Monday, December 10, 2007

2008 USATF Championship Races

The USATF has announced locations of their 2008 Mountain/Ultra/Trail (MUT) Championships on their Web site:

2008 MUT Championships

March 2 – USA 50 km Championship
Caumsett State Park 50 km
Huntington, NY

April 12 – USA 100 km Championship
Mad City 100 km
Madison, WI

June 8 - USA Trail Marathon Championship (pending)
Deadwood-Michelson Trail Marathon
Deadwood, SD

June 21 – USA Mountain Running Championship
Mt. Washington Road Race
Gorham, NH

June 29 – USA 10 km Trail Championship

Steamboat Springs, CO

July 19 – USA 100 Mile Trail Championship
Tahoe Rim 100 Mile Trail Run
Lake Tahoe, NV

July 26 – USA 50 Mile Trail Championship
White River 50 Mile Trail Run
Crystal Mountain, WA

August 16 – USA 100 km Trail Championship
Where’s Waldo 100 km Trail Run
Waldo Lake, OR

October 11 – USA 50 Mile Championship
Tussey Mountainback 50 Miler
Boalsburg, PA

The press release did mention the San Francisco Headlands, so I'm wondering if they forgot the Headlands 50k Trail Championship held in August.


  1. I checked out the 100M Trail Champs site and they have a strict requirement that you do 12 hours of volunteer work just to get in the race.

    My reading of this is that USATF is now mandating that we must do and document volunteer work before even attempting to be a national champion. I know that is a PC approach but I don't personally agree with it. This is not Western States, this is for a national championship race. I'm curious what others think about this new type of requirement. Is it new?, I haven't researched championship races over the last couple years.

    I will add that the requirement is liberal in that you can do the service anywhere in your community within the next seven months. But what about the young guy, working a job to support himself and his college loans while doing the training required to race a hundred miles? Doesn't this provide another barrier to younger runners getting into the sport?

  2. Stephen, the barrier is the same for all, younger or older. Don't forget, once you grow more grey hair, you also add kids to the mix of work/pay/training, not to mention that spouse/SO who wants some attention as well. So if it required - just swallow it up and find a few 3-4 hr "breaks" in you life, make them happen, sacrifice some sleep over it, whatever it takes. All it does is encourages that our trails are in good shape, and our races are stuffed with volunteers - after all, don't we all want that?

  3. Olga, I like the way you phrased it as "the barrier". That's exactly the point I'm trying to make! Why is there a barrier to anyone, young or old, to running a 100M Championship race? Isn't 100M enough already? You have to train and then run for 24 hours. You have to pay money to get in the race, that we all expect. And then you have to prove you volunteer for 12 hours?

    I only ask that a USATF event not have such a mandate on how I live the rest of my life. Keep it simple and let me help out as I decide, which is probably going to be in a similar way as you.

    I hope others will respond. If I am in the minority then that's good for me to know.

  4. Here are my thoughts: first of all, the word "barrier" was used by you, I just repeated it, I do not think of it as such. Secondly, nobody mandates us anything in life. We are teh ones who decide to run a 100M race - on our own will. The RD's make the rules how to get in: cost, course, cut off's, foods, entry limit, gigs, etc. I don't like it - I find another one (there are so many nowadays) or don't do it at all. Running a 100M race (or any race for that matter) is not a right, but a priviledge. Volunteer requirement is imposed to assure that this particular and other races keep prosper and happen at all. Yes, there was a huge talk on ultra list about use of word "volunteer" and "required" in the same sentence. Lets just close our eyes on this matter - or look up the dictionary and translate is "an unpaid helper" - how is that? If it wasn't required - would you do it? Would you know even if you like it? I had never done a race volunteering until I got into WS and frantically searched for something long enough in NYC where I lived at the time. There was a More marathon - I worked it and was a dedicated volunteer at events ever since. It does NOT take that much time out of my life, yet gives me pleasure. I can skip "A" single long run for a trail work (nothing is going to happen to my training) or arrange things around it (forgo sleep and run at night is an option for once). I'd also like to point out - I am a rebel in nature and hate rules in general, but when they do exist - I use them or don't go there. Like in USATF races - no headphones. I tend to like music. Two choices: don't enter, don't wear. Depending on what else I see in event besides this single negative (to me) - I choose. Main point: it is YOUR idea of entering the race, so the rant about "you have to pay, you have to train..." is not legitimate to me. You don't have to - you choose to. Sorry.

  5. I am with Olga here. Just the fact that you are complaining about the madatory volunteering tells me that you wouldn't do it otherwhise. I am not sure the USATF is conspiring and wants to make it difficult to joing an event like this.what are the alternatives,raising the entry fee to hire enough people to manage an event like this, hire the minumum staff that the entry fee allows and watch how locals shut down the race because of damage to their trails. Tough it up, there are after all lesser known races that do not have such a requirement that you might want to choose to run instead.

  6. If I recollect correctly, the 12 hours of service is a mandate from the TRT Race Mgmt, not the USATF. It's part of the deal they struck with the Tahoe Wilderness Area to be able to have a race on the TRT (they are only one of two races allowed on the TRT each year, and the RD's for both races took years to get the right). It's similar to many 100's that request ~8 hours of service.

    I've personally enjoyed the volunteer time at races, and have often wondered if it is harder than actually racing the race. If you're slammed for time, I would suggest finding a way to combine training and volunteering to make it happen. Each race needs sweeps, cleanup, etc., and you can get a good long run in while you volunteer. I do a bunch of volunteer hours for the County Park near my house by just doing "trash runs", where they select a trail for me to run and pick up trash each weekend and make sure the trail is in good shape.

    Hope you decide to give TRT a shot, Stephen. It's well worth it!


  7. Especially for being a Russian (and I say that with the utmost respect, Olga!), Olga couldn't have said it better: "You don't have to - you choose to."

    Volunteers are needed to operate races. Period. Whether it's TRT's mandate or USATF's mandate doesn't really matter. They just want you to give back to the sport; it's your way of saying "thank you" to the oh-so-many volunteers you'll see out on the course (and many others you won't see) during your 100 miles of fun.

    Volunteering is fun. Don't think of it as a chore that you have to do. You are priveledged to run in these awesome ultras, so it should be your pleasure to give back to the sport.



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