Friday, February 25, 2011

Here it comes: Ultra Race of Champions



Registration for the country’s newest 100k mountain ultra marathon opens March 14th: the Trail Runner Ultra Race of Champions, or UROC.  The race, taking place in the Virginia Blue Ridge Mountains on September 24th, has been in the works for quite some time and is designed as championship race for elite ultra runners.  Without repeating much of the relevant details one can read on the race website or on the lead sponsor’s (Trail Runner Magazine) website, the bottom line is this: expect top domestic runners (like Geoff) and hopefully some international talent to duke it out over generous purse dinero.  The race will not have a lottery and at this point there is no capacity limit so expect a solid, competitive field.

Now, just because UROC is a “championship” race does not imply runners of all abilities are discouraged from registering.  It is just the opposite: runners of all ability are welcome.  Especially those new to ultra marathoning.  In fact, aside from the 100k distance option there will be 50k and half marathon distance trail races, known as the Great Eastern Endurance Races, or GEER.  GEER has been around for a while.  UROC on the other hand is completely new.  As are the trails upon which UROC will be held- they haven’t been raced on before.

So, what’s it going be?  Are you going to show up and go head to head with some of the best in the sport?  Or are you going to show up simply for the energy, excitement, the chance to challenge yourself with something new and, better still, enjoy Virginia’s beautiful early fall season, running over ancient mountain 100k, 50k or half marathon course trails?  I hope it’s one or the other.

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