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GNAR GNAR Race to Host Sixth Annual Collegiate Mountain Running National Championships 

2020 Collegiate Mountain Running Championships Return to Oregon

February 3, 2020 - RICHMOND, VA – The Collegiate Running Association has announced the sixth-annual Collegiate Mountain Running National Championships will take place on August 16, 2020, at the GNAR GNAR Race, hosted by Go Beyond Racing in Mt Hood Skibowl, Oregon.


For the sixth year, prize money will be distributed to the top college finishers in the men's and women's collegiate championships. This marks the first time the GNAR GNAR Race will host the Collegiate National Championships and the first time the event will host the U.S. and Collegiate National Championships concurrently.


The GNAR GNAR race will also serve as the USATF Mountain Running Championships, the sole selection race for the 2020 Senior Men’s and Women’s U.S. Mountain Running Team. The top four overall finishers in the men’s and women’s races will automatically qualify to represent team USA at the 36th WMRA World Mountain Running Championships November 14, in Lanzarote, Spain.  

In the fast-growing sport of mountain running this tough 12K (7.4 miles) race will force participants to climb over 2,500 feet from Skibowl to the top of the Upper Bowl Chair Lift with awe-inspiring views of Mount Hood.  The final 1.9 miles will be sure to test your mettle reaching intense inclines bringing a real sense of accomplishment for participants.

“We are excited to return to Oregon for our mountain championships,” said Steve Taylor, co-founder of the Collegiate Running Association. “Our 2015 championships were held in Bend and proved to be one of our largest in terms of college student participation. Oregon is one of the premier mountain and trail running destinations in the U.S., and the Gnar Gnar Race delivers a great, destination event with a course that will challenge athletes at every level. I’m sure participants will be truly inspired by the course, the people and the scenery. To be able to partner with Go Beyond Racing for the Gnar Gnar Race is a win-win for the athletes, community, and the sport of mountain running. Prize money reserved specifically for college students, plus prize money for the top U.S. runners, coupled with the opportunity to qualify for the World Mountain Running Championships as a member of Team USA, all within the same event is exciting.” 

 “When we created the Collegiate Running Association in 2013, one of our objectives was to promote and open opportunities in mountain and trail running to college students,” said Jon Molz, co-founder of the Collegiate Running Association. “To date, all six of our mountain running championships have been held alongside the U.S. championships. Since our first collegiate mountain running championship in 2014, 12 college students have qualified for the U.S. Mountain Running Team through their performance at the U.S. and Collegiate Championships. We believed introducing competitive championship opportunities in mountain running for college students would ultimately help Team USA grow even stronger at the international level. It’s exciting to see that become a reality.”


Gnar Gnar and Go Beyond Racing Director, Renee Janssen, expressed similar enthusiasm over the partnership with the Collegiate Running Association, saying “We are thrilled to have the Collegiate Mountain Running National Championship as part of Gnar Gnar this year. This race is such a fun event and located in a great venue.  Hosting this and the USATF Mountain Championship at the same time will certainly up the excitement level for all the athletes and spectators. We are especially eager to see these college runners competing against some of the best-known trail and mountain racers around. And, of course, we are elated to show more people what racing in the northwest and with Go Beyond Racing is like.”


A Go Beyond Racing event, the Gnar Gnar Race is open to the public and one to place on your summer schedule as a destination competition.  Top runners will compete for $13,000 in prize money ($10,000 in the open category and an additional $3,000 specifically reserved for college students). To be eligible to compete in the Collegiate Mountain Running Championships, participants must either be enrolled in a college course at the time of the race or have completed at least one course between January 1 and August 16, 2020. Collegiate participants must also be free members of the Collegiate Running Association to be eligible for the collegiate prize money. To qualify for the US Mountain Running Team, participants must be current members of USATF and finish in the top four in the U.S. Championship.

Go Beyond Racing, based in Portland, Oregon, produces trail and ultra races in the Pacific Northwest from four to 100 miles. Many of the races are on and around the Cascade mountains, including Gnar Gnar, Mt. Hood 50 on the Pacific Crest Trail, Wy'east Wonder on the east side of Mt. Hood, Volcanic which circumnavigates Mt. St. Helens, and the Mountain Lakes 100 is near Mt. Jefferson.


Gnar Gnar Elite Athlete Coordinator, Andy Wacker noted, “I’m thrilled to have the CRA partner with the U.S. Mountain Champs! It will be a great opportunity to bring young athletes to the sport of mountain running. With runners like Grayson Murphy, fresh out of college winning the World Championship in 2019, there is precedent for growth and success!”


"Our U.S. mountain running program has greatly benefited from the work that Steve Taylor and Jon Molz have accomplished with the Collegiate Running Association. Fostering competitive opportunities for our nation's collegiate runners has been instrumental in attracting and retaining these same athletes well into their future in our sport. It's the perfect fit for our US Championship program and enhances the appeal to media, sponsors, and fans of our sport," said Nancy Hobbs, USATF Mountain Ultra Trail Council chairperson.


The annual USATF Mountain Running Championships is a 10 to 12 km event alternating uphill (even-numbered years) and uphill/downhill (odd-numbered years) organized following USATF Rule 253. Women & men run the same distance and a separate start is preferred. Organizers design a course profile & distance which closely mirrors the World Mountain Running Championships of the same year. Historically the collegiate championships have been held concurrently with the USATF Championships.

Registration for the Gnar Gnar race is now open: 


2020 Collegiate Championships Home


About the Collegiate Running Association



The Collegiate Running Association (CRA) is a 501c3 non-profit organization founded November, 2013 with a mission to promote healthy lifestyles among college students by providing and expanding opportunities in the sport of running. The vision of the CRA is to offer national championship events in road, mountain, and trail running with prize money specifically reserved for college students enrolled in at least one class. Since 2014, the CRA has awarded over $120,000 in prize money specifically to college students in road, mountain and trail running events. Membership is open to the public (click here).




About Go Beyond Racing (GBR)

Go Beyond Racing, based in Portland, Oregon, produces trail and ultra races in the Pacific Northwest from four to 100 miles. Many of the races are on and around the Cascade mountains, including Mt. Hood 50 on the Pacific Crest Trail, Wy'east Wonder on the east side of Mt. Hood, Volcanic which circumnavigates Mt. St. Helens, and the Mountain Lakes 100 is near Mt. Jefferson. Visit



Contact:  Collegiate Running Association



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