A quick, opinionated post:
Truly disappointed in NorCal Ultras in their last-minute, "mid-season" decision to switch sponsorship from Montrail to Patagonia. Really?
What this means: The Montrail Ultra Cup is THE race series. Sorry Xterra, sorry NorthFace. Not even close. Montrail Ultra Cup = Western States qualifiers = maximum competition.
Because of the decision to switch sponsorship, two major, legendary races -- Way Too Cool (50K) and American River (50M) -- are no longer in the Montrail Cup circuit, which ends, or summits, at Western States.
These two races, above all others, signify that link between MUC and Western States because they both end within miles of the WS finish, in Auburn, CA. So to have them as part of the Cup, and have AR being a prime qualifier, was a perfect fit.
Now, for reasons unknown (Financial? Personal?), AR and WTC are out.
And to do so, mid-season, with the Cup already in progress? And to now make the Ultra Cup - with its WS qualifying 50 to 100K races - scramble to re-organize? Now we have three races clustered within the first month of the season (Waldo, Run Rabbit Run, Vermont), and three more (Sonoma, Leona Divide, Ice Age) clustered at the very end of the season, only weeks before WS -- with few races in between.
For those of us (me, Yassine, Dan-O, and countless others) chasing those WS qualifiers, this is greatly disappointing.
For those of us who love to have excuses to "get moving to Auburn" in the spring, a mountain of disappointment.