Race Preview: 2017 Elkhorn Crest 50 (Sumpter)

If you are looking to run the distance and challenge yourself this summer, consider looking into the Elkhorn Crest 50 on August 19th. This event will take you along the Elkhorn Mountain ridgeline in Sumpter, OR where you will have an average elevation of over 7200 feet to contend with. There are two options, a 53 mile ultra or a marathon distance, depending on whic challenge you want to take.  Either one will offer you panoramic views of the Blue Mountains, Baker Valley, and the Wallowas as well as a good mix of both rocky as well as smooth single track terrain. This event will also benefit the Baker City High School cross country/track team.

The marathon will start on an old mining road in Bourne, OR and will climb up and down the Elkhorn Crest Trail as well as include a loop around Summit Lake. There is roughly 5700 ft of elevation gain and 6300 feet of loss. There will be 3 fully stocked aid stations on the course where you will find things like PB&J sandwiches, chips, Skout bars, gels, fruit, soda, Carbopro, and sweet and salty snacks. Runners will be required to have the ability to carry 1.5 liters of fluid and it’s recommended that they carry the same supplies as required for the ultra, though the other items are not mandatory for the marathon. There will be no drop bag option.

The 53 mile course (a qualifying race for UTMB) will follow the same course as the marathon but will continue on to the finish line after Aid Staion 3. The  course will climb 11,000 feet in and almost 12,000 feet of loss in elevation. There will be 6 aid stations on the course stocked with the same food and drink options as listed above for the marathon. For your own safety, the following will be required for the ultra distance: Ability to carry 1.5 liters of fluid, jacket, emergency blanket, headlamp and extra batteries. There is a 4PM cut-off at Aid Station #5 (Marble Pass, mile 36.8.) There will be a drop bag location at Twin Lakes (Aid Station #4, mile 29.4.) See guidelines here.

Please plan on bringing your own cup/water bottle for either distance, as this race will be a “cupless” event to avoid waste. Don’t forget to bring your own hydration container of your choice!

There will be no runner drop-off in Bourne at the race start. There will be a shuttle which leaves the fairgrounds in Sumpter at 5:30AM sharp that will take everyone to the start in Bourne. Please don’t miss this shuttle and please be on time!

After the race, stay for the food and beer, which will be provided to all racers and volunteers. Friends and family may nosh also for a small fee. There will be three showers available as well. Awesome prizes will go to the top finishers along with a mid-packer award.  You are welcome to tent camp for free at the finish in the fairgounds Friday, Saturday, and/or Sunday. The best part of this is that you can stay for the Eclipse on Monday Morning! 25 RV sites will be available as well for $25. Contact the race directors at runjtracing@gmail.com to reserve one. No pets please! If you do plan to book a hotel, please bear in mind that with the Solar Eclipse on Aug 21, there will be very limited availability so you should book something NOW.

Come for the journey and stay for the celebration. It should be an unforgettable race!


What: Elkhorn Crest 50 Marathon and 53 Miler

When: August 19th, 2017. 6:00AM. Shuttle leaves at 5:30AM SHARP.

Where: Fairgrounds at Sumpter, OR. Shuttle will be available to the start in Bourne from the fairgrounds in Sumpter. There will be NO RUNNER DROP OFF at the start.

Register: Here

Registration Cost: $160 for 53 Miler,  $100 for Marathon

Packet Pick-Up: Race day at fairgrounds in Sumpter 4:00AM-5:15AM

About Nikki Mueller (603 Articles)
I'm the owner of Healthy Girl Fitness and I'm a personal trainer, certified AFAA group exercise instructor, and an RRCA certified running coach in SW Portland. I am also the mother of two young boys and am on the board at my youngest son's school. I led a relatively inactive life throughout my 20's until I discovered the world of fitness and running. I ran my first marathon in 2006 and haven't looked back since.
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