USA was the first women’s team to finish all four athletes over the 8.5 kilometer course at today’s (September 5, 2010) 26th edition of the World Mountain Running Championships in Kamnik, Slovenia.
In spite of this solid finish for the team, the women were a bit disappointed. “It wasn’t the result I was looking for, for myself or the team. Individually, each of us had a top-ten potential so I really thought the gold medal was a realistic goal for us,” said second scoring member for the U.S. team Brandy Erholtz, who finished in 15th position with a time of 53:57.
Adds top U.S. scorer Kristin Price who finished in 12th place timed in 53:19, “I want our team to be medal winners and now I have more of a desire to come back to the World Championships.”
Megan Lund finished in 21st position with a time of 54:44. “I was pretty confident (leading up to the race) that we were going to win. I think the competition was heightened this year. In terms of my own race, I was disappointed. I had a bad start and it took me some time to get back in the race.”
Erholtz saw positive aspects in the team’s effort saying, “We really worked as a team. Nicole (Hunt – the final scorer for team USA in 17th position with a time of 54:08), and I see-sawed on the course. She would lead, then I would lead. We pushed and encouraged each other all the way up the trail.”
When asked to compare the course at the USA 10km Trail Championships which Price won in 2009, to the Worlds course she said, “They wouldn’t compare. This course was much more brutal, the climbs were longer, steeper, and just more intense.”
The total elevation gain was 1035 meters and included some rocky and technical single track trail, as well as open meadows, dirt paths, and even a few descents.
“I excel on the steeps,” said Price, “If it had been all up, it would have been more of a course for me. I was definitely surprised to run as hard and fast as I did on the downhill section at about the 4k mark. I was seventh or eighth at that point. Changing gears to an immediate uphill was tough. I got passed by a few girls. When I got to the final 2k which included some level terrain, I was just trying to maintain my position.”
Erholtz reflected about her race and said, “The start area was really tight and because I was on the front of the line for our team, I knew I had to get a really good position for the other girls. It was the right decision to go out fast and when I look back on my race, I don’t think I’d have done anything differently.”
Austria’s Andrea Mayr won the race with a time of 49:30.
Italy won the women’s team title with a score of 17, followed by Switzerland with 21 points, and Russia with 36 points. Team USA scored 44 to take the fourth team position, and fifth-place finisher Czech Republic posted a score of 59.
Next year’s World Mountain Running Championships will be held on an up/down loop course in Albania on September 11. Follow the USA Team Blog here.