Vesuvius, VA –May 22, 2017. The 7th Annual Ultra Race of Champions (UROC) 100k has drawn a deep field of elite runners to stunning Skylark in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. The race, which also includes a 50k and 25k, took place on May 13 and 14, 2017. The race attracted not only elite runners, but also competitors of all abilities wanting to challenge themselves on what many finishers called “the most beautiful course” they had ever seen. Highlighting the registered elite runners were Chris Mocko, Jorge Maravilla, Jared Hazen, Brian Rusiecki, Erik Sorenson, Amanda Basham, Timmy Parr, Joshua Arthur, Anthony Kunkel, Laura Kline, Stephen Wassather, Amy Rusiecki, Jim Sweeney, Christian Gering, Emily Ansick, Daren Thomas, Kyle Curtin, Stephanie Manny, Russelll Kalbach, William Ansick, Julia Popova, Tyler Peek and Murat Mazicioglu.
With the race starting on gravel roads, the deep field stuck together until the first stretch of single-track trail, where Chris Mocko took the lead which he would maintain the whole day, followed close behind by Jorge Maravilla, Erik Sorenson, Brian Rusiecki and Darren Thomas. Amanda Basham also took the lead early into the race: Amanda was followed close behind by Laura Kline and Amy Rusiecki. Unfortunately, Amy had to drop because of hitting her patella on a rock during a fall. Mocko and Basham captured the Champions podium and the prize purse of $5,000 each with respective times of 8:56:39 and 11:09:14. Second place and the $2,000 each went to Jorge Maravilla and Laura Kline. Third place and the $1,500 each went to Brian Rusiecki and Emily Ansick. Fourth place and the $1,000 each went to Darren Thomas and Anne Pike. Fifth place and the $500 each went to Jim Sweeney and Julia Popova. The Master’s Champions, taking home the $500 each were Will Swenson and Maya Brown.
"I couldn't be more pleased with the race experience provided by the UROC team”, says Chris Mocko, the Men’s Champion. “A perfectly marked course, well-stocked aid stations, and amazingly friendly volunteers greeting the runners throughout the race. And the course itself was as challenging as it was beautiful--a great opportunity to take-in the scenery, creeks, and rocky terrain that the East Coast has to offer!"
"UROC was brutally awesome!” says Amanda Basham, the Women’s Champion. “I haven't raced on the east coast much but it's absolutely beautiful! It was much more technical than I anticipated but the well-marked course, volunteers and race directors helped me through the tough mental times. I hope to be back next year!"
“We are ecstatic about finishing UROC at Skylark” says James Russell Gill III, UROC’s Race Director and Bad to the Bone CEO. “The views of the Blue Ridge Mountains from the finish line are mesmerizing. We are also thrilled about the decision to host the race in May. May is more conducive to many runners’ racing schedules, as it is earlier in the year. In addition, May is a beautiful time in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The trees have just bloomed and they are greener than any other time of year. The rhododendrons, mountain laurels, lady slippers and many other wildflowers are all in bloom, making the trails and views truly magical. We look forward to hosting the 8th annual UROC in 2018 at Skylark!”
The choice of moving UROC to the East Coast has not gone unnoticed and has been well received by East Coast runners themselves who yearn for more high caliber events. “I had a great time at UROC this weekend,” says Matt Young, 2017 race participant and Head Coach, Genesis Running. “I was excited to see the race come back to the East Coast for 2017. I loved the mix of terrain on the course and the variety it offered. It’s great to see big events hit the East Coast trails and bring in the elite runners that may never come this way otherwise.”
“The race was a huge success because of the location, great field of runners and our sponsors” says Dr. Francesca Conte, Bad to the Bone Sports President. “With this kind of event, the sponsors’ support is crucial and the event could not be possible without Hoka One One, OS1st, Camelbak, Spike-FREE and their SFUELS bars and The Right Stuff. We truly appreciate our sponsors’ commitment to the event and we look forward the planning for the 2018 event.”
Registration for UROC will open on July 15th, 2017. More information and coverage of the 2017 event can be found at www.ultraroc.com. On social media, UROC can be found on Facebook and Twitter (@UROCUltraRace). For more information and for press inquiries, please contact Dr. Francesca Conte at (434) 218-0402 or Contact
About Bad to the Bone Sports™
By directing premiere road and trail events all over the United States, Bad to the Bone Sports™ strives to motivate runners of all backgrounds to challenge themselves. For over 13 years, Bad to the Bone Sports™ events have reflected owners James Russell Gill III and Dr. Francesca Conte decades-long knowledge and passion for running. www.badtothebone.biz
About the Ultra Race of Champions
UROC is open to all runners. The mission of UROC is to create the Super Bowl for the sport of ultra-distance running. Elite runners are invited based on the recommendation of the UROC Elite Advisory Council and their performances at key events in the sport all over the World: at UROC, elite runners and weekend warriors race side by side. The UROC Elite Advisory Council includes some of the best ultrarunners from around the World: Ian Sharman, Dave Mackey, Michael Wardian, Kaci Lickteig, Devon Yanko, and Anna Frost. UROC also relies on the support of several Ambassadors, who are vital to the success of the championship. UROC Ambassadors Catra Corbett and Ken Michal are the backbone of ultra-distance running and some of the most active and influential runners in the sport. Best of the Best, One Course, One Day. For more information, visit http://www.ultraroc.com/ or find it on social media on Facebook at “Ultra Race of Champions” or on Twitter #UROCUltraRace, #BeAChampion.