Photos: 2016 U.S. Mountain Running Championships at Loon Mountain

Sometimes in trail running, race directors create courses with wickedly steep hills. All you can do is keep pumping your arms and legs and lungs until the madness ends. Such was the case at the 2016 U.S. Mountain Running Championships, which were held on July 3 on the gruelingly steep ski slopes at Loon Mountain near Lincoln, N.H. For the 600 or so courageous runners who entered, the madness didn’t end until they reached the top of the mountain after completing the infamously steep Upper Walking Boss section of the course (a 40 percent grade!) and 3,100 feet of total climbing. The top six men and the top four women earned spots on the U.S. team that will compete in the 2016 World Mountain Running Championships in Bulgaria in September. Merrell-sponsored runner Joe Gray, of Colorado Springs, won his 10th U.S. title, winning the men’s race in 49:12. Hudson Elite/Brooks athlete Addie Bracy of Longmont, Colo., won the women’s race in 57:25, her first U.S. championship win. Check out the photos of the crazy steep course from Joe Viger below!

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