A team of six women and 12 men are headed to Chiang Mai, Thailand to compete in the first-ever World Mountain and Trail Championships. Mountain and trail world championships have historically been held separately.
Canada’s athletes will race in the women’s and men’s categories in all four of the championship’s senior-level events: the 80K and 40K trail races, the classic up and down event and the uphill-only mountain race (also called vertical climb). Some athletes, like Squamish, B.C.’s Alexandre Ricard, will race in multiple events. Ricard will compete in both the vertical climb and classic up and down championships.
Team Canada head coach Adrian Lambert shared that while the event’s newness makes it difficult to know what the calibre of competition will be, he expects his athletes to contend with the best. “We are sending a very strong team, so we are hopeful to finish inside the top 10 in our events,” Lambert said. “Canada has historically competed well in both the Trail and Mountain Running Championships at the World level, and we are hoping to continue that at the combined championships.”
The team boasts some accomplished athletes and well-known names–on the men’s side, Calum Neff previously held the Canadian 50K record, and is known for his record-breaking stroller-pushing marathons. Teammate Ricard recently won the 23K race at the Squamish 50 trail event. “Ricard is an unstoppable force on uphill races at the moment, It will be interesting to see how he stacks up against the best in the world,” said Lambert.
On the women’s side, Sasha Gollish will head to the event after a remarkable master’s season. Already the women’s over-40 indoor mile world record holder, and a Team Canada member at the 2022 NACAC Half-Marathon championship, Gollish showed her wide-ranging skill set once again this past weekend by winning the Vertical Climb at the Canadian Mountain and Trail Running Championships in Vernon, B.C.
Team Canada athletes and their events
Alexandre Ricard Men’s Classic Uphill & Classic Up & Down
Calum Neff Men’s Short Trail (40km)
Dany Racine Men’s Short Trail (40km)
David Jeker Men’s Long Trail (80km)
Jean-Philippe Thibodeau Men’s Long Trail (80km)
Jeffery Campbell Men’s Long Trail (80km)
Kris Swanson Uphill & Classic Up & Down
Martin Dagenais Men’s Short Trail (40km)
Mathieu Dubé Men’s Long Trail (80km)
Matt Tribe Men’s Long Trail (80km)
Remi Leroux Men’s Classic Uphill & Classic Up & Down
Shaun Stephens-Whale Men’s Classic Uphill & Classic Up & Down
Joannie Desroches Women’s Long Trail (80km)
Kelsey Lepard Women’s Short Trail (40km)
Kerri Labrecque Women’s Vertical Uphill
Maika Lamoureux Women’s Long Trail (80km)
Sasha Gollish Women’s Classic Uphill & Classic Up & Down
Shannon Penway Women’s Classic Uphill & Classic Up & Down
For more information on the event and to see race schedules, you can head here.