USA mountain running team selection begins.

by Dave Dunham <>

The 40th running of the Mount Washington road race served as one of this years selection races for the USA team.  The team will compete in the Mountain running World championships in Bergen Germany on September 10th.  The top two men and the top woman at Mount Washington along with the top man and woman at the Vail Hill Climb (July 2nd ) are automatically selected to the US team.

This years Mount Washington race featured temperatures in the 80’s with high humidity at the base, and 50 degrees with 50 mile per hour winds and 30’ visibility in fog at the summit.  The 7.6m base to summit climb of over 5000’ feet was won by the course record holder, Daniel Kihara, in 59:24. Kihara’s time was the fifth fastest ever run.  Kihara’s countryman (Kenya) Joseph Kibor ran the second fastest debut time of 60:04 to take second, his time was also the seventh fastest ever run.

Dave Dunham, a 3 time winner of the race, took third overall (62:48) and was the first US finisher. Central Mass. Striders teammate Eric Morse placed fourth overall (64:54) and second US. Morse and Dunham accepted the automatic selection.  On the women’s side first timer Alice Muriithi took the win in 77:26.  Julie Peterson took third overall and first US with an 83:00.  1980 Boston Marathon winner Jacqueline Gareau finished second in 78:43.  Peterson has yet to decide on accepting the selection to the US team.  Mountain Athletics ™ Timberland is sponsoring the top man and woman at both Mount Washington and Vail with a $500 stipend for travel to the World event.

The field of 891 included six men and two women who have been past members of the US mountain running team. Former team members were Dunham (1992-1999), Morse (1996-1999), Dan Verrington in 5th (1995-1999), Mike Casner in 6th (1995,1997-98), Richard Bolt in 8th (1999), and Stephen Peterson in 10th (1996).  On the men’s side the only US finisher not previously on the US team was Fergus Cullen.  Cullen recently finished third in the USATF NE mountain running championships behind Morse and Dunham.  Peterson (1999) and Suzy West (1999) 4th in 84:20 were previously on a US team.  West was also the winner of this years USATF NE mountain running circuit.
Eric Morse is a 11 time USATF NE Champion, and Vermont runner of the year 9 times.  Eric finished first in the USATF NE mountain circuit in 1997, 1999, and 2000.  He was the USATF NE mountain running champion in 1998 and 1999.   Eric has finished 2nd at Mount Washington in 1997 and 1998.  Morse has PR’s of 3:59 mile, 14:17 5k, 29:29 10k and 63:50 ½ marathon.  Eric place 47th (1996) 3rd U.S., and 37th (1997) 2nd U.S. at mountain running world championships. 

Dunham was a 7 time All-American at the University of Lowell.  He qualified for the US Olympic trials in the marathon (1992 and 2000).  Dave was the 2nd U.S. finisher at the World cup marathon in Athens Greece (1995).  Dave finished 1st in the USATF NE mountain circuit in 1996 and 1998, and was the runner-up in 1999 and 2000.  Dave was named New England runner of the year in 1992.  He has PR’s of 14:08 5k, 29:17 10k, 65:02 ½ marathon, and 2:19:28 marathon.  Dave was the top US finisher at the 1992-96 world mountain championships with places of 9th, 2nd, 15th, 46th, 19th, and 34th (second U.S.).

Morse currently leads the USATF NE grand prix with Dunham 1 point behind.  The grand prix includes 7 races from 5k to the marathon each of which serves as the New England championship.  Both Morse and Dunham ran the USATF 10k championship on Saturday, followed by the final race in the mountain circuit on Sunday, and wrapped up their seven day racing schedule with the Mount Washington climb.

Dunham, Morse and Bolt will be travelling to Vail CO to take part in the western selection race on July 2nd

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