Mammoth Track Club End of Season Update

Jul 13, 2021

This summer was a bit of a bust for the Mammoth Track Club Youth camp and Adult programs. Because we wanted our community to be safe and did not want to contribute to the spread of COVID-19, we decided to cancel both programs.

In the running world, 99% of all road running races were canceled along with the Tokyo Olympics (which was postponed to summer 2021).

What’s New for Mammoth Track Club Athletes

With all the cancellations and postponements, new racing opportunities grew for U.S. elite runners to take part including many virtual events.

This December, experienced Marathoner, Nico Montanez, and Reid Buchanan, who is making his debut at the distance, will be racing in The Marathon Project — a professional-only marathon in Arizona.

Nico Montanez

This will be Nico’s sixth marathon, he’s looking to improve upon his personal best time of 2:14. Back in February (which seems like years ago), he raced the U.S. Olympic Marathon Team Trials in Atlanta, GA where he placed a solid 20th. For a majority of the race he was in 9th place, running with the main pack of competitors, vying for a spot on the U.S. Olympic Marathon Team headed to Tokyo later this year. Around the 21-mile mark, he slowly saw his chances of qualifying for the team slip away, one runner at a time as they passed him. Many of those runners that placed ahead of him in Atlanta will be lining up on the starting line of this Arizona Marathon. He smells revenge!

Reid Buchanan

Reid will be making his long-awaited marathon debut at this race. It’s been widely discussed in the elite running circles that the marathon distance will suit both Reid’s physical and personality type.

Reid has a long, smooth stride and is very economically efficient at 5:00 mile pace, while at the same time his attention to detail, the mundane daily choices that have to take place for an elite to prepare and recover from workouts, which Reid is meticulous about, will lend him to becoming one of the best marathoners in the country.

About The Marathon Project

The Marathon Project has strict COVID-19 guidelines in place. Each athlete must produce two negative tests within seven days of the competition. One test must happen prior to leaving for Arizona and the other will be 48 hours before. There will be no spectators on the course and coaches will need to keep a mask on at all times and maintain a 6-foot radius from one another during the event.

Typically, elite athletes are invited to marathons around the world, given appearance fees to show up and race, earn prize money, get their travel and accommodations paid for, but not for this race! Each athlete will have to pay an entry fee of $150, this will cover the permitting fees generated by this “one-off event.”

So why are these athletes (100 total in the entire field) paying their own way to get to Arizona to compete? Well, it boils down to two main reasons:

  • This race offers something to train and aim for to keep up the motivation to put in intense training ahead of next year’s Olympic Games.
  • To earn a time bonus from their sponsors, as many opportunities to earn money this year were far and few between.

This race will also serve as an opportunity to gain leverage for athletes to use when going to negotiate a sponsorship deal in the future, as many athlete’s contracts are coming to the end of this “original” Olympic cycle. So a good performance in Arizona is vital.

Andrew Kastor

Andrew currently resides in Mammoth Lakes with his wife Deena (Olympic Marathon bronze medalist and American Record holder in the marathon and half-marathon) and their daughter, Piper Bloom. He’s the head coach for the Mammoth Track Club.

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