This weekend has seen huge activity on the ultra and trail running scene all over the world with some amazing results by our very own Aussie athletes (see the Commonwealth Post by Dan) and some comebacks by some of the worlds elite runners. We have also seen the cancellation of yet another remote outback run due to fires, which sends an ominous sign for the summer to come! So with all this news, where do we start ?
First we head over to the US where we have just seen the running of the inaugural UROC 100k race near Charlottesville, Virginia. This breaks new ground on the ultra running scene in the US where for the first time elite athletes were approached to attend and compete for some serious dollars. It has been coined at the unofficial world championships (without the EU runners!) with the likes of Roes, Wardian, Mackey, Sharman, Melzer in the mens and Petri and Crosby-Helms in the womens race.
The mens race traded places several times over the first 50km between Mackey (hit wall and dropped at mile 33), Wardian and Roes and then it came down to a a major error by versatile runner Mike Wardian who with the race virtually in the bag made a navigational error and ran 5km further than necessary and handed the victory to comeback kid Geoff Roes. Roes takes his first major victory in 2011 with a time of 8hrs 52 minutes after a somewhat disappointing year where he dropped at WS100 and UTMB with Mike Wardian and Matt Faherty making up second and third.
In the womens race Ragen Petrie gapped Devon Crosby-Helms to win in 10hrs 15 minutes with Anne Riddle Lundblad in third place. Meanwhile Nikki Kimball took 1st place and 6th overall at the tough Bear 100 miler in the mountains of Utah where there is over 8000m of climbing and altitude average of 7000ft. Nick Pedatella took out the mens race.
In other news we have seen the second cancellation in as many months of a multistage race due to fires. The Simpson Desert MultiMarathon at the half way stage was abandoned due to a large unconfined fire front likely to intercept the runners.
Overnight local boys Mick Donges and Brendan Davies will be representing Australia in the Commonwealth Trail Championships on the Isle of Anglesey in Wales. Run hard and smart guys.