MAMMOTH LAKES, Calif. - On March 15, 2009, the Olympic development training group known as Team Running USA will formally become the Mammoth Track Club. Team Running USA, the Mammoth-based elite running team formed under trade organization Running USA, was launched in March 2001 and has spanned two Olympiads up to February 2009. The goal of the organization - the brainchild of Basil Honikman, Allan Steinfeld, Joe Vigil, Bob Larsen and Ryan Lamppa - was to bring U.S. distance running performances back to the level of international success that was seen in the 70s and 80s.
In the first four years, the team produced multiple national champions, U.S. and world records, World team members, Olympians and two Olympic medals at the 2004 Athens Games with Deena Kastor and Meb Keflezighi's marathon performances. Since its inception, Team Running USA has been the most recognized and successful training group in the United States.
The newly founded Mammoth Track Club, coached by Terrence Mahon and Bob Larsen, will seek to continue the tradition set by its predecessor Team Running USA. The purpose behind the new team name and organization structure is to solidify the team's investment in the Town of Mammoth Lakes.
Terrence Mahon, founder of the new organization, states, "It has been apparent over the past four years that our athletes have made a strong commitment to Mammoth and we want to see that relationship continue to flourish for years to come. These athletes have bought homes here, worked with the local tourism and recreation board to help build the running community and have helped to establish the Mammoth SPORT Hospital as one of the premiere medical facilities in the country that is primed to work with Olympic caliber athletes.
Our athletes want to see this town grow and become one of the most sought out altitude training centers in the world. We are committed to building an entire training complex and have been working with the town closely to get that in place. Deena Kastor and her husband Andrew (High Sierra Striders coach) have worked hard over the past 18 months to put together the "Mammoth Track Project". The ultimate goal of this plan will be to add a state-of-the-art outdoor track complex as well as an indoor training facility to handle the winter weather. The time is right to better identify the team with our great town of Mammoth as we believe that it will bring a greater awareness to the place where we live and train. This beautiful place we call home with all its great fans have invested a lot in our group over the past 8 years and we feel that it is time to pay them back with our support for the future of the Mammoth running community."
Deena Kastor, Olympic bronze medalist and one of the three original members of the team, has this to say about the new venture...
"Our team is very excited about the opportunities to promote distance running in Mammoth Lakes while pursuing our own Olympic dreams. Each one of us believes that we live and train in the most ideal distance running environment and we hope to share it with others who love the sport. We look forward to sharing Mammoth Lakes with the U.S. running community, from youth to masters. The Mammoth Track Club is very grateful for the support it has received from Running USA, and we look forward to continuing this strong relationship as we promote Mammoth Lakes as a distance running haven."
Meb Keflezighi, Olympic silver medalist and U.S. 10,000m record holder, adds...
"It has been a wonderful journey for the past eight years with Running USA and my fellow teammates. We have gotten a lot out of ourselves with the support of Running USA, and under the new Mammoth Track Club along with the support of the Town of Mammoth Lakes we look forward to even greater things."
Jen Rhines, three-time Olympian in the 10,000m, marathon and 5000m, reflects on her career with Running USA...
"As one of the original members of Team Running USA, I have seen the team grow in so many ways over the past 8 years. I have great admiration and appreciation for all of the time and effort that has been invested in our group over this time. The coaching and support of Joe Vigil was invaluable and inspirational as well as the tireless work of Basil & Linda Honikman, Ryan Lamppa and Paul Banta was pivotal to our group staying afloat in the early stages. I can honestly say that being a member of Team Running USA has prolonged my career beyond what I thought would be possible.
We have now built a strong foundation as Team Running USA in Mammoth Lakes and want to grow that even higher over the years to come. As the new Mammoth Track Club, we are looking forward to even greater achievements both on the track and off as we work to develop Mammoth Lakes as a premiere altitude training site over the next quadrennial."
Coach Bob Larsen shares his thoughts...
"When Joe Vigil and I sat down with Basil and Ryan at Running USA about forming a team, we envisioned a group of dedicated athletes who wanted to be the best in the world. Thanks to Running USA's and the New York Road Runners' administrative and financial support since our inception, our training group's achievements have helped raise the bar for U.S. distance running, and with the mix of veterans we have with the rising, young stars, the future looks bright for our group and U.S. distance running."
The new team will have its own board of directors to plan out and oversee the budget and fundraising duties. The function of the organization will be to manage the training and financial support of its current roster of athletes as well as to develop aspiring world class middle and long distance runners through its high altitude training center.
The current Mammoth Track Club team roster and their shoe company sponsor affiliation are listed below.
Mammoth Track Club - 2009 Team:
Scott Bauhs - adidas
Ian Dobson - adidas
Ryan Hall - ASICS
Sara Hall - ASICS
Amy Hastings - adidas
Deena Kastor - ASICS
Meb Keflezighi - Nike
Julia Lucas - Reebok
Mike McKeeman - ASICS
Jon Pierce - Mammoth TC
Jen Rhines - adidas
Anna Willard - Nike
For more info about the Mammoth Track Club:
Terrence Mahon - Coach, firstname.lastname@example.org
Team website: www.mammothtrackclub.com - Coming Soon!
Run Mammoth website: www.runmammoth.com
Team mailing address:
Mammoth Track Club
PO Box 7552
Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546
Ryan Lamppa, Running USA Media Director
(805) 696-6232; Fax = (805) 659-0016