This year’s Open Men’s division is going to be even more competitive with the registration of another elite team who are going for the win. 2010 USATF Mountain Runner of the Year Mario Mendoza and his partner Ryan Hafer have strong national level running pedigrees and have declared their goal of going for the title early.
Their quest will have a personal streak as Mario lives in Bend, Oregon and trains regularly with defending GORE-TEX® TransRockies Run champion Max King. Mario said the following of running the 2011 race: “We are training very hard for this event and want to give Max and Andy a real challenge. We’re not going to go into this race conservatively–if we want a shot at winning we have to be aggressive from day one because any gap will get exponentially harder to close in the later stages of the race. We truly believe if we can keep the race close on the first couple of days we’ll be very hard to beat.”
In the Open Women’s Division, Salomon’s Angela Mudge and Anita Ortiz are teaming up this summer to take on the GTTRR. They’ll be coming to the Rockies with an enormous amount of momentum as Mudge has twice won our sister event, the TransAlpine Run and Ortiz won the Open Women’s Division in her only attempt at the TransRockies so far. Between them, they have an enormous number of wins at the highest levels of the sport including the Western States 100 for Ortiz, being names the USATF Mountain Runner of the year twice and winning the US Mountain Running Championships three years in a row. Living practically on the course, she also has a distinct home court advantage.
Angela Mudge might come from the lowlands in Scotland but she was apparently born to run at altitude, and along with a course record on Pikes Peak, she’s won World and European Mountain Running Championships. Together, Team Salomon are looking to go for the win: “I look forward to running with Angela,” said Ortiz. “She’s a ferocious competitor and a mountain climbing animal. It should be a fun race, though I am sure to be run ragged everyday!”