Morning sun on the first climb.
Hal Koerner wins again.
Hal Koerner makes it look easy on his way to victory.
Jenn Shelton cheers as she leads Jurek and Torrence over the first climb.
Carly Varner is all smiles on her way to prize money.
Far from the bright lit, sky-scraping, air-conditioned casinos is a place called Bootleg Canyon. You can see The Las Vegas Strip from Bootleg, but as this band of Rogue Valley Runners experienced first hand, it's a far cry from the plush hotel rooms that await most visitors when they arrive in southern Nevada's Sin City.
The objective was a race called the World of Hurt. The race lived up to it's name. Thirty-four miles of rocky, volcanic, technical single track. For those who were smarter, a 25 Kilometer loop was offered. The Mojave Desert heat added to the difficulty of the event. Temperatures would reach 85 degrees, and without any vegetation higher than your knees, shade would become a long lost dream.
In the women's 34-mile event, Jenn Shelton and Carly Varner, both from Ashland, would tackle the course with success. In fact, they would be the only lady finishers for the distance. That earned them $500 and $300 respectively in prize money.
In the men's 34-mile race a small, but competitive field gathered. Ashland's Hal Koerner, RVR store owner and last year's World of Hurt winner, would attempt to defend his title. Trying to unseat the thrown sitter were last year's runner-up, Josh Brimhall, Seattle's Scott Jurek, Colorado's Justin Ricks and Ashland resident and RVR employee Ian Torrence.
After the dust had cleared Koerner retained his crown, earned $500 in prize money and watched as most of the competition fell to the wayside during the second lap of the race. Jurek would continue to hang in for third place.
Scott Jurek leads Ian Torrence on a rocky section during the first lap.
Maria Clementi runs the 25K.
The Group. (standing l to r) Race Director Eric Herdman, Josh Brimhall, Scott Jurek, Hillary Noel, Hal Koerner, Carly Varner, Jenn Shelton (kneeling l to r) Maria Clementi, Ian Torrence
Full race results can be found here.
A special thanks to Tarl and Carrie Norman for most of the photography.