Bailey Kowalczyk, a Colorado based professional sub-ultra runner and CurraNZ ambassador, has signed off her 2023 season in sensational style as the USA Trail Half Marathon Champion.
It was a year of highs and lows, but CurraNZ played a key role in helping her find top gear again with great performances at the Rut, the Kodiak 50Km Ultra in California and her crowning glory at the USATF Championships at Moab in October.
Bailey represented the USA at the World Mountain and Trail Running Champs earlier in the year, which ended in disappointment with a DNF. But if one good thing was to come out of that, it was the introduction to CurraNZ through our Kiwi athletes.
After a period of rebuilding with some purple power on board, Bailey made a gradual return to racing. In September her fortunes returned with a win in the 28km event at the Rut – her second consecutive win in the Montana event.
In October she punched her ticket to UTMB OCC 2024 with a hugely strong performance in the Kodiak 50k Ultra marathon in Big Bear Lake, California. Despite a few doubts after the emotional fall-out from a season not going to plan, Bailey led for 18 miles before finishing second against a hot field.
Next stop was the USATF Championships at Moab, where Bailey faced several legends of the sport and some super-fast post NCAA speedsters. Bolting out of the gate and running partially out of fear, Bailey attacked the course, which played to her strengths.
Consisting of deep sand, technical descents, fast dirt roads and steeps, her rivals couldn’t catch her and Bailey crossed the line first and was crowned USA Trail Half Marathon Queen.
It was an outstanding finish for one of our top US ambassadors - congratulations Bailey.