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Tuesday, July 21 2015 - Nick Elson and Chessa Adsit-Morris Crowned Canadian Champions
Chessa Adsit-Morris and Nick Elson were crowned not only Canadian but also NACAC Champions at this past weekend's mountain running championships in Vancouver, BC. Both received the Jim Clampett Award which is awarded to the top overall male and female in the Canadian Championships.

The race also featured competitions at various age categories, including juniors and masters athletes. A full list of the Canadian medalists at the national championships are as follows:

JUNIOR MEN
1 1:08:38 Jared Welsh
2 1:12:47 Austin Sutherland
3 1:16:56 Hunter Sones

OPEN MEN
1 54:09 Nick Elson
2 55:32 Kristopher Swanson
3 56:30 Shaun Stephens-

OPEN WOMEN
1 1:06:56 Chessa Adsit-Morris
2 1:09:01 Sarah Bergeron-Larouche
3 1:09:48 Jessica Kaiser

MEN 40-49
1 1:04:07 Mike Murphy
2 1:14:55 Patrick Jones
3 1:16:24 Mario Villemure

WOMEN 40-49
1 1:22:50 Rebecca Sherlock
2 1:25:44 Keri McKenzie

MEN 50-50
1 1:38:58 Gordon Flett
2 1:49:50 David Currie

WOMEN 50-59
1 1:33:01 Sylvia Moffett
2 1:34:48 Natalie Zinetti
3 1:47:02 Jayne Nelson

MEN 60+
1 1:49:08 David Fouchard
2 2:38:09 Ken Cox

WOMEN 60+
1 1:56:13 Barbara Binns

Full Results
Saturday, July 18 2015 - Triple Gold for Canada at NACAC Mountain Running Championships
At today’s NACAC Mountain Running Championships at Cypress Mountain, host country Canada swept the top four places in the men’s race and also placed their top woman in gold-medal position. However, the U.S. women kept their streak alive to again win team gold.

First across the line in 54:09, was 31-year-old Nick Elson from Squamish, Canada who just last week paid a visit to Cypress Mountain to run parts of the 11-kilometer course that he was unfamiliar with. He had run some sections of the course in the past during the Knee Knacker Trail Race so had some experience with the terrain. But Elson, in spite of winning the 2014 Squamish 50 miler, and placing a solid fifth at the recent Mount Marathon in Seward, Alaska, had never represented Team Canada in international mountain racing. “I raced for Team Canada as a ski mountaineer this past season and finished 37th at the World Cup in Verbier, Switzerland. I think ski mountaineering is helpful in transitioning to mountain racing,” said Elson. “For ski mountaineering, you’re basically trained to go uphill fast.”

At today’s race, Elson showed equal prowess on the downhill. “I was in fourth until the top of Black Mountain. Kris Swanson (teammate) was really strong climbing up Black Mountain. It was in full sun and I was really struggling to keep those guys in sight. On the other side of the climb, it was much more technical and on the downhill I was able to take the lead. On the final descent, I think that is where I increased my lead. I think today my downhill was stronger than my uphill.”

Asked whether he considered himself an uphill or downhill specialist, Elson said, “On a good day, hopefully I’m somewhat equal.”

The Canadian men finished all four of their team members, before the first U.S. runner crossed the line therefore creating a sweep of the podium and gold for Team Canada. Second for Team Canada was Kristopher Swanson in 55:32, and in third Shaun Stephens-Whale in 56:30.

Josh Eberly was first for Team USA in fifth overall timed in 57:29. Close behind was fellow team member Ryan Woods in 57:42, and Jordan Chavez in 1:00:08 to round out the scoring.

For local Vancouverite, 32-year-old Chessa Adsit-Morris, the women’s victory was unexpected. “I was not prepared for that – winning. The U.S. ladies kicked my ass last year at World and I just assumed they would do the same here. I’m very pleased with my

Adsit-Morris led from the start. “My plan was to take it out from the gun and push as hard as I could to the top of the climb and then hopefully have enough of a lead for the downhill. I had a bit of an ankle injury last month and wasn’t sure how much I could push the downhill.”

Having never been on the course, Adsit-Morris acknowledged, “The course was a bit more technical than I was expecting. I think it was a bit more technical that most people were expecting. Sometimes I find that it’s better for me (not to preview the course), so I just take it as it comes. I decided not to pre run it and just go run hard.”

Adsit-Morris clocked a 1:06:56 and was followed 16 seconds later by top U.S. runner Megan Roche who led her team to gold. In third was second U.S. runner and 2013 World Mountain Running junior champion Mandy Ortiz in 1:08:16, followed by Canada’s Sarah Bergeron-Larouche in fourth in 1:09:01. Megan Lizotte finished fifth for Team USA timed in 1:09:51, to round out the top three scoring members of Team USA with 10 points, just one point ahead of Team Canada.

 “I’m just really happy to have a win,” said Canadian team leader Adrian Lambert who also was the NACAC organizer this year. “It was a very competitive race. The women’s race was great and I’m obviously very pleased with how our men did. And what a day for it too. Simply beautiful.”

USA team leader Richard Bolt echoed Lambert’s thoughts on the weather, “The sunny, warm weather was a big improvement over 2012 when we had cold, rain, and foggy conditions at the same location at the same time of year.

“The overall festive atmosphere of the 5 Peaks Race (which hosted the race along with its 6k sport race, 11k enduro, and kids races) is a really good environment to have the NACAC Championships. The course was very technical and challenging at Cypress Mountain and more technical than many World Mountain Champs or US Mountain Champs courses. I think our U.S. athletes raced well overall. Some athletes may not have raced as fast as they hoped, but nobody had a bad race.”

This is the twelfth consecutive year that the NACAC Mountain Championship have been held, with the event rotating being the U.S., Mexico, and Canada. This is the fourth time for Canada to serve as host, having been the venue for the championships in 2007, 2010, (at Canmore, Alberta), and 2012 at Cypress Mountain. 

Nancy Hobbs represented the WMRA, and Bill Roe, USATF Long Distance Running chairperson was also on site at the event.

(Press Release Written by Nancy Hobbs representative of WMRA)
Wednesday, July 1 2015 - Team Canada at NACAC Championships Announcement
We are pleased to announce the athletes who will represent team Canada at the NACAC Championships on July 18th, 2015:

WOMEN

Chessa Adsit-Morris (Vancouver, BC)
Sarah Bergeron-Larouche (Quebec, QC)
Meggan Franks (originally from Alberta, now living in Starkville, MS)
Catrin Jones (Victoria, BC)


MEN

Olivier Babineau (Moncton, NB)
Nick Elson (Squamish, BC)
Kristopher Swanson (Victoria, BC)
Shaun Stephens-Whale (Victoria, BC)


The women’s team boasts four athletes who have all finished in the top 60 at the World Mountain Running Championships. Meggan Franks and Sarah Bergeron-Larouche both finished in the top 50 at the 2013 World Mountain Running Championships in Poland. Meggan ran 17:42 for 5k earlier this year after taking a break from competitive running in 2014 to have a baby. Sarah is the reigning World Snowshoe Champion in the 10k distance. Catrin finished 51st at the 2012 World Mountain Running Championships in Italy and won this year’s Canadian Long Distance Mountain Running Championships. Chessa Adsit-Morris was the top Canadian (57th) at last year’s World Mountain Running Championships in Italy.

The men’s team includes a mix of Canadian national team veterans and newcomers to the team. Kris Swanson is the most experienced mountain runner on this year’s squad for men or women. He competed at the World Mountain Running Championships in six of the last seven years and has a best finish of 30th place from the 2010 World Mountain Running Championships in Slovenia. Shaun Stephens-Whale boasts an even longer connection to the national team, having represented Canada as a junior in 2006 and more recently, represent Canada last year at the World Mountain Running Championships in Italy. Olivier Babineau was 10th at the national championships last year and won the 22km event at the Mt. Sutton Xtrail race in Quebec. He was 9th at the World Snowshoe Championships earlier this year. Nick Elson was the Canadian Champion in the Long Distance Mountain Running course last year in Revelstoke, BC and boasts a season’s best of 31:58 for 10k.

The national team shared their thoughts on competing on home soil on a tough course.

On racing on home soil:
“I’m very excited that NACAC is at home this year. Vancouver is one of my favorite places to race.” (Meggan Franks)
“I am most excited about having friends and family either racing with me or cheering me on; it is so nice to have the positive energy around you and hear your name being yelled throughout the course. (Chessa Adsit Morris)
“I’m definitely looking forward to high level of competition and exploring a new network of trails in our beautiful country…. ” (Olivier Babineau)
“I live in Squamish and train on terrain similar to that of the race. I suspect that many of the visiting runners may be surprised by the poor footing on our local trails.” (Nick Elson)
“Representing Canada while so close to home will be exciting. It will provide my family with the opportunity to witness Canada’s great battle against the formidable US and Mexico.” (Shaun Stephens-Whale)

On the course
“I’m looking forward to the climbs [and] to the suffering.” (Meggan Franks)
“The course looks relatively flat apart from that one climb so I expect a fast race and I’m definitely looking forward to the last descent.” (Olivier Babineau)
“The steep uphill will provide a good test of my mountain legs, while the out-and-back portion of the course will give a good gauge on the competition.” (Shaun Stephens-Whale)
“Like all mountain races, it looks like it will be challenging. For me, 11km's is considered quite short as I normally train for marathons and 50km trail races, so I think the hardest aspect of the race for me is going to be finding the strength to push hard very early on in the event.” (Catrin Jones)

"It is true that I am racing in my country, but I don’t know Cypress Mountain and it is 5191km far away from where I live. ... However, I am pretty excited to discover the course and to race on a competitive level." (Sarah Bergeron-Larouche)

On the joys of mountain running
“What is great about mountain running is that there are so many memorable places and beautiful mountain views.” (Chessa Adsit-Morris)
After running with his father in Yosemite National Park: “The multifaceted landscape really opened my eyes to a new method of exploring and from that moment on I knew I wanted to try mountain running.” (Olivier Babineau)
“What I appreciate about mountain running is being able to get out and have adventures in cool places and call it training.” (Nick Elson)
"I was a member of the national team in 2013 and raced in World Mountain running in Poland. ...I always like to meet people that share the same passion as I do; trail running is like a big family!" (Sarah Bergeron-Larouche)
Thursday, January 26 2017 - 5Peaks to Host Canadian Mountain Running Championships in Canmore, Alberta on June 10th, 2017
Tuesday, January 10 2017 - 2017 Canadian Long Distance Mountain Running Champs return to Kal Park 50
Sunday, September 11 2016 - Solid Performances from Team Canada at World Championships
Friday, September 9 2016 - Canadian Team Arrives in Bulgaria
Sunday, June 26 2016 - Spence and Elson win Canadian Mountain Running Championships
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