More than 2,500 runners were graced with perfect weather at The North Face Endurance Challenge Championships held in the Marin Headlands of the San Francisco Bay Area this past weekend. In its seventh year, the race boasts a $30,000 prize purse for top finishers, magnificent views of the Pacific coastline and an incredible international field of elite runners.
The North Face newest athlete team member Rob Krar of Flagstaff, Ariz. surged to come in first place at the GORE-TEX® 50-mile with a time 6:21:07. Krar broke away from the pack of the incredibly deep elite field of men at mile 40 and was clocked running just over a five-minute-mile pace through mile 44 before crossing the finish line 10 minutes ahead of his closest competition. This win is added to a robust list of 2013 career highlights, including setting the Fastest Known Time (FKT) on the Grand Canyon 42-mile Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim, a second place finish at his first 100-mile race – the Western States 100, and a blazing first place finish at the Ultra Race of Champions (UROC) just two months ago.
“He had a steely determination on his face throughout the race. It was an amazing thing to witness, especially given the deep field of talented runners in the race. ” Editor-in-Chief of Competitor Magazine Brian Metzler said. “Rob has had an amazing year running and racing on the trails, all of which is the result of his relentless training, willingness to push himself to the edge of his limits and an undeniable passion that runs through the entire fabric of his life."
Krar was followed by Cameron Clayton (6:31:15) of Boulder, Colo. who placed second, and Chris Vargo (6:33:32) of Colorado Springs, Colo. who placed third overall.
“The competition was fierce and the trails were awesome, ” Krar said after securing first place. “I think any of the athletes out there would say that racing strong this late in the season is difficult mentally and physically. I feel relieved to end the year with such a strong finish.”
Colorado’s Michelle Yates was the first female finisher with a time of 7:21:53, followed by Magdalena Boulet of Oakland, Calif. with a time of 7:31:15, and Sweden’s Emelie Forsberg with a time of 7:46:25.
Registration is already open for the first two The North Face Endurance Challenge Series events in 2014 in New York (May 3-4) and Washington D.C. (June 7-8). All races feature 50-Mile, 50k, Marathon, Marathon Relay, Half Marathon, 10k and 5k distances. All other events in the series will open in January, 2014. For more information, please visit www.thenorthface.com/endurancechallenge