Last summer, mountain runner Andy Wacker took the Silver medal while leading the Men’s USATF Mountain Running Team to earn a Silver at the 2015 Long Distance Mountain Running Championships held at the Zermatt Marathon in Switzerland. Wacker, a CU Buff alumni competed on the track and has run as fast as sub 14 minutes for the 5k later turned his attention to the trails over the last few years where he has been second at the Pikes Peak Ascent, second at the Mt Washington road race in New Hampshire, and 2nd at the 2014 BolderBOULDER. Wacker is also a coach for Revolution Running and works at Roll Recovery.

He is one of three returning team members including Peter Maksimow of Manitou Springs, CO that will compete in this year’s World Mountain Running Association Championships on June 18 in Podbro, Slovenia. The race will be held in conjunction with the Gorski Marathon which will challenge runners with technical trails, and massive elevation gain and loss as it climbs out of the narrow valley of the Baca River.

The US women’s team has veteran Team USA ladies in Megan Kimmel, Silverton, CO, Maria Dalzot, Bellingham, WA, Anita Oritz, Eagle, CO, and Amber Reece-Young, Asheville, NC, while Kristina Pattison, Louisville, CO, joins her first US Team. The US men’s team returns all three of last year’s scoring team members, led by 2015 individual silver medalist Andy Wacker, Boulder, CO, along with Peter Maksimow, Manitou Springs CO, and Mario Mendoza, Bend, OR. Matt Shryock,  Anchorage, AK, and Ted Farley, Bozeman, MT, are new to the team.

Andy waxes poetics about the upcoming experience

“From the snowy peaks of the Triglav to the shores of Lake Bled, America wants to win gold in Slovenia! You may ask, how can a group of rugged, trailblazing frontiersmen from the American West dare to compete against the storied history and unequaled class of European mountain running? Well, like the snowmelt beer that comes from our mountain streams, it takes patience, as the heat and pressure sculpt the raw ingredients into something unique and spectacular. While the Rockies and Cascades, have made us, we will conquer the Julian Alps of Slovenia. And, if all our training: miles, planks, and American IPAs, have served us well, we will earn another Gold for the Red White and Blue! So “hop hop”, hurry up, June, we are ready to take on the hardest, most technical trail marathon you can throw at us! I hope you cheer us on, and if you see a bunch of Yanks drinking 400-year-old Maribor grapevine wine and singing the Star Spangled Banner on June 18th, you’ll know we did our part to represent the Stars and Stripes.”

Andy Wacker leads team USA in the World Champs

Andy Wacker leads team USA to Sliver in the Long Distance Mountain Running Championships last year in Zermatt, Switzerland.

 

The US Men’s team have claimed gold twice and silver twice over the last 13 years the championships have been held. The US Women’s teams have claimed gold three times and bronze once.