Fifth Annual White Mountains 100 Starts Sunday
Fairbanks, AK - A 100 mile endurance race gets underway in the White Mountains National Recreation area north of Fairbanks Sunday. The White Mountains 100 is in its fifth year. Race Director Ed Plumb says like many of the ultra-distance ski, bike and foot races in the state this year, it’s likely to be a fast race.
“The potential is definitely there to break the record from previous years,” says Plumb.
Greg Matyas set the record in the cycling division in just over 10 hours in 2011. Skier Rob Whitney completed the race in just over 12 hours that same year. Laura McDonough set the record for the foot division in 2012 in just under 30 hours.
According to the Bureau of Land Management, trails in the White Mountains are in excellent condition, but Plumb says there are some reports of minor overflow as the weather has warmed. “Some of the creeks during the afternoon just with the warmer temperatures, there’s been a little more water running, or overflow, on some of the creeks," explains Plumb, "but not more than a few inches deep and since we haven’t had any significant snow in the past few weeks, the trail is hard and fast and it should be a really fast race this year.”
The race is limited to 65 participants. More than 40 of them plan to bike the course. The rest will either ski or travel the trail on foot. But Plumb says there’s at least one man who plans to compete by other means. “It was brought to my attention this year, somebody emailed to ask if he could ride a unicycle and we don’t have any rules against unicycles, so we actually changed the division to cyclists from bicycle to accommodate somebody on a bike or on a unicycle.”
Athletes are coming from all over the state as well as Colorado, California, New Mexico and Massachusetts to compete. They’ll leave the start line at the Wickersham Dome Trailhead along the Elliot Highway at 8 am Sunday morning.