After two successful years in Colorado, the Ultra Race of Champions moved west to a new venue in Auburn, Calif. True to the UROC mission, the new course featured mixed terrain to challenge runners of all skill sets, including many new trails in the Auburn State Recreation Area that had never seen a footrace and amazing singletrack routes along the American River.
The 100K championship race (which once again featured a $20,000 prize purse) was a battle between some of the sport’s young up-and-coming stars, with 29-year-old Justin Houck of Mercer Island, Wash., the overall winner in 8:53:22 over 29-year-old Mario Mendoza (9:12:09), 19-year-old Ford Smith (9:47:17) and 22-year-old Tyler Van Dyke (9:59:59). In the women’s championship race, Magdalena Boulet and Kaci Lickteig renewed the friendly rivalry they forged three months earlier while finishing first and second, respectively, at the Western States 100. Boulet, a 2008 U.S. Olympic marathoner from Oakland, Calif., fresh off a runner-up finish at the CCC 100K in Chamonix, France, came out on top again (10:03:29), outlasting the tenacious Larisa Dannis (10:25:41), Lickteig (10:56:22) and Kerrie Wlad (11:22:17). “Auburn truly rolled out the red carpet for the Ultra Race of Champions,” says co-race director J. Russell Gill, “making the elite, age group runners and race organizers (Bad to the Bone Sports) very excited about this new championship venue.” (Full results are on the UROC website.)
Check out the photo gallery from the race below!