Competing in the Ultimate Mountain Challenge at the Winter Teva Mountain Games is no small feat. The schedule: 10K Nordic race on Friday, ski mountaineering race on Saturday (20 miles and 8,000 feet of elevation gain), and finally a two-mile race up 2,200 feet on Sunday morning.
The outdoor athletes vying for the UMC title in Vail, Colorado did all that—and in less than six hours. Brian Smith finished the three events with a total time of 5:12:29, winning Sunday’s uphill race to seal his victory. Sari Anderson completed the weekend with a time of 5:30:32, winning the women’s UMC and becoming the first athlete to hold both the summer and winter titles.
Marshall Thomson (5:16:48) was second in the men’s UMC, and Mike Kloser, age 52, clocked in at 5:17:31 to take third. On the women’s side, Janelle Smiley took silver in 5:35:38 and Stevie Kremer (6:02:36).
Josiah Middaugh, a multiple UMC winner at the summer games, sat out the winter competition but turned in an impressive performance. On Saturday night, he won the 10K snowshoe race, then was at the 7:00 a.m. start for the uphill race and ran to victory in 32:03. Jason Delaney (32:22) and John Tribbia (32:31) rounded out the men’s podium. Kremer, Smiley, and Anderson finished first, second, and third, respectively, in the women’s race.
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