White River 50 Miler

About the Race

The White River 50 is one of the classic ultras of Washington.  While there’s not enough prize money to attract the “big names”, there are plenty of super-fast runners that show up to go after the glory of winning this one.  I kind of like it that way.  My race report won’t really get into the battle at the front, because I don’t really care.  One of the things that I love about ultrarunning is the egalitarian feel of it.  No celebrities – everyone is out there together.  I hope it stays that way!  Here is the only reference to the front of the pack: A picture of the start.

Clear, cool morning.
Clear, cool morning.

The Course

“It’s just two climbs.”  Every White River veteran knows this phrase.  Just two climbs.  Two steep, long, punishing climbs that take up about half of the 50 mile course.  The course starts at the Buck Creek Airstrip, meanders through some beautiful woods, crosses the road, then goes up.  And up.  I had forgotten how high the first half of the course went.  We pretty quickly got to the 4000′ range and kept on pushing.  The course tops out at just under 6000′ in the miles surrounding Corral Pass (Mile 17 aid station).  There is then a long, soft descent back to the start/finish to start the second loop.  The grade down is so comfortable and the ground so soft that it’s tempting to just open up and go fast.  Do so at your own risk!


Yakima Skyline Rim 50K – 2014 Edition

Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more… -Henry V, Act III, Scene I

Back to Yakima

Last year was my first time attempting Rainshadow Running‘s Yakima Skyline Rim 50K.  It was also the first time the thought that I might not finish a race entered into my head.  I finished the brutal trail run, but it was definitely a death march the last 6 miles in to the line.  I told myself: “never again.”  So, of course, a year later I found myself back at the Umtanum Recreation Area, ready to start the race.
“Once more unto the breach.”  That’s all that kept going through my head.  Why was I doing this again?  Too late for that, though.  The plan?  Repeat nothing I did last year.  The result would have to be better!