Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Arritola conquers Loon climb, makes world team

Qualifies for Labor Day trip to Italy

Express Staff Writer

Morgan Arritola of Ketchum attacks New Hampshire’s Loon Mountain trails during Sunday’s uphill five-mile ascent.

Ketchum's Morgan Arritola woke up Sunday morning and ran about five miles straight uphill from the starting area along New Hampshire's Pemigewasset River to the 3,050-foot North Peak of Loon Mountain near the city of Lincoln.

When she reached the top in 46 minutes and 16 seconds, having conquered a grade that averaged 10% in steepness and sometimes exceeded 40%, Arritola couldn't quite see as far as the country of Italy. But she had earned a trip there.

Arritola, 26, of Ketchum, finished fourth of 289 finishers in Sunday's eighth running of The Loon Mountain Race. As the winning woman, she earned one of four berths on the 2012 USA Track and Field (USATF) Women's U.S. Mountain Running Team.

Clocking a pace of 8:16 per mile, Arritola was only three minutes off the men's winning pace of Jim Johnson, 35, of Madison, N.H. (43:16) and just two minutes behind men's runner-up Kris Freeman, 31, of Thornton, N.H. (44:15).

She finished ahead of women's runner-up Melody Fairchild, 38, of Denver, Colo. (8th overall in 47:06).

Besides Arritola and Fairchild, other women making the U.S. World Team were third-place Brandy Erholtz, 34, of Evergreen, Colo. (48:06) and fourth-place Stevie Kremer, 28, of Crested Butte, Colo. (48:21).

Part of the USATF mountain, ultra and trail run series, the Loon Mountain race in the White Mountains National Forest was the sole qualifying event for the 2012 Women's Mountain Running Team.

It was Arritola's first attempt at mountain running, which features ascent-only courses in the five-mile range.

As last year's Women's XTERRA Trail Run national and world champion over 13-mile courses, former U.S. Olympic Nordic skier Arritola has been more accustomed to longer trail runs.

Yet she enjoys running in general and likes new challenges, so Arritola put Loon Mountain on her schedule—especially after setting a new women's course record in winning the 11-mile, 5,400-foot Ascent of Mont Ventoux in southern France June 10.

Now she's headed back to Europe over Labor Day.

The U.S. team competes Sunday, Sept. 2 in the 28th annual World Mountain Running championships at Ponte di Legno, a northern Italian ski and summer resort in the Rhaetian Alps between Lombardy and Trentino.

At Ponte di Legno, women run a 7.9 kilometer (4.9-mile) uphill course ending at Tonale Pass, elevation 6,181 feet.

Arritola got her start locally in uphill running and has become one of the world's best. She is the three-time women's champion of the 1.86-mile, 3,140-foot Baldy Hill Climb. Arritola set the course record of 39:53 finishing atop the 9,020-foot summit back in 2010.

About Comments

Comments with content that seeks to incite or inflame may be removed.

Comments that are in ALL CAPS may be removed.

Comments that are off-topic or that include profanity or personal attacks, libelous or other inappropriate material may be removed from the site. Entries that are unsigned or contain signatures by someone other than the actual author may be removed. We will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or any other policies governing this site. Use of this system denotes full acceptance of these conditions. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions. You are fully responsible for the content that you post.

The comments below are from the readers of and in no way represent the views of Express Publishing, Inc.

You may flag individual comments. You may also report an inappropriate or offensive comment by clicking here.

Flagging Comments: Flagging a comment tells a site administrator that a comment is inappropriate. You can find the flag option by pointing the mouse over the comment and clicking the 'Flag' link.

Flagging a comment is only counted once per person, and you won't need to do it multiple times.

Proper Flagging Guidelines: Every site has a different commenting policy - be sure to review the policy for this site before flagging comments. In general these types of comments should be flagged:

  • Spam
  • Ones violating this site's commenting policy
  • Clearly unrelated
  • Personal attacks on others
Comments should not be flagged for:
  • Disagreeing with the content
  • Being in a dispute with the commenter

Popular Comment Threads

 Local Weather 
Search archives:

Copyright © 2020 Express Publishing Inc.   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.