White River 50 Race Report – Stephen

Race: White River 50

Runner: Stephen

Date: 8/5/17

Location: Crystal Mountain, WA

Results – 11:39:44

3 Bests – what aspects of the race did you like the most
1) The race is VERY well organized.
2) The views (when it isn’t smokey or cloudy)
3) The amount of parking and the proximity to the start and finish line

Not so much – aspects of the race that didn’t do it for you
IT WAS HOT!!! AND DUSTY!!! AND SMOKEY!!! Granted every year will be different. This year especially there were wildfires up in BC absolutely devastating the air quality.

Weird factor – what’s the weirdest thing about this race
It really comes down to two really big climbs and descents. Skookum flats isn’t exactly flat but it is mostly run-able.

Highlights of your race – what did you do well and enjoy about your race in particular
The people! The aid stations are all full of well known local runners and simply amazing people!
I really enjoyed getting to see so much of team RunRun and my friends and family while running it made it a great day. Also this race is sort of a local type race, so its easy for folks to come down from Seattle and support.
The highlights for me were the wet towel at the halfway point, the sno cone up at sun top and really hammering the descent from sun top (finally felt like I was running how I wanted to the whole time!)

Lessons for others – share your pro-tips on the race to help the next runner
I got the tip to carry a bag of ice in my vest against my back. It helped and when I ran out of water, I pulled the baggie out and drank it. It was amazing.

Lessons you learned that will help you next time around
I found that the distance between each aid station was enough to drink 30-40 oz of fluids easy (two salomon flasks). It wasn’t enough for me, but will be for most. The second half of the race I even carried my bladder as well and that helped but I still got super hot. Oh and Ranger creek (you hit it twice) is ONLY WATER. So if you need food, grab it up at the coral pass aid station and stash it for later.

Most important course specific knowledge to know about the race
Going up the second big climb, there are not as many exposed areas as I had been told there were.. It is just hot. There were 3 creeks on the second climb, and I laid down in all three to help cool my core, but it wasn’t enough for me. Most people just jumped the creeks and kept going…

Aesthetics – is it a pretty course
Yes absolutely

Difficulty – is it a tough course
It say its a 8.5 out of 10. 10k feet of gain and 10k feet of loss is pretty normal. What makes it difficult is it is constant up or constant down, so you really don’t get a break.

Organized and well run – did it feel like a well-oiled machine or were they flying by the seat of their pants?
VERY WELL RUN!!!

Competition – is there a strong field?
I would say pretty strong. Not tons of elites, but enough fast folks to make it interesting.

Logistics – Does it require a special handshake, registration a year in advance, hotels all booked? Give us the low down on the nuts and bolts of making the race happen.
Let me say first, it is possible to drive down the morning of, race, then drive home in one day. Its a VERY long day, but possible. If you should chose to stay down near the race, sign up early because there are so few places to stay. Even camping sites fill up quick (except for tent camping -that was wide open…)

Aid Stations
The ones that had food were awesome! They had everything from fruits to sandwiches to the normal ultra food you would expect. Sun top had sno cones and beer even!

Weather and typical race conditions –
Hot as crap. Super dry. I changed socks at the half way point.

Gear – did you need anything special or is there anything you’d recommend for the next guy?
Definitely a bottle or two or three, or vest. If you sweat a lot wear the bladder in the vest.

Spectators – is this a friendly course for your friends
Sort of, usually coral pass is closed, and it was open this year. So depending, there are really only 2-3 aid stations they can get to.

The Overall Score – how many stars do you give this race and do you recommend that others run it
I give this race 8 stars out of 10. I wish Ranger creek had better aid, and I wish it were not so ding dang hot (i like cold miserable races…)

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