The second North American Central American Caribbean Mountain Running Championships will be held on Saturday, June 4 as part of the Gore-Tex USA 10 km National Trail Championships in Vail, Colorado. At the inaugural NACAC event in 2004 held at Vail Colorado’s Teva Vail HillClimb, a 7.5-mile uphill race, the U.S. won in both the men’s and women’s divisions with Canada in second position.
Teams consist of up to four members with the top two finishers scoring. The U.S. team includes the following athletes:
Andy Ames, 41, Boulder, CO was a member of the 2004 Teva USA Mountain Running Team and placed 47th in the World Mountain Running Trophy in Sauze d’Oulx, Italy. He placed sixth at the Masters Mountain Running World Championships also in Sauze d’Oulx. Ames was the Masters Trail Running National Champion in 2004 where he finished fifth overall at the Teva Spring RunOff. In 2004 he was the masters mountain running National Champion at the Mount Washington Hill Climb where he finished sixth overall. Ames was named USAT Masters Mountain Runner of the Year 2004. Past victories include US Skyrunning Vertical Kilometer in 1998 and Kokopeli Supermarathon (100 mile stage race over 5 days), Vail Hill Climb in 1995 and 1998, Vail Half marathon in 1995.He finished as high as second in the Pikes Peak Ascent (1994). Ames is a sales director for XL sports in Boulder.
Eric Blake, 26, Plattsburgh, NY, finished 33rd in 2004 Olympic Marathon Trials, and was the 9th American at the 2004 ING NYC Marathon. Last year as a member of the Teva US Mountain Running Team Blake finished 28th at the 2004 World Mountain Trophy in Sauze D’Oulx, Italy. He was third at USA Mountain Championships at Mt. Washington 2004 where he earned his spot on the mountain team. He also finished fifth at the 2003 USA Mountain Championships in Vail. He is the 1996 Connecticut High School XC State Open Champion. Blake is the Plattsburgh State University Head Men and Women’s Cross-Country and Assistant Track Coach.
Simon Gutierrez, 39, Alamosa, CO, is a three-time Teva US Mountain Running Team member and was the first American at last year’s World Trophy where he finished 17th overall. At his first Pikes Peak Ascent, he was victorious in 2003. Gutierrez is a seve-time winner of the La Luz Mountain Race and two-time Mt Washington Hill Climb champion. He is a three-time USA world cross country team member and a 1983 High School cross country All American. At age 17 Gutierrez set the still standing road 10km record of 29.45. He is employed as a physical therapist.
Josiah Middaugh, 26, Vail, CO enters his third year as a pro triathlete in 2005 and is equally adept at snowshoe racing. He won the 2004 XTERRA Central Championship in Keystone Colorado, was third in the XTERRA West Championship, first in the XTERRA Canada Championship, and third overall and first American at the XTERRA USA Championship, earning the title of XTERRA USA National Champion. He is the 2005 North American Snowshoe Champion and was first at the 2005 Mt Taylor Winter Quadrathlon. Middaugh was a top finisher at last year’s Teva Spring RunOff and Teva Vail HillClimb. Middaugh holds a B.S. in Health Promotion and Rehabilitation from Central Michigan University where he competed in Division I Cross Country and Track. He is a Personal Training and Metabolic Testing Coordinator at the Vail Cascade Spa and Club.
Anita Ortiz, 40, Eagle, CO is a two-time USATF Mountain Runner of the Year (2002 and 2003), USATF Masters Mountain Runner of the Year 2004, three-time Teva US Mountain Running Team member, and top American at each of the three WMRT events she has participated in (11th in 2002, 8th in 2003, 11th in 2004), and four-time winner of the Pikes Peak Ascent. She was the overall winner at the WMRA World Masters Mountain Running Championships the week before the WMRT in 2004. Ortiz is a graduate of Colorado State University and received her Master in Education at Florida State with an impressive 4.0 average. Ortiz teaches kindergarten at Eagle Valley Elementary and has four children.
Laura Haefeli, 37, Del Norte, CO earned her spot on the 2004 Teva US Mountain Running Team as the second US finisher at Mt Washington and finished a solid 15th place at the World Mountain Running Trophy (second American). She is the 2004 USATF 10K Trail National Champion and winner of the 2004 Teva Vail HillClimb. Equally talented in summer biathlon (running and marksmanship), Haefeli is aseven time National Champion and a nine-time National Team Member. Running since the sixth grade, she competed in the 800m, 1600m, and cross country in high school, was an All-American during her senior year in college at the University of Dayton and was twice named All-Ohio Runner of the Year. Her PRs include 34:47 for 10K, 8K – 27:33, 5K – 16:50.Laura and her husband Tom are beekeepers and sell honey andwax. She is the mother of three young children.
Lisa Isom 33, Vail, CO is a two-time Teva US Mountain Running Team member (2003 as alternate and 2004). She finished second at the 2004 Teva Vail HillClimb which hosted the inaugural North American Central American Caribbean championships. Isom is a talented multi-sport athlete having won the US Qualifier for the UTI Winter Triathlon (snow running, snow biking, skate-skiing) World Championships in Wildhaus, Switzerland in March. She is a professional off-road triathlete, wife, and mother of a fou-year-old daughter named Wilder. She works full-time as the Director of Recreation for a private golf resort in Colorado.
Erica Larson 33, Los Alamos, NM competes on both trails and roads. As the first female American finisher at the Mount Washington Road Race, she became the 2004 Women’s USATF Mountain Running Champion and was on the 2004 Teva US Mountain Running Team where she finished 24th overall. She is a four-time women’s winner of the Pikes Peak Marathon and the women’s course record holder at the Leadville Marathon. Other 2004 highlights include a 35th place finish at the 2004 US Women’s Olympic Marathon Trials and a 1st place finish at the inaugural Rock ‘n Roll Arizona half-marathon. Her PRs are 2:41:42 for the marathon and 1:17:51 for the half-marathon.