Tuesday, August 7, 2012

White River 50 II - The Runner Strikes Back

There is something disturbing about the title of this post. If you haven't already guessed I've reached into nerd-lore and ripped the title off Irvin Kirshner's Sci Fi masterpiece "The Empire Strikes Back". George Lucas doesn't get the nod for this one mainly because he is a crappy director and rightfully handed control over to somebody vastly superior to himself.  In said film the bad guys get the upper hand and we end up having to wait for the third film to see the good guys victorious triumph over the evil empire. So to sum up, in the first movie the good guys win, the second movie the bad guys win, and the third movie ends with what is essentially a repeat of the first with the good guys blowing up some empire folks. So if that's the format my running is going to follow...next year White River is going to destroy me. Lets hope that I follow a different pattern...perhaps Loss, Win, Win. By win I do not mean to convey that I won the race...the victory belongs to Sage Canaday who crushed it in 6:16. (A cool 3 hours faster than me) By win I mean I had a great day and drastically improved my time. 

In any event, as can probably be deduced from the above paragraph this past weekend I ran the White River 50 miler for the second time. I use that term loosely mainly because the first time I ran it the course kicked my butt and I was relegated to what amounted to a death march for the last 22 miles. This year things went much better; I ended up running all the flats, downhills and probably 65-70% of the hills. The rest was done at what ultrarunners like to call "power hiking" because normal hiking just isn't cool enough for us.

I was out on course for 9 hours and 21 minutes, finishing over two hours faster than last year. I guess that's what happens when you train a lot harder and end up running a majority of the course. Final Garmin upload had the elevation gain between 10 and 11 thousand feet, though the race website claims it's "only" 9200. To do a play by play would essentially be a repeat of what I posted last year, with some marginally more light hearted observations about how I was feeling at any particular point in time. Suffice it to say I only had one real bad spot, which occurred on the climb up to Sun Top between miles 33 and 37, and didn't last nearly as long as my extremely horrible patch the year prior. After that the 13 miles to the finish hurt, but was almost all runnable.

Just like last year I ended up running this one with my buddy Danny. Unlike last year however however he managed to rope another of his buddies into the Ultra Scene and our new training partner Josh made his 50 mile debut with a solid finish in 9:34. Danny as expected came in first amongst us three in 9:14. I'm pretty happy though in that he only beat me by 7 minutes this year which is vastly different than the near two hours he waited for me to finish last year. So awesome run by all! Now on to this beast...


T-Minus 18 days. Thankfully Josh and Danny will be helping pace me for the last 50 miles. I also have a bunch of other buddies (and my lovely wife) that will be assisting throughout the day, mostly by providing some much needed mental support...though I may ask them to bring some essentials to a few of the aid stations. Like a new pair of legs at about the 68 mile mark....


  1. Congrats on the race. It sounds like a real success. 100 in just 18 days? I am looking forward to that post.

  2. Thanks Man. Yeah...the 100 should be interesting. I'm guessing I'll enjoy about 70 miles of it, I'll completely suffer through 20...and won't be able to recall anything for another 10. Hoping to get in under 24 but given the fact that it's my first one, has 22K feet of elevation gain and there could be a bit of heat during the first 8 hours I think 25-26 is a bit more realistic.

  3. Cool blog! I was at WR50, and am gearing up for CCC next week too... see you there with Pancakes Sat am!