Thursday, 04 October 2012 07:29

Gemini News: Fairchild takes 8th, US Team Gold at the WMR Championships 2012

Guess who just rocked the World Mountain Running Championships? Gemini Event’s 2012 Festival guest speaker, Melody Fairchild did, that’s who! The WMRC’s is an epic international mountain running competition governed by the WMRA. The championships include Senior Men (13km), Senior Women (7.9k), Junior Men (7.9k), and Junior Women (4.1k) events as well as Overall Team. This year’s championship was held on September 2, in the villages of Temu and of Ponte di Legno, Italy. All finished at Tonale Pass, located at 1.884 meters above sea level.

A record of 40 nations competed in the WMRC’s this year. The weather threatened rain but dispelled into a light breeze, opening up a successful race for the United States.

In regards to the Senior Women – Melody took 8th out of 88 category participants, with a time of 48:57, 3 seconds behind her teammate, Stevie Kremer. “Morgan Aritola (USA) took the bronze medal…The USA team were the strongest team taking gold with 3 athletes in the top 10 with just 18 points. Second place went to Italy (29), with Switzerland in third (58).” – Quoted from WMRA, Bashir Husssain.

The 2012 US Women’s Mountain Running Team. From Left to
Right: Stevie Kremer, Brandy Erholtz, Melody Fairchild, and
Morgan Arritola at the qualifying race at Loon Mountain, N.H.

The following is quoted from Melody Fairchild, and will appear in a Flagstaff, AZ publication, interviewed by Ian Torrence,

It was a pleasant surprise to find all four of us running together; I always am energized and motivated with TEAM. (This whole trip was, for me, about TEAM; I feel extremely proud of U.S. mountain running and it’s runners for being a strong presence in the World Mountain Running Scene). I actually was pacing myself. I know that in a marathon, the race doesn’t begin until 20 miles…and in a race where we were to ascend nearly 6,000ft. in the second half of the race, my strategy was to make sure I didn’t feel like I was ‘pushing’ or ‘straining’ before we reached Lauderbrunnen, where the first big climb began. Having not been marathon trained, I was especially conservative early. I look forward to going back trained for the distance, so that my ‘not pushing pace’ can be what the top three were running-probably closer to 6 minute pace, not 6:20’s. It usually is a successful strategy to ‘negative split’ in a distance race…it’s just knowing how to gauge one’s fitness and to get to that edge of out aerobic capacity, without going over the fine line between it and anaerobic, because once one does, in a long distance race, it’s too late to recover. – Melody Fairchild

Following the race, Fairchild ran in the September 8th Jungfrau Marathon, which was awarded host of the World Long Distance Mountain Running Challenge (not considered a World Championship). Fairchild was 2nd American with a time of 3:44, behind Kim Dobson.

It was the biggest race in Europe I have run. It is ‘trail’ in the last third pure ‘road’ the first 12k, and a mix in between. I loved the course; it requires a distance runner to be a versatile athlete and to have a mind with positivity as strong a steel, to keep going in what I found to be the toughest final three miles of any race I have run. I am excited to go back, trained for it and mentally prepared. The challenge physically and the emotional ride of going from clipping along at 6:20 pace to crawling up a 30% grade for two miles with no one around, then hitting the town of Wengen, where thousands of people are cheering you and you have a descent…then beginning to hit the trails…and your Soul’s depths, is awesome. – Melody Fairchild

All WMR Championship results may be found at the WMRA website.

Next year’s WMRA World Mountain Running Championships will be held in Poland on September 8, 2013.