As recent as December of 2000, the Long Distance Running Division of USA Track and Field established the Mountain, Ultra, Trail Sports Council. At first, the USATF Ultra Subcommittee had been established to represent the interests of ultra-marathon runners, but the separate but similar disciplines of mountain running and trail running still lacked recognition. So in 1998, a Joint Subcommittee was founded, which was then elevated to a Running Council. Current Chair Nancy Hobbs has been credited with creating the colorful MUT moniker.
Oregon has a long history with mountain, ultra and trail running. Many Oregon Road Runner Club members will remember the Timberline Run, which developed insane record times around the Timberline and Pacific Crest trails. ORRC has also had a hand in the Oregon Trail Series, which boasts some world-class competition.
One of those races in the Oregon Trail Series, the Where's Waldo 100K, has captured the bid for both 2008 and 2009 USA 100K Trail Championships. The 2008 date is August 16. Where's Waldo is not a beginner-level ultra, but a challenging 100K that runs up and down several mountains, a loop course starting at Willamette Pass. Runners must have completed a 50K or longer race within the last two years in order to be eligible. Many prizes and awards are available, including a prize purse of $4200 in cash.
Another new MUT championship in Oregon is the Northwest Mountain Running Championships, hosted by X-Dog Events. This is a new event, and has been two years in the making, so the chances are it will not disappoint. USATF Sanctioned and a part of the USATF-Oregon Mountain Running Series, the Northwest Mountain Running Championships will be held at Mt Hood on September 21, 2008.
The start and finish will be at Timberline Lodge, and the course will cover six to eight miles of mountain running terrain, including trails, skid roads, and mountain. There is no qualifying necessary. There will be $6,000 in cash to give away, including about $4,000 in prizes. Some of the cash can be earned through a couple primes on the course, and there will be cash for top teams, as well as the Middle of the Pack finisher. Live entertainment is in the works, and travel stipends are available. Entrants can apply for $200 in travel assistance - you don't have to be fast, just creative.
If you want to be involved with the USATF MUT Sport Council, you can contact any member. The Oregon MUT Chair is Bob Latham.