2018 White River 50 Race Preview
In its rich 25 year history, the White River 50 has seen stars born (Sage Canaday raced his 2nd ultra here back in 2012 and set the CR), legends make their mark (Anton Krupicka’s 2010 win just 4 weeks after Western States) in the ultrarunning scene and has become one of the gold standards for ultramarathons around the country. For over a decade, the race, held near Crystal Mountain Ski Resort and in the shadow of Washington's iconic Mount Rainier, was the USATF National Trail 50 mile Championships. Although that designation is absent for the 26th edition of the White River 50 this Saturday, July 28th, a competitive field on both the men’s and women’s sides is expected, as are hot conditions and the rabbit squad is expecting to make its presence felt in the Pacific Northwest.
Photo: Rickey Gates
Gus Gibbs - Boise, Idaho - rabbitELITEtrail
After a long hiatus from serious running the past five years, 2018 is just beginning for this speedster hailing from Mill Valley, California but now calling Boise home. Known mostly in the running scene as a Dipsea legend with nearly ten Black Shirts to his name, Gibbs took 3rd overall at Way Too Cool 50k in 3:20:57 earlier this year against a stacked field full of professionals - in just his first ultra! He’s stepping up the 50 mile distance for the first time this year in hopes of getting some experience under his belt before lining up for the North Face 50 in the fall. If he plays his cards right, look for Gibbs to settle into a early rhythm and use his speed to chase down the leaders on the last fast descent of the day and into the finish.
Korey Konga - Ashland, Oregon - rabbitELITEtrail
With over a dozen ultramarathon finishes to his name and a top 15 result at White River just two years ago, Korey Konga has had a stellar season since having to drop from the Sean O’Brien 100k in early February. He’s racked up three wins in local PNW races including the overall at Hagg Mud 50k in Gaston, Oregon and will be looking to improve upon his 2016 White River finish as he gears up for Pine to Palm 100M later this year.
Kyle Konczal - Lakewood, Colorado - RADrabbit
In the last year Kyle Konczal has notched finishes at his first 50 miler, 100k and most recently at the challenging Broken Arrow Skyrace. Hailing from just outside of Denver, Konczal hopes to bring his elevation adapted lungs and legs to Washington and improve upon his 50 mile time from last year’s TNF50. He’s been road tripping for the past few weeks, hitting trails all over the western part of the country and is looking forward to testing his training on a challenging Crystal Mountain course against a deep field.
Monica Ochs - Anacortes, Washington - RADrabbit
In the midst of training for her third Cascade Crest 100 finish this upcoming August, the Washington native Ochs will be going for her fifth White River 50 finish on Saturday. An experienced ultrarunner with 60+ finishes to her name in the last 15 years, we expect her to once again compete for her age group title despite the anticipated hot and challenging conditions at Crystal and Suntop Mountains - the two long climbs of the day.
Just over three months ago Jeffrey Stern notched his first 50 miler finished at the über competitive Lake Sonoma finishing in just over 7 hours and 30 minutes, good enough for a top 20 result. However, he felt his pacing strategy was not quite where it needed to be to get the result he was looking for. The past few months have seen him collect a Boston qualifying marathon time of 2:37, his first Dipsea Black Shirt, a second place finish at the Double Dipsea (and fastest time), 5k and 10 mile PRs as well as pacing his good friend and newly minted rabbitPRO Kate Elliott to F10 at the Western States 100. Look for him to start out steady and finish strong at the White River 50 on Saturday.
Top competitors for these studs will be 2x and defending race champion Olin Berger of Seattle, Washington, Chuckanut 50k M7 and Bainbridge Island, Washington native Keith Laverty and Portland, Oregon resident Kyle Ormsby to name a few.
Also keep an eye out for standouts Katelyn Gerbin (WS100 F2), Paige Pattillo (WS100 F14, Black Canyon 100k F3) and Nicole Buurma (Lake Sonoma F9) to push the speedy field. You’ll want to follow along via White River’s Twitter feed on Saturday as it’s shaping up to be a fantastic race!
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