Columbia River National Scenic Area, OR, March 30. After a close first 14 miles or so Chris Kollar pulled away from Mario Mendoza (sprained ankle DNF) and the rest of the talented and deep lead pack in the second half of the 3rd annual Gorge Waterfalls 50K. Kollar ran the second fastest time in race history and finished less than three minutes behind Max King’s course record. James Bonnett, in his first race in the Northwest, held off a bunch of speedy locals for second place.
Stephanie Howe defended her title and broke her own course record by almost 18 minutes. Catrin Jones, a member of the 2012 Canadian Mountain Running Team, made her ultra debut and also came in under the previous record. The race has sold out all three years and this year it only took 75 minutes to do so. There were 286 starters and 281 finishers and the runners enjoyed clear, sunny skies and temperatures reaching a sweltering 70 degrees.
1. Chris Kollar, 27, Missoula, MT, 3:22:24
2. James Bonnett, 26, Scottsdale, AZ, 3:35:31
3. Zach Violette, 30, Bend, OR, 3:37:15
4. Ian Sharman, 32, Bend, OR, 3:38:00
5. Yassine Diboun, 34, Portland, OR 3:40:19
1. Stephanie Howe, 29, Bend, OR, 3:49:34 (course record, old record 4:07:17 by Stephanie Howe, 2012)
2. Catrin Jones, 33, Victoria, BC, 4:05:40
3. (tie) Darla Askew, 40, Bend, OR, 4:24:28
3. (tie) Susan Barrows, 37, Bend, OR, 4:24:28
5. Jenny Capel, 40, Reno, NV, 4:27:40
Photo: Stephanie Howe runs past Ponytails Falls, one of the many waterfalls on the course (Glenn Tachiyama photo).