Race Preview: 2018 Elkhorn Crest 50M & Marathon (Sumpter)

The mountains are calling and you must go! Our friends at Crux Ridge Running are once again hosting the Elkhorn Crest 50 for a 50M+ and marathon in Eastern Oregon. This is a serious challenge in the Elkhorn Mountains outside of Sumpter, but the rewards are well worth the efforts!

Neither an out-and-back nor a loop, each course is unique and beautiful, with a mix of smooth single track as well as rocky, technical sections. The 50M+ (actual distance is ~53 miles) features around 11,000 ft of climbing and about 11,700 ft of descending with panoramic views of Baker Valley, the Wallowas, and the Blue Mountains. The marathon packs in around 5,700 ft of climbing and 6,300 ft of descending.

This is proper mountain running and as such, there are mandatory gear requirements. The 50 milers must have the ability to carry 1.5 liters of fluid, a jacket, emergency blanket, and a headlamp with extra batteries. The marathoners need to have the ability to carry 1.5 liters of fluid and the rest is recommended, but not required.

As any good ultra should, the aid stations will be well-stocked with runner favorites: PB & Js, tortillas, chips, Skout bars, gels, fruit (oranges, bananas, watermelon), sweet & salty snacks, Carbopro, Coke, Ginger Ale, Sprite, etc. This event is also cupless, so plan accordingly! The 50M will have 6 aid stations and the marathon will have 3.

The Baker City High School cross country team is the beneficiary of this event and the 50M will also earn you 4 UTMB points, so go get ’em!


Date: Saturday, July 28, 2018
5:30 AM (shuttle leaves at 4:45 AM sharp!)
Where: (Finish line) Sumpter Fairgrounds | Sumpter, OR
50M: $165 | Marathon: $105
Online at Ultra Signup

For more event info, including course maps + elevation profiles, drop bag details, shuttle info, lodging suggestions, etc. visit the race website or their Facebook page!

About Author

Bobi Jo has lived all over the midwest but moved to Portland in 2007 and now calls it home. She started casually running in 2012 and trained up for the "Run Like A Mother" 5k as her first proper event. She got a taste of the runner's high and is now a veteran ultrarunner. While running is her favorite sport, she is a "Jill of all trades, master of none" - her other hobbies include rock climbing, hiking, skiing, mountain biking, snowshoeing, and traveling the world. On her elusive rest days, she is an avid bookworm and a Green Bay Packers fan.

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