Thursday, May 04, 2006

New leaders emerge as TRM Trophy Series heads into the summer

The latest update on the 2006 Trail Runner Magazine Trophy Series.

- SD

Fast Fresh Faces:
New leaders emerge as Series heads into the summer

MAY 3, 2006, CARBONDALE, COLORADO-Through the 2006 Series' one-third mark, newcomers have made their presence known. Many veteran trail runners seem to have been caught off guard by top point winners like Paul Stofko, Van Phan, Tracy Thomas, Hugh Davis and Deb Schopp.

"Who?" you may ask. If you don't recognize their names, don't worry. You're likely to spot them at the top throughout the summer. Judging by their swift-footed results at the Series' early races, they are no paper tigers.

Sponsored by LaSportiva and GoLite, the Trail Runner Trophy Series is the world's largest off-road running series. In this its third year, the 2006 Series encompasses over 110 races and more than 20,000 runners from March 1 to September 30. Trophy Series race participants earn points for completing events as well as bonus points for top age-group or overall placing. Runners clash in two divisions: (1) Marathon and Shorter, and (2) Ultramarathon (including any races longer than 26.2 miles-the marathon distance).

For information on the 2006 Series-including a complete race schedule, rules, news and details on points scoring-visit

PLEASE NOTE: All point totals include only Trophy Series races that have submitted their results in the correct format.

Heartlanders run away from field
In the Marathon & Shorter division, 42-year-old Hugh Davis continues to astound and amaze the Trophy Series field-and Series hopefuls may be advised to pick up the pace before he gets too far ahead. The Tell City, Indiana, native has a 92-point lead over his next closest rival, Brian Beckort, also of Tell City.

Thus far, Davis has followed the blue print laid out by previous Trophy Series champions Scott Dunlap (2004) and Dale Reicheneder (2005): he has shown a willingness to travel to garner early-season points. To date, he has fled the corn fields of Indiana for the swamps of Florida (John Holmes 15-Mile Trail Run), stormy hills of Kentucky (Land Between the Lakes 24K Trail Run), and the forests of Maryland (Seneca Creek Greenway Trail Marathon), in addition to Missouri's Double Chubb 25K and Virginia's Bel Monte 25K. With no Trophy Series events in Indiana, Davis could become the first athlete to win a Series championship without scoring one point in his home state.

The big question: can Davis maintain his pace? Or, more specifically, can his body handle the regular pounding of rough-and-tumble racing? Past Trophy Series racers have started hard and succumbed to aches, pains and injuries.

The race for the women's title remains tight, with 25 points separating nine female trail runners. After winning her age group in the Double Chubb 25K and placing second in the 50+ division at the Land Between the Lakes 14.3-Miler Trail Run, 52-year-old Deb Schopp of Ballwin, Missouri, maintains a sliver-thin lead by mere decimal points over a crowd of marathon winners.

Top 10: Trophy Series Marathon & Shorter Division
1. Hugh Davis, Tell City, IN, 273.88 points
2. Brian Beckort, Tell City, IN, 181.28 points
3. Adam Blum, Los Gatos, CA, 145.8 points
4. Deb Schopp, Ballwin, MO, 104.96 points
5. Monika Brachmann, Comus, MD, 104.8 points
6. Courtney Campbell, Berryville, VA, 104.8 points
7. Lucia Davidson, Arlington, VA, 104.8 points
8. Eugene Gignac, New Cumberland, PA, 104.8 points
9. Jen Jacobs, Washington, DC, 104.8 points
10. Keith Moore, Washington, DC, 104.8 points
11. Suzie Spangler, Annapolis, MD, 104.8 points

Van Goes
Maple Valley, Washington, resident Van Phan has rumbled off several solid races-including two wins-in the Northwest and leads her closest Ultra division rivals by 113 points. In March, Phan, 35, won Portland's March Mudness 100K and completed Washington's Chuckanut 50K. In April, she tallied a win at the tough Capitol Peak 50-Miler and a finish at the Peterson Ridge Rumble 34-Miler.

Two Midwest 100-milers trail Phan-Paul Stofko (Chesterton, IN) and Tracy Thomas (Champaign, IL). Both Stofko and Thomas won April's McNaughton Park 100-Miler in Pekin, Illinois, thereby garnering 400 points in just one exhausting weekend of trail running.

World-class ultra speedster Uli Steidl of Shoreline, Washington, lurks slightly behind Phan, Stofko and Thomas, with 324 points. Few, if any, trail runners can match Steidl's legspeed and endurance and he could be one to watch as the summer rounds into full swing. In the Series' first two months, he has notched awe-inspiring overall wins against elite fields at the American River 50-Mile Endurance Run and the Chuckanut 50K.

Top 10: Trophy Series Ultra Division
1. Van Phan, Maple Valley, WA, 513 points
2. Paul Stofko, Chesterton, IN, 400 points
3. Tracy Thomas, Champaign, IL, 400 points
4. Uli Steidl, Shoreline, WA, 324 points
5. Scott Meyers, Oshkosh, WI, 300 points
6. Diane Van Deren, Sedalia, CO, 300 points
7. Sue Johnston, Waterford, VT, 274 points
8. Fred Roberts, Tucson, AZ, 250 points
9. Matt Daniels, Augusta, GA, 248 points
10. Christine Crawford, Whitewater, WI, 244 points

More Beta
For information on the 2006 Series-including a complete race schedule, rules, news and details on points scoring-visit

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  1. Hi Scott,

    the embedded link to yourself in the article does not seem to work.

    Good luck with your 100k race this week-end!

    Mick (UK)

  2. Van is tough and is not going to let off! She is a fighter...if only she could travel more, she would have no competition...but I am afraid her position might slip a bit once the big 100s and such start. She is one cookie you want to watch out for, now and the future. She is also a member of a crazy MarathonManiacs club, thus she races every weekend in any distance above marathon.

  3. MarathonManiacs indeed! That's a crazy club.

    Mick - thanks for the edit.



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