Top 3 Male and Female Contenders for the 2016 World Championships of Elliptical Cycling
Each year, we like to provide a preview of the competition participating in the World Championships of Elliptical Cycling. Historically, the field has comprised of track stars, ultra runners, triathletes, world record holders, American ninja warriors, sporting legends and more. This year will be no different, so we want to take a moment and highlight a few of the key contenders to keep an eye on during the 11.69mi, 4,209ft climb of the 2016 event.
Sarah Brown (The Record Holder)
Sarah Brown, a newcomer to the World Championships of Elliptical Cycling in 2015 – but not to the ElliptiGO bike – was the most incredible performance of the day. It’s not because she won in her first attempt up the mountain (1:20:28), or even because she broke the previous course record by over eight minutes (threatening to become the first woman under 1:20 up Palomar). No, it’s because she also did both of those things while 19-weeks pregnant.
Now, with her new baby girl Abigail on the sidelines cheering, Brown, a 2010 & 2013 US World Championship competitor and middle distance runner for New Balance, will look to reclaim her title and maybe even dip under that 1:20 mark. Having personal bests of 4:03 (1500), 4:26 (mile) and 2:01 (800) on the track certainly gives her the power to make it happen. Let’s see if all of the ElliptiGO riding during her pregnancy has given her the strength to endure the 11.69mi climb.
Editor’s note: Abigail firmly believes the she, in fact, should be recognized as the 2015 Champion. After all, she was being carried in front of Sarah!
Mary Decker-Slaney (The Master)
Mary Decker-Slaney is arguably the best American female middle distance runner of all-time. Not only did she set 17 world records and 36 national records during her competitive track days, but she also has two World Championship gold medals (1500m & 3000m) to her name, both of which she earned in Helsinki (1983) during the famous “Decker double.” This will be Decker-Slaney’s fifth year in the race up Palomar, and while her competitive days on the track have ended, her drive to become the World Champion of Elliptical Cycling continues to burn hot. A consistent top-3 finisher at the event, Decker-Slaney has vowed to return until she manages to become the first woman up the mountain. Will 2016 be the year she does it?
Addie Bracey (The Darkhorse)
Last year, elite ultra and mountain runner Eric Blake shocked the field when he showed up to his first world championship event, challenged defending-champ Rusty Snow all the way to the line and managed to grab runner-up honors. This year, a similar rider will be present on the women’s side with the addition of Addie Bracey. Bracey is a member of the accomplished Hudson Elite training group based out of Colorado, and will be coming to the Championships race fresh off a National 50k win and an appearance in the Mountain Running World Championships in Bulgaria. She’s up against some tough competition in Brown and Slaney, but we are expecting good things from this regular ElliptiGO rider and talented athlete. Can she pull off the upset?
Rusty Snow (The Living Legend)
Rusty Snow, the unbeatable living legend of the World Championships of Elliptical Cycling, will be back this year to defend his title streak of four consecutive Palomar wins. Can he make it five in a row? Snow, an Elite Masters runner now, is no stranger to victories, having racked up numerous wins in the Masters ranks of National and International competition, as well as a place on the starting line of the Olympic Marathon Trials. If there is someone out there who can beat Snow, we have yet to find him. One thing is for sure, there are a couple guys who would like to have that honor, but Snow is going to push them to the brink if they want to do it.
Darren Brown (The Comeback Kid)
After a solid first-year finish on the podium in 2014, Darren Brown had mechanical troubles last year that took him out of contention for World Champion honors. Having led the first 7+ miles of the race in previous years – before fading to 3rd in 2014 and getting a flat in 2015 – Brown is hungry to see the race through to the end this year and hopefully get to the top first. As a sub-4 minute miler and talented runner/triathlete, Brown is a dangerous competitor. He knows what he is up against with Snow and is excited to take on the challenge head-first. If he and his wife, Sarah (defending Champion on the women’s side), can both pull it off, they’d become the first husband/wife pair to own the World Championships of Elliptical Cycling.
Jason Warick (The Underdog)
Jason Warick returns for his second year in a row riding the World Championships of Elliptical Cycling. In his debut appearance last year, he rode an impressive 1:15:32 to take home 5th place. This year, Warick returns more prepared and ready to shake things up with Snow and Brown. At the least, he’ll be shooting for a podium spot, but we aren’t yet counting him out to disrupt the podium higher up, potentially even finding himself at the top of it. Word on the street is that his ElliptiGO riding volume has been bigger than ever recently.