Update on Athlete Selection for 2020 U.S. 50K Road Team

Men’s 50k Team 2019
Women’s 50k Team 2019

Written by USATF Mountain/Ultra/Trail Council members Meghan Laws and Lin Gentling. For questions, please contact Meghan or Lin, 2020 US 50K Team Staff.

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected many areas of daily life as well as created much uncertainty about upcoming ultramarathon races. USA Track & Field (USATF) and the Mountain/Ultra/Trail (MUT) Council will continue to monitor the situation both nationally and internationally to produce the best possible return to competition plan that keeps our athletes, volunteers, coaches and spectators safe. In an effort to keep elite MUT athletes informed about 2020 international team selection, USA Track & Field’s MUT Council is providing the following update.

As of today, the world 2020 50K Championships in Aqaba, Jordan are still on schedule as planned and USATF has not put any limitations on U.S. team participation. With these fall championships still months away, the situation and decision on U.S. team participation will continue to be monitored. The MUT Council wants our athletes to know that we are working to maintain competitive opportunities while balancing various issues of societal health and prudence.

Listed below are the selection criteria for 2020 50K U.S. team. Please note that current criteria could change if selection races are cancelled.

On selection for the 2020 World Championship 50K Road race:
The 50K selection standards can be found on this website or at the USATF website. Considering that athletes may be limited in travel into late summer and early fall, no changes in selection races will happen at this point. The 2020 national 50K was held on March 1, and there were 2 auto selections. Additionally there were auto selections from those athletes who placed in the top 10 overall in the 2019 50K world championships in Romania last September. However, the other auto select race (Mad City 50K) was cancelled for 2020. Therefore, most of the remaining team positions will be made based on running resume. In considering resumes, previous years performances will need to be factored in the decision with the limited opportunities in 2020. Athletes may be asked for more detailed training information/data to know that athletes current fitness. 

Time trials at the 50K distance only will also be considered for selection times, but must be completed prior to the end of the qualifying period. If interested in setting up and pursuing a time trial, please contact Lin and Meghan.

Furthermore, MUT Council would like for athletes to be aware that additional requirements could be imposed for travel and lodging. These could come from USATF, the championship organizer, local municipalities, state authorities and/or national authorities.

We will also be working with the USATF national office to confirm budgets for each of our teams and share that information with athletes as we have it.

The MUT Council and USATF will continue to closely monitor all developments. Know that any decision has many factors involved and is very dynamic with changes seen on a weekly, if not daily basis. Our goal is keep athletes informed on the current situation. Be assured that the MUT Council is working to stay prepared for however the COVID-19 pandemic shapes the future of our sport and upcoming international team events.


Questions or resumes should be sent to Lin Gentling and Meghan Laws. Resumes must be received by August 23, 2020. Athletes who win selection races must confirm their acceptance of a team spot not later than August 23, 2020.

We intend to announce the team by August 26, 2020.

Parade of Nations at the World 50k Championships in Romania

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