I DNF'd at UROC - my first DNF of any race of any distance in my entire running career.
UROC was an exciting event and even with a DNF, I truly enjoyed the weekend. As a "rookie" ultra runner, being able to compete in highly competitive races is a thrill and a huge learning experience. I met so many people that I would have never had the chance to meet, at this point in my ultra running career, without an event like UROC.
There were many DNF's at UROC from the elite field and Bryon Powell talked of potential reasons why in his post race report, saying "I don’t think that’s a dig on the character of the racers, new or veteran, as I think most folks want to finish what they start, but the money could lead folks to (1) toe the line when they’re less certain they’re fully prepared for a race and (2) go out closer to the edge of their capabilities early in a race and just see whether or not they have it on a given day. On the latter point, this could both lead to some tremendous performances when runners’ gambles pay off and make for some damn exciting races."
Bryon nailed it in that comment. I fall in the first category - after Burning River less than two months before UROC, I tried to ramp up my training way to quick after the 100. I paid for it a month later and took seven days completely off and simply did not have what I consider proper training leading up to UROC. This was such a exciting opportunity to meet a lot of cool people and I also wanted to see how my body would race after "not so good" training. My previous ultras came after great stretches of training and I felt confident going into it. I knew this would be a new experience and I wanted to see what it was like. I probably would have ran this race even without the prize money and if the other variables were the same. Although, without the prize money, the other variables probably wouldn't have been there.
As for the actual UROC race, it was good. I only ran the first 26 miles but I liked the feel of it. The trail sections were spectacular and the road sections were not as bad as I though they could be. If there was no fog, the views along the course would have been even more spectacular. I see this event growing in the future and probably even more money being added to the purse... making it that much more exciting.