Vail local Josiah Middaugh once again proved he’s one of the country’s strongest all-around athletes, winning the Jack Link’s Beef Jerky Ultimate Mountain Challenge (UMC) for the seventh year in a row, on the fourth and final day of competition at the 2013 GoPro Mountain Games.
After four races in two days, competitors in the UMC can finally put up their legs and rest for a bit. Over the weekend, UMC athletes competed in a downriver kayak sprint, a cross-country mountain bike race, a 10K trail run and a road bike time trial. Middaugh, who has won every UMC competition since the race began in 2007, notched a seventh UMC title in convincing fashion, beating Tavis Macy of Evergreen, Colorado, by over seven minutes with a total time of 3:09:24.6. Adam Wirth of Boise, Idaho, finished in third.
One of the most popular spectator events at the GoPro Mountain Games proved to be the 2013 Slackline World Championships, as a crowd of thousands gathered to watch 14-year-old Alex “the Machine” Mason from El Cerrito, California, defeat current world champion Lukas Huber from Italy
In the women’s UMC race, Jen Gersbach-Venzara from Durango, Colorado, claimed her first UMC victory, beating Gretchen Reeves of Avon, Colorado, by just over a minute, finishing with a total time of 3:48:47.8. Heidi Rentz from Moab, Utah, took third place.
In the Thule Road Bike Time Trial, pro cyclist Mara Abbott from Boulder, Colorado, defended her title from last year and improved her time by over two minutes to finish in 30:20.28. Erin Huck, who won yesterday’s cross country mountain bike race, finished in second place,1:37 back. For the men, Leroy Popowski of Colorado Springs finished first with a time of 28:09.07.
Josh Eberly from Gunnison, Colorado, who won yesterday’s half marathon at the GoPro Mountain Games, once again proved his speed and claimed victory in the Garmin 10K Spring Runoff trail run, finishing with a time of 45:56.30. Megan Kimmel of Silverton, Colorado, won the women’s race in 54:34.30
In the Maui Jim SUP Surf Cross, pro kayaker Erik Jackson, proved he’s just as good standing up when he paddles as he is sitting down, and was the first to cross the finish line in the final heat of four men, narrowly edging out Mike Harvey of Salida.