy Series, managed to run 13 races-the second-highest total behind Reicheneder. Dunlap also gave chase to Reicheneder, finishing fifth overall.
Reicheneder's relentless summer did take a toll. In mid-June, he said, "The list [of injuries] is long, but I keep pounding away-obviously some days are better than others." After the Series, Reicheneder joked, "More than once, people were calling me 'Ahab' [in Moby Dick the monomaniacal fisherman obsessed with catching a gargantuan whale]."
Reicheneder's race total also clinched the Trail Runner Trophy Series Grand Prize awarded to the athlete completing the greatest number of races. The prize package, provided by LaSportiva, includes a trip for two to the 2006 dolomite Sky Race in Italy, lodging in Italy's scenic Val di Fassa, rental car and two pairs of LaSportiva trail-running shoes.
Says Reicheneder, who is single and has never been to Italy, "I'm really amazed at how all the women I know are begging to go with me-there must be something special about Italy!"
To Reicheneder, however, the Series is about much more than a trip. "It represents a goal that no slouch could ever hope to win," he says. "Certainly, I could buy my own ticket and vacation in Italy anytime, but going by virtue of spending countless hours and miles of training, through the hardships, racing and personal sacrifice, is a feeling of accomplishment that can't be bought with a credit card."
Marathon & Shorter Division - Women
Angela Brunson, 33, from Los Angeles, California, sat in the Trophy Series driver's seat through August. She raced strong at several California events and also traveled to Trophy Series races in Colorado.
Tania Pacev, 45, methodically gained on Brunson with her annual barrage of non-stop racing. Pacev, from Littleton, Colorado, is a prolific competitor and a frequent fixture at many races in the Rocky Mountain region. Her schedule-and top finishes-had her nipping at Brunson's heels as the Series entered its final month.
That's when Pacev found a finishing kick. She sized up the schedule of remaining races and made arrangements to run in three of them. When she won the American Discovery Trail Marathon (Colorado Springs, Colorado) on September 5, she seized control of the Trophy Series lead.
Brunson placed second, first in the 30-39 age group.
Pacev, who also placed well in the Trophy Series Ultra Division, jokes, "I'm one of those people who likes to win overall, not just win the old-broad division."
Top 20 Overall: Trophy Series Marathon & Shorter Division
Ultra Division - Men
Ultra Division Champion Jeff Christian of Beaverton, Michigan, proved that trail running is alive, well and flourishing in the American Midwest. His Trophy Series race schedule focused on America's Heartland and included long-distance epics in Michigan, Illinois and South Dakota.
True to his roll-up-the-sleeves roots, Christian gutted out several top finishes, including an overall win at the Leanhorse Ultra 100-Miler in western South Dakota's Black Hills and a second-place finish at the Sulphur Springs 50-Miler in Ancaster, Ontario (Canada). Surprisingly, Christian, 31, is not a life-long ultrarunning ace. Although he ran high-school cross country (he was the state high-school champ in the two-mile and runner-up in the one-mile), he didn't run all through his twenties. Shortly before he turned 30, he took a look in the mirror, realized "I was getting too portly" and began running again. The results speak well of his natural athletic ability and his potential.
Christian barely edged out Kentucky ultraspeedster John Hemsky. Hemsky had an outstanding season, placing second overall in both the Kettle Moraine (Wisconsin) and the McNaughton Park (Illinois) 100-Mile Races. Over the course of his summer, Hemsky traveled thousands of miles, from Virginia, where he ran the Massanutten Mountain 100, to South Dakota, where he ran against Christian in the Leanhorse 100. Christian confessed to being a bit nervous and awestruck over the head-to-head showdown, "John Hemsky is one of my idols; it was exciting to run against him."
Ultra Division - Women
100 kilometers-62 miles-is roughly the distance between Denver, Colorado, and Colorado Springs, CO, or twice the distance from Seattle, Washington, to Tacoma, Washington. And Kami Semick, 39, covered that distance in trail races four times to win the Trophy Series Title. The Bend, Oregon, resident had previously run shorter distances, but decided that 2005 was her year to perfect a longer distance.
And she perfected the 100-kilometer distance with gusto. Semick won the competitive Miwok 100K (California), Kettle Moraine 100K (Wisconsin) and Where's Waldo 100K (Oregon). Just for good measure, she also ran the National 50-Mile Trail Championship at the White River 50 (Washington) in late July and finished second in a deep, elite field.
Semick, who is married with a three-year-old daughter, had to earn her Trophy Series stripes, outscoring perennial trail-ultrarunning star Beverly Anderson-Abbs of Red Bluff, California. Anderson-Abbs led in mid August, but Semick's second-place finish at September's Great Eastern Endurance Run 100K (Virginia) put her ahead for good. Semick and Anderson-Abbs finished 1-2 in the overall points standings, as well, beating out all male Trophy Series participants.
Top 20 Overall: Trophy Series Ultra Division
About the Trophy Series
As the world's largest trail-running series, the Trophy Series is a seven-month-long points-based competition with two categories: Marathon and Shorter Distances and Ultra Distances. Participants earn points throughout the series, and the winners receive huge prize packages-including gear packages provided through sponsors Kahtoola, HoneyStinger, Petzl, SofSole, ProTech, Insport, Princeton Tec, Bad to the Bone Endurance Sports, ProTec Atheletics and Maverick Sports Medicine, Montbell, Big Agnes, Injini, Salomon, DeFeet, highGear, Camelbak and Penguin Brands.
For complete details, including full results, additional age-group champions and past news releases, visit www.trailrunnermag.com. Contact Garett Graubins (above) to schedule interviews with any 2005 Trophy Series champions.
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