Trail Runner to Sponsor Ultra Race of Champions

Announcement of new Trail Runner Ultra Race of Champions.

By on February 25, 2011 | Comments

Trail Runner Ultra Race of ChampionsBad to the Bone Endurance Sports is partnering with Trail Runner Magazine to put on the Trail Runner Ultra Race of Champions (UROC) on September 24 in the Blue Ridge Mountains outside of Charlottesville, Virginia. Those lining up for the 100k race with nearly 13,000′ of total climbing will have a shot at the $10,000 in prize money that goes 5 deep to both men and women. While the goal of the event is to bring together the world’s best ultramarathoners, the event will be open to all runners. Registration will open on March 14 at 8 a.m. EST.

The Race and Course
Although the Trail Runner UROC is new, organizers J. Russell Gill and Francesca Conte of Bad to the Bone and the Charlottesville Running Company have long put on great trail ultras (and other races), including the Bel Monte 50 and Great Eastern Endurance Run (GEER). In fact, the Trail Runner UROC replaces the GEER 100k, while the GEER 50k and GEER Half Marathon remain and will be run the same day as the Trail Runner UROC. All three races will be held on new courses. Field sizes will be large enough to accommodate a championship event. Entry fees will be posted the first week of March.

The out-and-back UROC will be primarily singletrack (32 miles) with 25 miles of gravel road and 5 miles of pavement. The mixed course, near sea level altitude, and moderate amount of climb should make this course suitable to a mix of runners… which makes it all that more exciting for us ultra fans!

Trail Runner Ultra Race of Champions elevation profile

Trail Runner Ultra Race of Champions elevation profile.

Elite Runners
There’s been lots of chatter about a championship trail ultra with the main goal to bring together as many top ultrarunners as possible. That’s the goal of this race. To help make that a reality, the race will be inviting the current four Grand Slam of Ultrarunning winners, UTMB champions, the top 10 for the previous year’s Ultrarunning Magazine’s Ultrarunner of the Year voting, and winners of other top ultras (Hardrock, White River, American River, Davas, etc.). Per the race website,

The goal of Trail Runner UROC is to gather as many elite ultra runners as possible. If you are interested in competing for the cash purse, don’t be shy, please contact Gill or Geoff Roes.

Aside from competition, cash talks, so here’s the breakdown of the prize money for both the top men and women.

  1. $2,500
  2. $1,000
  3. $750
  4. $500
  5. $250

As a side note, the UROC Runner Advisory Panel includes elite runners Geoff Roes, we’ll presume you know who he is, and Neal Gorman, the Grand Slam record holder, who can give insight into what might draw the world’s top runners (other than the circular draw – competition). Geoff is also acting as the Elite Runner Liaison.

Call for Comments
Who’s in for this race? Know of any big dogs talking about it? Any thoughts on the course? What about the race as an/the trail ultra championship?

Bryon Powell

Bryon Powell is the Founding Editor of iRunFar. He’s been writing about trail running, ultrarunning, and running gear for more than 15 years. Aside from iRunFar, he’s authored the books Relentless Forward Progress: A Guide to Running Ultramarathons and Where the Road Ends: A Guide to Trail Running, been a contributing editor at Trail Runner magazine, written for publications including Outside, Sierra, and Running Times, and coached ultrarunners of all abilities. Based in Silverton, Colorado, Bryon is an avid trail runner and ultrarunner who competes in events from the Hardrock 100 Mile just out his front door to races long and short around the world, that is, when he’s not fly fishing or tending to his garden.