Dani Moreno has gained a reputation for her ability to charge downhill at break-neck speed on the trails. She showed why this past weekend at the North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletic Association (NACAC) Mountain Running Championships in Jalisco, Mexico.
Moreno, of Santa Barbara, California, stormed to victory and her first NACAC Championships gold medal in a time of 1:05:28, less than a minute ahead of fellow countrywoman and second-place finisher Sam Lewis. After reaching the summit halfway through the out-and-back 12-kilometer out-and-back in second place behind Lewis, Moreno used her downhill trail skills to take the lead on the descent. She never looked back and the two Americans would go 1-2 to pace the women’s team to a gold medal in the team competition.
Moreno’s victory was not without its challenges as the course received significant rainfall in the days before, leaving the trails muddied and slick. Despite a fall in the mud and a loose shoelace, Moreno maintained her composure and used the second half of the race to build her eventual 58-second lead at the finish.
“The NACAC Championship was my first time representing the USA in a short mountain course, so coming away with the team and the individual win was extremely gratifying,” Moreno said after the race.
With the win now on her resume, Moreno will surely contend for a podium spot at the World Mountain Running Championships next month in Argentina, where she is scheduled to represent the United States again. Although the long-distance course of 42-kilometers will tax Moreno’s longer distance skill set, the mountainous course is sure to suit her explosive downhill running ability.
“I am currently training for the World Mountain Championships, so this was a great effort and confidence booster. I am counting down the days until I get to compete with the USA on my chest again,” added Moreno.
Follow Moreno on November 15th when she next dons the red, white and blue at the World Mountain Running Championships.
Photo Credits: Photo 1: Tad Davis @watrailrunner