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Run every mountain: Kremer wins double gold at World Championships

darien-kremermt

Stevie Kremer (DHS Class of 2001) crosses the finish line alone in Switzerland.

RUNNING

Stevie Kremer, who graduated from Darien High in 2001, won the mountain running Jungfrau Marathon in Switzerland and US Team Gold in Italy recently.

And she likes the heights.

Although, after DHS, when she began studies at Colorado College, Kremer never intended to stay mountainside for the next ten years; let alone find herself taking several running summits with gold medal wins, now, along the way.

“It’s beautiful in Europe and I am learning a lot of new experiences, but all I really need are the mountains.”

— Stevie Kremer

But Kremer developed a passion for skiing, and it soon became obvious to her that she wasn’t coming back to Darien any time soon, soon after the turn of the new century, having fallen fast and hard for her new mountain home.

She settled in Crested Butte, Colorado, a small ski town in the center of the Rocky Mountains, working as a teacher in the local elementary school there.

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Kremer with her mountain-running reward.

And now, Kremer, the expert skier, is able to call herself a double world champion in mountain running.

On September 7 she won gold with the US Mountain Running Team at the 28th World Mountain Running Championship in Ponte Di Legno, Italy, where athletes from 40 nations competed for the regular distance title of mountain running — 8.4 kilometers with 760 meters of elevation gain.

Kremer’s seventh place finish overall, and second on the team with a time of 48:54, helped Team USA win the gold medal in the event.

One week later, Kremer topped her performance in Italy in one of the world’s most demanding marathons: the 20th Annual Jungfrau Marathon.

That takes place in Interlaken, Switzerland, and includes a vertical gain of over 6,000 ft. This year, the race with over 8,000 runners from over 70 countries, also determined the champions for the long distance world mountain running challenge.

Kremer, who had earlier decided to teach in Italy for the present school year, registered for the race long before she had qualified for the US Mountain running team.

Because of this, she raced as a normal entrant, with a starting number of 3492, and was not an official member of Team USA. In the presence of 50,000 spectators lining the course, she surprised everybody with a come‐from‐behind win to beat a field of over 1,800 female competitors.

She finished with a time of 3:22:42, the fastest time in almost 10 years and the fourth best in the 20 years of the race history.

For her victory, Kremer earned 10,000 Swiss Francs (approximately $10,500).

“The race was nothing short of spectacular,” said the 28‐year‐old Kremer. “From the organization to the support, to the course and the views, this was an amazing race. I am thrilled to have been a part of it and so proud and excited for Team USA!”

Kremer refers to Team USA’s gold medal team victory in the World Long Distance Challenge division of the race.

Her success stems from a passion for mountain sports and has lead to two world championships and two sponsorships with PowerBar and Solomon. Starting as a regular skier, she soon moved on to snowboarding then telemarking skiing and finally ski mountaineering, a sport involving skiing up the mountain with skins and racing down.

This sport, in which she earned the runner up position at the US championship in 2011 in Jackson Hole, turned out to be the perfect training ground for her mountain running passion.

Asked whether she prefers the European racing scene to the US, she says: “It’s beautiful in Europe and I am learning a lot of new experiences, but all I really need are the mountains.”

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