VIDEOGRAPHERS: CHIP FIEBERG, SCOTT ALMENDINGER, JASON CORNELL; EDITOR: CHIP FIEBERG
BEND, OREGON-- 78 racers from nine countries competed in Oregon’s longest multisport ultra-endurance event held May 31 to June 3, 2018. Bend Racing’s “Expedition Oregon” race saw the 21 teams traversing 200+ miles of the Oregon wilderness from McKenzie Pass back to the Bend’s LOGE Entrada hotel all on their own power. The race was part of the Adventure Racing World Series which is called the “ultimate test of human endurance”.
Racers mountain biked, trekked, ran, packrafted, and rock climbed their way to the finish line in under 85 hours. In the elite category, coed teams of four must remain together and navigate an unmarked route collecting checkpoints enroute to the finish. Over 30,000’ of elevation gain put their bodies through the ultimate test. Many of the leading teams did not sleep at all, and few teams slept more total of 5 hours or more during the entire race.
PHOTOGRAPHER SCOTT ALMENDINGER
To give teams the ultimate Oregon experience, Race Director and Course Designer Jason Magness had racers climb a 5.9 top-rope route up Oregon’s largest monolith Wolf Rock, mountain bike along the historic Santiam Wagon Road Trail, rappel with bikes strapped on their backs, and packraft the iconic Class III rapids of the Deschutes River’s “Big Eddy” section.
A testament to the toughness of the race, only seven teams finished the full course, with the winning team finishing in 59 and 11 minutes. Seven teams short-coursed, meaning that they completed the race on their own power but did not get all of the checkpoints along the way-- opting to take an easier route in one or more sections. One team raced non-competition due to losing a member for medical reasons during the race, and six teams retired, meaning that they decided to remove themselves from the race midway through.
While the course was challenging, the racers valued the beauty of the Pacific Northwest terrain.
PHOTOGRAPHER TAMAR MELEN
“Expedition Oregon was a great adventure race,” said Lars Bukkehave of the winning team Leki/Merrel, from Sweden. “All stages were hard with a lot of technical aspects. Scrambling, bushwhacking, rock climbing, class II-III whitewater sections, and hard navigation but with a lot of beautiful nature. We experienced many unforgettable moments out there! The highlight was trekking up on the lava peak in the sunrise, and also single track mountain biking.”
PHOTOGRAPHER VIOLET CAMERON
Canadian team Paleo Eats/Bend Racing Canada came in 2nd overall and US team Quest AR came in third. Kadee Mardula of Team Krank was the highest finishing Bend local, finishing in 8th place.
The top three teams shared the $5000 prize purse, and the winners of Leki/Merrell received an invitation to the World Championships in November which will take place on Reunion Island.
The race was supported by iconic outdoor brands such as Leki, prAna, Gear Junkie, Ellsworth Bikes, Edelrid, Alpacka Rafts, Mountain Khakis, Nite Ize, and more. Local brands also joined in including Paleo Eats, Rebound Physical Therapy, Recharge Sport, Red Tank Cider, Caboost Kombucha, Deschutes Brewery, Lone Pine Coffee Roasters, Pine Mountain Sports, JEM Organic Butter, and Organic Valley.
PHOTOGRAPHER JASON CORNELL
This is the first race sanctioned by the Adventure Racing World Series (ARWS) to have been hosted in Oregon. The ARWS is a global race series that culminates in a world championship race that changes locations each year. Race Director Jason Magness and several members of the Bend Racing staff that organized Expedition Oregon have been ranked as high as 7th in the world.
The race will return to Oregon next year. Dates to be determined soon. More information on the race can be found at www.bendracing.com/expedition-oregon or www.ARworldseries.com.
PHOTOGRAPHER BRUCE CARTER
Contact: Chelsea Sendgraff; email@example.com
More Information: https://www.bendracing.com/expedition-oregon