Ortiz wins Mountain Runner of the Year again
EAGLE – Eagle’s Anita Ortiz had a trying year after an early-season stress fracture kept her from racing trails during most of the 2004 competitive season.Despite the setback, Ortiz, 40, was again recognized as the United States of America Track and Field (USATF) Mountain Runner of the Year – the third consecutive time she has won the award in the masters category. The Team 180s member maintained her fitness through elliptical training, versa climbing, pool running and mountain biking and won her fourth consecutive Pikes Peak Ascent in August by setting a new masters record. Ortiz is also a three-time Teva U.S. Mountain Running Team member and was the top American at each of the last three World Mountain Running Trophy events in which she has participated (11th in 2002, 8th in 2003, 11th in 2004). “It is an absolute honor to be recognized as the country’s top female masters category mountain runner for the third consecutive year by the USATF,” Ortiz said. “Being an athlete is about dedication, pure dedication not only to training, but to the sport. Especially this year with my early-season injury, the support of family, friends and sponsors like 180s is essential.”Ortiz is a graduate of Colorado State University and received her master’s degree in education at Florida State University with an impressive 4.0 grade point average. When Ortiz is not training or competing, she teaches kindergarten at Eagle Valley Elementary and raises four children with her husband, Mike.