First year event hosted by HomeFed drew 1,200 runners and featured four challenging trail run courses — 50 mile ultra, marathon, half-marathon and five mile hike — at pristine Wild Cherry Canyon in Avila Beach; post-event Bluegrass Festival presented by Race SLO & event beneficiary The Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County
AVILA BEACH, Calif. — (September 10, 2016) — On Saturday under cool, overcast conditions and later warm temperatures at pristine, private Wild Cherry Canyon, Gary Gellin, 48, from Mill Valley, CA and Nicole Judd, 29, from Temecula, CA won the inaugural, sold-out SLO Ultra 50 Mile in 7 hours, 48 minutes, 3 seconds and 9:00:49, respectively. Interestingly, Gellin started his engineering career at nearby Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant owned by PG&E, an event partner.
The unique Race SLO-managed event, hosted by HomeFed and produced in partnership with event beneficiary The Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County, sold-out at 1,200 runners and featured four challenging trail run courses — 50 mile ultra, marathon, half-marathon and five mile hike. The 50 Mile trail course had 9,500 feet of elevation change to test the best of runners.
“Our inaugural event, with 1,200 ultra and trail runners, was a spectacular sight from start to finish! A huge thank you to all the participants and our generous event partners and sponsors as well as our dedicated volunteers and staff,” said Samantha Pruitt, Race SLO Founder & CEO. “The post-race Finish Line Festival, with the live music, fresh BBQ and cold beverages, proved to be the perfect ending to a signature Endurance Town USA experience on the beautiful Central Coast!”
The Marathon was won by Joe Thorne, 32, Grover Beach, CA and Kelsey Lakowske, 23, Davis, CA who covered the challenging 26.2 mile trail course in 3:06:11 and 3:50:15, respectively. Thorne, the 2013 SLO Marathon champion and also a two-time SLO Half Marathon champion (2014, 2016), said post-race, “This was the most fun that I’ve ever had at a race.”
In the Half-Marathon, San Luis Obispo residents Connor Blalock, age 22, and Nicole Hagobian, age 41, crossed the finish line first in 1:36:29 and 1:47:07, respectively. The 13.1 trail race, with 548 entrants, was the event’s largest.
The 5 Mile, the shortest event distance, was won by 14-year-old Aiden Stamford who beat his father, Chad Stamford, 43, of San Luis Obispo, CA, 35:58 to 37:24, while in the women’s race, Angela Miller, 31, from Santa Barbara, CA edged Kaaren Abbate, 48, of San Luis Obispo, CA, 48:21 to 48:22.
The Bluegrass Festival, held from noon to 5:00pm at the SLO Ultra finish line, featured The Mother Corn Shuckers and other local musicians on stage during and after the races. Hot, fresh Rib Line BBQ also served along with beer from Firestone Walker & Michelob Ultra and non-alcoholic beverages.
In addition at the SLO Ultra, The North Face gear was the official participant swag along with collectible wood & leather race medals, awards for the top three athletes overall in all races and age groups. The 50 Mile race champions also were awarded unique SLO Ultra jackets, hats and swag.
The inaugural event drew runners from 16 states and 3 countries (USA, Canada and Mexico). The youngest entrant was 6-year-old Benny Easton-Carr and the oldest entrant was Sally Adams, 74, from San Luis Obispo, CA.
Inaugural SLO Ultra presented by VisitAvilaBeach.com
Wild Cherry Canyon, Avila Beach, CA, Saturday, September 10, 2016
1) Gary Gellin, 48, Mill Valley, CA, 7:48:03
2) Kyle Brazil, 29, San Francisco, CA, 8:38:36
3) Jacob Edman, 26, Oakland, CA, 8:55:30
1) Nicole Judd, 29, Temecula, CA, 9:00:49
2) Michelle Hamilton, 35, San Luis Obispo, CA, 9:30:12
3) Beth Richie, 32, Morro Bay, CA, 9:51:24
1) Joe Thorne, 32, Grover Beach, CA, 3:06:11
2) Feliciano Aguilar, 35, Santa Maria, CA, 3:51.58
3) Calvin Harris, 28, Arroyo Grande, CA, 3:56:45
1) Kelsey Lakowske, 23, Davis, CA, 3:50:15
2) Kelley Puckett, 35, Los Angeles, CA, 3:55:15
3) Holly Rodgers, 37, Los Osos, CA, 4:21:01
1) Connor Blalock, 22, San Luis Obispo, CA, 1:36:29
2) Nicholas Meko, 25, Long Beach, CA, 1:45:08
3) Korey Kolb, 30, San Luis Obispo, CA, 1:45:42
1) Nicole Hagobian, 41, San Luis Obispo, CA, 1:47:07
2) Erin Tracht, 35, San Luis Obispo, CA, 1:56:07
3) Kathrin Meade, 35, San Luis Obispo, CA, 1:56:41
1) Aiden Stamford, 14, San Luis Obispo, CA, 35:58
2) Chad Stamford, 43, San Luis Obispo, CA, 37:24
3) Victor Ballesteros, 46, San Rafael, CA, 37:32
1) Angela Miller, 31, Santa Barbara, CA, 48:21
2) Kaaren Abbate, 48, San Luis Obispo, CA, 48:22
3) Mickey Woomer, 53, Granada Hills, CA, 48:44
For complete race results, go to: http://georesults.racemine.com/SLO-Marathon/events/2016/slo-ultra-at-wild-cherry-canyon/results
Visit SLOultra.com for more event information including race photos when available and 2017 registration.
Visit RaceSLO.com to for upcoming events and to register today.
Established in 2010 to bring world class sporting events to the beautiful California Central Coast, the Race SLO family of annual events currently includes the SLO Marathon + Half and Family Fitness 5K (Spring), SLO GranFondo (Fall) and SLO Ultra at Wild Cherry Canyon (Fall ).
Come experience the best the California Central Coast has to offer: year-round sunshine, rolling green hills, unspoiled open roads, first class finish lines and more. Come Race SLO: #EnduranceTownUSA!