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X-Adventure Raid World Adventure Race 2005 North American qualifier in Bend, OR


Europeans lead Raid teams over river, mountain

The Bulletin
By Mark Morical
Published: June 26, 2005

Mount Bachelor loomed far in the distance at midday Saturday as support crews rushed to inflate canoes on the shore of Wickiup Reservoir.

It was hard to believe that just six hours earlier, teams in the X-Adventure Raid World Cup race had set out to ascend and descend the distant mountain, hike 25 kilometers (15 1/2 miles), then mountain bike 64 more kilometers to Wickiup — even harder to fathom that they still had 59 kilometers of canoeing, in-line skating and running ahead of them, not counting 86 more kilometers of the same today.

Fifty-four teams set out Saturday in the Raid North American Qualifier, some of them elite European or American teams, others local teams looking for a challenge.

"We'd love to finish as the top Bend team, but we'd just love to finish, too," said Jason Lusk of the Shazam team from Bend as he stood on the shore of Wickiup. "These Euros, they're freaks of nature. It must be all the spandex."

Indeed, the Europeans dominated on Saturday. Les Arcs Quechua of France, the top-ranked team in the Raid Series, was in first place with a time of 9 hours, 28 minutes, 52 seconds, with two stages remaining late Saturday. Saab Salomon of England was in second (9:35:18), and Salomon Buff of Spain stood in third (9:36:49).

Salomon Suisse of Switzerland, which won last year's Raid in Central Oregon, was fourth (9:37:37). Nike Balance Bar of the United States used a lightning-fast canoe leg on Wickiup and across Crane Prairie Reservoir to bolt into fifth place (9:40:27) as the top American team.

"The paddle was difficult because the wind was in our face," said Rudy Gouy of Les Arcs Quechua in a thick French accent. "Nike's a very good team. We have a chance, but we cannot say we are going to win."

On a course they knew little to nothing about until late Friday, teams started out Saturday at 6 a.m., using crampons to hike through the snow on Bachelor. After descending the mountain, they trekked west to Edison Sno-park. From there they hopped on their mountain bikes and rode 64 kilometers south to Wickiup Reservoir through a maze of fire roads in a thick portion of the Deschutes National Forest. A kilometer equals about five-eighths of a mile.

"I grew up in this area, and I could probably get along OK with a map and compass, but the network of fire roads out here is just amazingly confusing," said Lusk.

Luckily, global positioning system units are allowed in the Raid, but that didn't prevent some teams from getting lost during the mountain bike stage.

"We missed a turn," said Ben Bardsley of the British Saab Salomon team. "We didn't follow the trail. Otherwise, it's going well. It was quite hard work, really. It was quite a tough ride.

"There's a lot of good teams here. You do your best and that's all you can do."

After the paddle leg, teams roller-bladed 18 kilometers north along Cascade Lakes Highway from Crane Prairie Reservoir to Lava Lake. From there, they ran and hiked 21 kilometers to Mount Bachelor, where they camped for the night.

Teams start today at 6 a.m. from Mount Bachelor on mountain bikes and will ride 32 kilometers to Besson Camp near Sunriver. Then they will canoe along the Deschutes River for 12 kilometers to just above Benham Falls. From there, they will hike along the Deschutes River Trail for 11 kilometers to Lava Island Falls.

The final stage is a 31-kilometer mountain bike ride from Lava Island Falls to the Les Schwab Amphitheater in Bend. The winning team is expected to arrive in the amphitheater about 2 p.m.

Raid events are stage adventure races, meaning that the faster teams have time "off the clock" to stop and rest in between stages.

Teams — which must be coed — are made up of four racers, with three competing in each leg while one racer sits out.

The Central Oregon race is the third in a series of four Raid World Cup events. Teams earn points in the races for a shot at competing in the Raid World Championship in Switzerland in September.

Most teams from the Bend area, of which there are six, are not competing in the series but rather just the Central Oregon race. They all seem to have the same goal of being the fastest team from their town.

After two stages on Saturday, Bend Adventure Racing Klub/Rebound Physical Therapy was the fastest Bend-based team, standing in 23rd place. It is the only team in the field with three females and one male; most are made up of three males and one female.

"I want to be the first Bend team, and I think it's realistic," said Amy Petersen of BARK/Rebound. "We have pretty strong people in every stage."


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Read more . . .
News of the 2004 X-Adventure Raid World qualifier in Bend, Oregon USA  |   News of the Race in 2005
Map of the Raid adventure race course for 2004    Broadband only  |   Map of the Race course in 2005   Broadband only

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Bite of Bend at the Shops at the Old Mill in 2004    sound icon
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Bend's southern crossing bridge
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Cascade Music Festival in Drake Park, Bend Oregon   sound icon
A sea kayak adventure on Puget Sound
Outdoor Retailer's 2002 Summer Market in Salt Lake City
Andrew Mallory offers scenic flights from the Sunriver Resort airport
Sunriver adventures with Andrew Mallory
Misty River Band plays a free concert next to the Deschutes River   sound icon
Riverfest boat-demo in Bend Oregon
Earth Day in Bend, Oregon   sound icon
Customer appreciation night at a local store
Nordic Club's fall ski swap 
Sustainable living expo in Bend
Fall festival in Bend   sound icon
Joan Baez concert at the Athletic Club of Bend
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Flashback rally in downtown Bend

Alpine Mountaineering: This is the central interest of TraditionalMountaineering. This tradition-based sport includes: on and off trail hiking, scrambling, light weight wilderness backpacking, Leave-No-Trace camping and bivouacking, as well as technical travel and mountaineering on snow, rock and ice, glacier travel, technical rock climbing and summitting peaks.
Related Activities: Alpine Mountaineering is an aerobic sport. It includes jogging, running, hiking the hills, backpacking, climbing, mountain biking, back country skiing, snowshoeing, telemark skiing and similar sports all acting together to improve aerobic capacity, strength, balance and athleticism.