September 19, 2011, Charlottesville, VAâ€”Trail Runner Ultra Race of Champions (UROC) will host its inaugural championship 100K race this weekend, September 24th at Wintergreen Resort, outside of Charlottesville, VA. The current roster of elite athletes isn’t the only thing that sets this race apartâ€”and indeed above any other single day ultra running competition to date. Race directors J. Russell Gill and Francesca Conte from Bad to the Bone Endurance Sports have created a media arm (Bad to the Bone Media) just to cover the event. As ultra runners themselves, they know spectators want to see more, and want to change the rules by setting new standards, starting with UROC.
To them, this means hiring an experienced and professional film crew, enlisting an authentic voice/champion runner to provide video commentary, and posting UROC race footage same day with a small delay (estimated two-hours) before spectators are able to watch online. Bad to the Bone Media will provide an advance schedule indicating times to tune into the UROC video broadcast as well as stream the UROC start and finish live via webcam for on demand, up-to-the-minute viewing.
Sufficient to say, the film crew and techno hounds will be hopping. Award-winning movie studio Amoeba Films founder Brian Wimer describes it this way: "We're going to be running almost as fast as the athletes," says director Wimer, whose camera teams will be relentlessly criss-crossing the race route and uploading footage on the fly. "The scale of the project is challenging. But we ultra-film folks like it that way."
Which is also how race director Gill likes it. He makes no bones about the fact that his main goal in launching the Ultra Race of Champions is to create the â€œSuperbowlâ€ of ultra distance running. He notes the sport has grown dramatically in the past decade and many followers of the sport have longed for a true annual â€œchampionship eventâ€ that would determine the sport’s best ultra distance runners for that calendar year. Now, that day has come. â€œEvery major sport has a single day competition to determine that year’s Championâ€ says Gill â€œNow, ultra distance runners will have their day.â€
And that day will be chronicled according to Gill, â€œunlike any ultra race in history.â€ Spectators from around the world will be able to tune in for pre-race video coverage and athlete interviews, race day scheduled video broadcast, real-time race splits from major course check points and tweets throughout the race from spectators as well as competitors.
â€œAs an ultra runner and race director, I know what the sport has been missing.â€ says Francesca Conte, co-race director. â€œBeing able to watch live footage from the course will make the race come alive not only for the runners, but for all the web spectators. Our goal is to raise the bar, while still maintaining the core authenticity of the sport and capturing what makes ultra races so special.â€
Enlisting veteran runner and 7-time top ten Western States 100 Mile finisher Andy Jones-Wilkins as commentator will ensure UROC achieves its media objectives. He will be â€œThe Voiceâ€ of the 2011 Ultra Race of Champions, providing commentary for the video broadcast as well as the â€œRed Carpet Interviewsâ€ conducted in conjunction with Trail Runner magazine. â€œThis race is an amazing opportunity to see an amazing collection of talented ultra runners in a beautiful place. Watching (and now documenting!) the race unfold will be truly exhilaratingâ€ says Andy. â€œI can’t wait!â€
2011 Trail Runner Ultra Race of Champions (UROC) Video Broadcast Schedule:
9/23 Pre-Race Broadcast Schedule Type of Coverage
Starting Friday at 2 PM EST Candid Videos (behind the scenes of UROC)
Starting Friday at 2 PM EST Red Carpet Interviews with Athletes
Starting Friday at 9 PM EST Meet the Elites Panel Discussion/Q & A
9/24 RACE DAY Race Day Video Coverage (See UROC LIVE)
All day Saturday (EST) Live Webcam at the start
* 9:30 AM Start of UROC to Reeds Gap – Miles 0 to 9.3
10:30 AM Reeds Gap to entrance of White Rock Trail – Miles 9.3 to 14.1
12:30 PM Sherando Lake Recreation Area loop – Miles 16 to 20
*2:00 PM Bald MT to Whetstone Ridge (Dragon’s Back) – Miles 25.9 to 33.1
4:00 PM Whetstone Ridge to Bald Mountain – Miles 33.1 to 48.5
5:00 PM White Rock Trail to the Finish at Wintergreen – Miles 53.4 to 62.5
3:00 PM Post Race Interviews
7:00 PM â€œLIVEâ€ Award Ceremony – Ultra Race of Champions
*9:30 AM – Includes video coverage of the Ortovox â€œKing/Queen of the Mountainâ€ competition
*2:00 PM – Includes video coverage of the Ortovox â€œLeader of the Pack, First to the Dragon’s Backâ€ competition
About Brian Wimer and Amoeba Films
Brian Wimer studied drama at Yale. After an extended segue into the ad world (where he gave voice to Taco Bell chihuahuas), he returned to his roots in the entertainment industry with the low-budget cult film Eat Me: The Musical. He has since won over thirty independent film awards, and been invited to more festivals than he currently cares to count. Wimer is now negotiating nine feature film projects in 2011.
Amoeba Art & Media (AKA Amoeba Films) is an award-winning production company and film studio with three features under its belt, as well as over one hundred shorts, commercials, industrials documentaries and music videos. Amoeba frequently collaborates on projects with The Filmmaker’s Republic, a collective of film-centric artists in Central Virginia who pool their considerable talents and resources to create and complete film projects of significant commercial or artistic merit (ideally both). Their ranks include writers, directors, actors, visual artists, musicians, technicians, and Sanskrit chanters. www.amoebafilms.tv
About Andy Jones-Wilkins
Andy Jones-Wilkins is an elite ultra runner. He began running ultra marathons in 1996 and 100-mile ultras in 2000, and became known for frequently finishing among the top, just shy of winning. He came in 2nd overall in the 2005 Western States, Angeles Crest 100 Mile, and the Rocky Raccoon 100 Mile, though he won the Where's Waldo 100k. This changed in 2007, when he took first place in both the Vermont 100 Mile and the Grand Teton 100 Mile (setting a course record). Recently, he repeated these same first place wins in both events in 2011. For current wins and accomplishments, see Andy’s personal blogsite. http://ajwsblog.blogspot.com/
About Bad to the Bone Endurance Sports
By directing premiere trail- and road-running events in the Shenandoah Mountains of Virginia, Bad to the Bone Endurance Sports strives to motivate runners of all backgrounds to challenge themselves. For almost 10 years, Bad to the Bone Endurance Sports events have reflected owners Gill and Francesca’s decades-long knowledge and passion for running. www.badtothebone.biz
About Trail Runner magazine
As the leading publication for one of North America's fastest growing sports, Trail Runner features in-depth editorial and compelling photography that informs, entertains and inspires readers of all ages and abilities to enjoy the outdoors and improve their health and fitness through trail running. www.trailrunnmag.com