Friday, June 8, 2012

Footzone Dirty Half - USA 1/2 Marathon Trail Champs Preview

Bend, OR ------ For the third year in a row, the renowned trail running town of Bend, OR will host the USA Half Marathon Trail Championships - part of the Footzone Dirty Half. This is the 11th installment of this trail popular event which will be held on Sunday, June 10 at 8:00 a.m.

A deep field, including defending champion Max King, is slated to compete. Leading the women’s competition will be 2011 USA NACAC Mountain Running Team members Gina Lucrezi and Amber Moran as well as defending masters champion Katie Caba. Other top athletes include defending men’s masters champion Tim Van Orden and 2011 USA NACAC Mountain Running Team member Mario Mendoza. Local trail speedsters Jeff Caba and Chris Rennaker will also toe the starting line located in front of Breedlove Guitars on the West side of Bend.

2011 1/2 Marathon Trail Champion Max King

These top athletes and other USA Track & Field (USATF) members will vie for the $2500 in cash prizes. The prize money breakdown is: $500 for first, $300 for second, $200 for third and $250 for the top masters. The prize giving ceremony will be held immediately after the race. Prize money is provided courtesy of Visit Bend - the city of Bend, Oregon’s visitors bureau.

“We are expecting about 800 runners and almost as many spectators for our event,” said USATF Championship Liaison Richard Bolt. “I’ve really enjoyed connecting with the USATF athletes and learning a bit more about them and their passion for trail running. We’re really making this more than another trail race. With the excellent support from the community, sponsors, and volunteers, this is going to be a celebration of trail running. One very hard run followed by some fun afterwards.”

The course starts in the Northwest Crossing neighborhood of Bend and heads out on a paved road for the first ¾ mile. From there it’s a whole lot of flat, fast trails that are part of network originating from the popular Phil’s Trailhead. Total climb and descent for the course is 700’ - not extremely steep by most trail running standards but at over 4000’ elevation it will be a challenge for lowland runners coming from outside the area. A course map can be found here:

Race Director "Super" Dave Thomason confirms there will be plenty of post-race goodies with tasty yum-yums provided by Nancy P's Bakery, Burritos provided by The Taco Stand and lots of other food at the finish. A band and beer-garden will be there for runners enjoyment as well, serving Deschutes Brewery's award winning Down and Dirty Ale.

Race day information for participants can be found here: