UPWC 2016 Wrap/2017 Launch Party

UPWC 2016 Wrap/2017 Launch Party

For the second year in a row Phil Kochik and Seven Hills Running Shop hosted the UltraPedestrian Wilderness Challenge Wrap/Launch party. This now annual event is when the Finisher’s Patches and other honors are awarded, exceptional performance is recognized, and out is handed swag for the year recently concluded. Then new routes, rules updates, and any changes to the contest guidelines are announced.

It also happened to be a gathering of some of the most BadAss Hominids in the Pacific Northwest. Phil provided vegan pizza, there was soda pop, and an assortment of beer showed up. Red, gold, and green UltraPedestrian stickers were passed around. There was a vibe of not just excitement, but of long anticipated camaraderie, as well as some eyeballing of the boxes of prizes and swag from Nathan Sports and Altra Running.

The biggest announcement of the night was a change of format. For the first four years the UPWC announced new routes each year, Finisher’s Patches had the year printed on them, and the routes were off the table the next year. But all that ended with 2016.

Beginning with the 2017 UPWC all ten of the original Wilderness Challenge routes are open once again, as is the Double Desolation Mind/Body route and the new Sourdough Sufferfest Mind/Body route, and three new UPWC routes are in the offing. In total, there are 15 routes in play for the 2017 UPWC. For each route 100 Finisher’s Patches will be made. Once all 100 patches are awarded for a route, it will be closed. Each year new routes will continue to be added.

Altra Running supplied buffs for everyone who completed a route. Nathan Sports provided BigShot bottles to each finisher as well. And, of course, each person received a custom Finisher’s Patch for each route they completed.

Nathan Sports generously provided their brand new 25 liter Journey Fastpack as a special award for “Firsties”, the first people to complete a new route. Those who bag Firsties face a more substantial challenge than those who follow in their footsteps, since the do so with little to no route beta. John T. Barrickman got Firsties on the La Bohn Traverse, Jon Armstrong bagged Firsties for Windy Peak, and Lisa Eversgerd, with Kathy Vaughan, nabbed Firsties as the first ever female finishers of the Double Desolation Mind/Body Challenge.

Altra Running also supplied trucker caps emblazoned with their iconic Zero Limits motto. One was awarded to Brad Hefta-Gaub for his NOBO/SOBO/YOYO La Bohn Traverse out-and-back. Another was awarded to Arya Farahani for designing the La Bohn Traverse route. And Rm Shnkr Sv Kmr won a pair of Altra Olympus max midsole trail shoes.

Links to the complete results can be found here: