Local boy Josiah Middaugh once again proved he is unbeatable in the Jack Link’s Beef Jerky Ultimate Mountain Challenge (UMC), winning the event for the eighth straight year, on the fourth and final day of competition at the 2014 GoPro Mountain Games.
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 an eighth UMC title in dominating fashion, beating Cody Wait of Lakewood, Colo., by over 16 minutes with a total time of 3:06:49.97. Ryan Ignatz of Boulder, Colo. finished in third.
In the women’s race, the competition was closer with some of the best female multi-sport athletes in the country battling it out to the bitter end. After four events, Olympic Nordic skier Rebecca Dussault of Gunnison, Colo., defeated off-road triathlon world champion Shonny Vanlandingham, from Durango, Colo., to claim her first UMC victory, with a total finishing time of 3:40:28.33. Heidi Rentz from Moab, Utah, took third place.
In the Thule Road Bike Time Trial, two-time U.S. national road bike champion and one of the most highly decorated women in professional cycling, Mara Abbott (UnitedHealthCare) from Boulder, Colo., won for the third year in a row, with a time of 32:12.78. Erin Huck (Tokyo Joe’s), who won yesterday’s cross country mountain bike race, finished in second place, 1:15.93 back. Abigail Mickey from Aspen, Colo. finished in third.
In the men’s race, Aussie Ben Day (UnitedHealthCare) of Boulder, Colo., was the odds-on favorite to win, as he held the Vail TT course record for many years with a time of 25:48, until Levi Leipheimer bested it by a second in the 2011 USA Pro Challenge. Day was not on record pace today, but his time of 27:38.56 was more than enough to take the win. Fernando Riveros Paez (Rotor Scott), of Colorado Springs, followed up his third place finish in yesterday’s mountain bike race with a second place today in the TT, 1:04.95 back from Day. Michael Burleigh of Denver was third.
Both the men’s and the women’s winners of yesterday’s half marathon at the GoPro Mountain Games picked up victories again today in the Vasque 10K Spring Runoff trail run. Joseph Gray from Colorado Springs finished with a time of 45:05.59 and Morgan Arritola from Ketchum, Idaho, won in a time of 53:41.79.
At the Gibbon Slacklines 2014 World Cup, last year’s champion Alex Mason of El Cerrito, Calif., relinquished his title to Jaan Roose of Tallinn, Estonia who linked together an impressive combination of tricks to claim the victory. Mason ended up in second and Felix Carreira of Salem, Ore., walked away with a third place finish.
Full results from today’s events can be found here.
Download a VNR from today here and additional images here.
Image courtesy Logan Robertson - GoPro Mountain Games / Vail Valley Foundation