BigO Tyres

Apply For The U.S. International U18 Mountain Running Cup Team Apply For The U.S. International U18 Mountain Running Cup Team
Now is the time to apply to be part of the U.S. team that will compete at the 17th International U18 Mountain Running Cup... Apply For The U.S. International U18 Mountain Running Cup Team

Now is the time to apply to be part of the U.S. team that will compete at the 17th International U18 Mountain Running Cup that takes place on June 22.

Applications remain open to compete with the U.S. team as they compete against athletes that are expecting to represent 15 countries in this annual event. This a a 5 kilometer course that includes 224 meters of elevation and descent.

How To Apply For Team USA

According to the American Trail Running Association, athletes must be born in either 2007 or 2008 (age 16-17 as of December 31, 2024). Athletes must also be a U.S. citizen and current USATF member.

Athletes need to fill out the application form including their contact info and accomplishments.

No previous mountain running experience is needed. However, having trail and mountain race results are encouraged in order to be considered.

The deadline to apply for the U.S. team is April 30.

About The U18 Mountain Running Cup

The 2024 U18 Mountain Running Cup takes place on June 22. Team members will travel to Madrid, Spain  on June 19 to meet members before going to Montaña Palentina. Athletes will travel back home on Sunday, June 23.

Managed by Melody Fairchild and Paul Kirsch this year, the team seeks to continue its recent success. Last year, the men’s team won gold in, and the women’s team won silver at the 2023 Mountain Cup held in Annecy, France.

“Last year’s athletes were so inspirational,” Kirsch told the ATRA.  They truly embraced the spirit of competition on race day as well as taking advantage of the opportunity to interact with the athletes from the other countries.  They really showed the best of what America’s youth can do and how to represent their country.”

“I always enjoy observing our young team members taking in the entire experience of both the race and international travel. These are memories of a lifetime that they all take forward into their athletic and personal endeavors,” continued Kirsch.

Fairchild added, “Supporting US Youth during their International racing competitions is inspiring! I look forward to again assisting this year’s teams in claiming their space among some of the world’s finest youth athletes and building upon our success from last year. Our US Mountain teams are the finest ambassadors for the sport – they are the ‘life of the party’ and make us proud. I can’t wait to help our 2024 teams embrace their awesome opportunity to learn about new cultures and realize how our sport, when we give it our all, opens doors to more opportunity.”

2012 Gold Medal Women’s Team with team staff Paul Kirsch and Ellen Miller.

Both Fairchild and Kirsch were staff on last year’s team. Fairchild’s coaching background includes working with the Boulder Mountain Warriors youth running team, as Junior Team coach for World Cross Country Championship (Uganda, 2017) and as Senior Women’s Coach for World Cross in Arhus, Denmark (2019). She was a member of the 2012 US Mountain Running Team and her 8th place finish helped the US Women’s squad win the gold medal.

Kirsch has been the U20 US Mountain Running Team Manager since 2010, and has traveled extensively internationally. He has been race director of more than 10 USATF Mountain Running Championships as well as a USATF liaison for USATF Mountain Ultra Trail Running Championships.

Kirch spoke to theta 2023 team to get share their impressions.

Rosie Mucharsky-O’Boyle, Denver, CO

“I was fortunate to run for the U18 mountain running team two times, once in Italy and another in France.  Besides running in some of the most beautiful courses I have ever had the opportunity to run on, for me it was the people.

“Becoming close with my USA team, the coaches and other runners from around the world makes it a very special experience.  These are people that have become some of my closest friends and I have no doubt we’ll be connected forever.  In some ways it’s indescribable how wonderful it is. You have to come with the mindset to take in every moment because it goes by quickly.

“My favorite memory of the trip itself was probably the night after the race in France when all of the teams were walking around together and then we all jumped in the lake together and then played soccer. My favorite memory of the race was just when it got so difficult I could look down and see that I was running for my country and it is incredible to run for someone bigger than yourself.”

Will Brunner, Avon, CO
“My favorite part of the trip was getting to meet and hangout with kids from other countries with totally different cultures and languages! I’ve kept in contact with a ton of them and I couldn’t be more grateful to have had the opportunity to meet them!  The best part of the race was getting to run in a US kit and run for something bigger than just myself or my high school!”

Charlotte Tuxbury, Wellesley, MA
“The race was so unique. Running up a mountain was extremely hard but also very fun. Throughout the entire race the view of the mountains was incredible which really helped me get going. Hearing all the different country’s cheers was also super cool during the race. I think overall racing internationally, the competition is a very unique and amazing experience.

“I loved hanging out with the other team USA members and the other runners from different countries. Being able to spend so much time with a bunch of kids your age who have the same interests as you in a different country is such an amazing experience.”

Keeghan Edwards, Highlands Ranch, CO

“One of my favorite memories of the whole experience was later in the evening after the race when everyone hung out at the lake. It was the first time outside of the race that people from almost every team were together, and we had a blast. I got to play soccer and Gaelic football with kids all over Europe, and we all jumped in the lake as well. It was crazy to think that I was becoming good friends with people from around the world!

Keeghan Edwards on the climb in Annecy 2023 U18 Mountain Running Cup. Photo: Andy Wacker.

“My race day highlight was crossing the finish line and finding out that USA girls placed 2nd and USA boys placed first. We definitely went into the race with the goal of making the podium, but the talent from other countries and difficulty of the course was demurring. I remember hearing the news after eagerly waiting for the results, and then we all came together, cheering so loud. It made me realize how special this team and opportunity truly was!”

Benji Anderson, Highlands Ranch, CO

“I loved racing against the best U18 mountain runners in the world, it’s an unreal experience you don’t get very often. Then getting to hang out with so many different people from different countries and learning all the different cultures was so memorable.”

Benji Anderson finishing the U18 race in 2022.

Matthew Edwards, Monument, CO

“I loved hanging out with all of the different countries and bonding through actions even if language was a barrier. A special shout out to the Irish team members!  In the race, my favorite memory was reaching the summit and hearing the cheering and then getting to tackle the descent.”

Top three junior men in Annecy 2023 at U18 Mountain Running Cup. Photo: Andy Wacker

Lauren Keating

No comments so far.

Be first to leave comment below.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *