Ready or Not - Page 9
In all, out of 173 starters, 79 runners would finish the Trail Runner UROC 100K, with the last runner, Matt Nelson, 46, of West Palm Beach, Florida, braving inside-of-a-casket dark and fog until nearly 1 a.m., to finish in 17:48.
While it would be hard to say that the Trail Runner UROC winners are the best ultrarunners of 2011, the consensus among the elite runners was that the concept is onto something.
Crosby-Helms wholeheartedly supports the race's championship notion. "[Trail ultrarunning] is not founded in a competitive aspect," she said, "but competition is what brings out the edge in athletes. It's also really cool for [recreational] runners in the race to be around the people they look up to."
Sharman, too, backed the idea: "But it always takes a few years for an event to really establish itself so I was surprised how far this came in year one. There isn't really a race out there seriously trying to do the same thing, especially in terms of making it more accessible to follow live with videos, etc."
"In its first year, UROC turned out to be one of the top American ultras in terms of top-level runners gathered in one race, coming in perhaps only behind Western States, at least on the men's side," says Roes. "UROC might have really lofty goals, but I think this just means [the organizers] will keep working hard to get closer to those goals."
Indeed, the wheels are in motion for UROC 2012. "Because of the tremendous support from the athletes and our sponsors, we will double the cash purse for 2012," says Gill. "And one of our focuses will be to bring over more international runners, both male and female."
And with a full year for planning, recruiting athletes and fine tuning the course, UROC 2012 will be a race to watch.
Michael Benge is the Editor of Trail Runner.
More UROC Coverage
:: Trail Runner UROC website: ultraroc.com
:: Bryon Powell's website: irunfar.com
:: Geoff Roes' blog: akrunning.blogspot.com
:: Matt Flaherty's blog: runflaherty.blogspot.com
:: Ian Sharman's blog: sharmian.blogspot.com
:: Jonathan Allen's blog: greenshortsrunning.blogspot.com
:: Michael Owens' blog: michaelrunningfree.blogspot.com
:: Devon Crosby-Helms' blog: devoncrosbyhelms.com
:: Karl Meltzer's blog: karlmeltzer.com