Morgan Arritola of Ketchum, Idaho (USA) took the mountain running community by storm at the World Championships in Ponte di Legno, Italy, finishing 3rd overall in the women's category. Arritola, running only her second mountain running race, pushed her limits in a field of elite runners from around the world, leading Team USA to an overall team gold. Finishing ahead of Arritola, Andrea Mayer (AUT) took gold and local favorite Valentina Bellotti (ITA) took silver. After two days of rainy, cold weather, the mountains around Ponte di Legno cleared and runners were greeted with ideal racing weather, between 10-15 °C (50-59 ° F). The women's course contained 760 m (2,490 ft) of elevation gain in just over 8.8 km.
Morgan Arritola, 400m from the finish at Ponte di Legno
In an interview after the race, Arritola noted "it was reallyt hard, it's my second mountain running race [ever], so I really like it. Andrea [Mayer] was very fast on the uphills, so it was very tough...it's beautiful, a perfect course." Following her career as a US Nordic ski team member, Arritola also reflected on the nature of competition: "you always want to win, you have to go into every raxe wanting to win, but I'm happy. I did all I could today, and today that was bronze."
Team USA with a team gold. L to R: Morgan Arritola, Stevie Kremer, Brandy Erholtz, and Melody Fairchild.
In the men's race, SCOTT had a strong showing from team runners Marco De Gasperi (ITA), who finished 7th overall, and Joseph Gray (USA) who finished 14th overall. Also notable from the SCOTT women's team was Monika Furholz (CH), who finished 16th overall.
Marco De Gasperi (ITA) pushes hard to the finish line for 7th.
To all of the SCOTT athletes who competed at the Worlds, congratulations!
Photo credit: Nancy Hobbs