Uwharrie Mountain Run Kicks Off 5th Annual La Sportiva Mountain Cup

La Sportiva North America announces that the first race of the 10-race 2012 La Sportiva Mountain Cup is the Uwharrie Mountain Run, in Ophir, NC.
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Boulder, Colo.) – La Sportiva North America, makers of the world's finest mountain products, announces that the first race of the 2012 La Sportiva Mountain Cup is the Uwharrie Mountain Run, in Ophir, NC. The first race of the 10-race national series is set for tomorrow, February 4th, 2012.

“2012 is a special year for the La Sportiva Mountain Cup,” says Kevin Fonger, La Sportiva's marketing manager. “It's the fifth anniversary of the series and we are pleased to once again have GORE-TEX participate as presenting sponsor. Competitors of all levels should be prepared for tough but exciting races in beautiful locations across the country. Starting with this weekend's race in Ophir, this year will be a great one.”

The La Sportiva Mountain Cup brings European-style mountain racing to America, featuring 10 trail races at select destinations around the country and $25,000 in prize money. The series is open to anyone who'd like to participate in any Mountain Cup event; participants may enter as few or as many events as they want. Overall scoring will be tabulated after each race and final results will be based on the participant's best five events. Each event will award points to the top 10 racers and every race will count equally – there are no premium points for longer distances. At the end of the season, the five fastest and most consistent male and female racers will receive a cash prize for their Mountain Cup performance.

In 2011, Megan Kimmel was crowned the women's overall champion for the third straight year and the men's overall winner, Jared Scott, came on strong at the end by finishing 1st at the last three races.

The Series will recognize an athlete outside the realm of the top competitors by presenting the Standout Award to a participant who displays some kind of notable achievement regarding the race. Recipients of the Standout Award will receive a pair of La Sportiva Mountain Running shoes and an impressive prize package from the La Sportiva Mountain Running Team's associate sponsors.

In an effort to raise awareness and support for local organizations focused on the trail running community, 100 limited-edition Mountain Cup travel coffee mugs will be sold at the La Sportiva booth. Proceeds will be donated to a local non-profit organization agreed upon by La Sportiva and the race director.

The 2012 La Sportiva Mountain Cup venues will include:

2/4/12 • Uwharrie Mountain Run (20M) • Ophir, NC (http://www.raceuwharrie.com/)

2/18/12 • Moab's Red Hot 33K (33K) • Moab, UT (http://grassrootsevents.net/home/moabs-red-hot-55k-33k/)

2/26/12 • Ugly Mudder 7Mi Trail Run (7mi) • Reading, PA (http://www.pretzelcitysports.com/uglymudder.html)

3/3/12 • Hillbilly Half Marathon (13.1M) • Olympia, WA (http://www.guerillarunning.com/Mountain_Marathon.html)

4/7/12 • Hell's Hills (25K) • Smithville, TX (http://www.tejastrails.com/HellsHills.html)

5/12/12 • Don't Fence Me In Trail Run (30K) • Helena, MT (http://www.pricklypearlt.org/eventscalendar/dfmi_index.htm)

5/19/12 • Jemez Half Marathon (13.1M) • Los Alamos, NM (http://www.highaltitudeathletics.org/JemezMt.htm)

6/2/12 • Rothrock Challenge (30K) • State College, PA (http://www.rothrockchallenge.com/4601.html)

7/15/12 • Barr Trail Mountain Race (12.5M) • Pikes Peak, CO (http://www.runpikespeak.com/)

8/4/12 • Jupiter Peak Steeplechase (16K) • Park City, UT (http://www.mountaintrails.org)

For detailed commentary, standings, giveaways and timely race coverage reports throughout the season, check out the official media partner of the 2012 La Sportiva Mountain Cup, iRunFar.com. For additional information about the La Sportiva Mountain Cup, a complete list of venues, sponsors, registered athletes and local participating retailers go to: www.mountaincup.com.

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