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Copyright© 2004 by Robert Speik. All Rights Reserved.


An adventure story unfolds

The Bulletin
By Mark Morical
Published: June 13, 2004

Justin Wadsworth knew what to expect during the first day of the X-adventure Raid Series event in Central Oregon on Saturday.

But sometimes in adventure racing, just knowing is not enough.

The 150-mile, multi-sport race began with an ascent and descent of Mount Bachelor on foot, and shortly before the 6 a.m. start near the Pine-Marten chairlift, Wadsworth said the descent would be "a wicked-fast downhill."

He also predicted that the mountain bike from Edison Sno-Park to Crane Prairie Reservoir would be where "some mistakes and wrong turns would be made."

He just didn't know how the "wicked-fast downhill" would affect his Montrail-Revo team, and that it would be one of the teams to take a wrong turn during the first bike leg of 22.5 miles.

"We had a lot of dramas," said Wadsworth's Australian teammate John Jacoby.

Perhaps the biggest drama befell Jacoby himself. As the team began its descent down the backside of Bachelor, Jacoby dropped his pack and dove for it, sliding 800 feet down the icy surface. He suffered numerous ice burns on his hands and legs from the rough terrain, but, like a true adventure racer, he didn't miss a beat.

"There's no stopping there," said Jacoby, lying down with his legs bandaged during a break after the first canoe leg of the day. "There's no one there to help you."

As for the bike leg, Wadsworth said they took a trail that was overgrown with plants and brush and obstructed by logs.

"We were carrying our bikes and pushing them through manzanita," Wadsworth said. "We lost maybe 20 minutes."

Many other teams suffered the same setback.

But they all forged ahead, making a 4.4-mile canoe trip across Crane Prairie Reservoir, a 10.6-mile in-line skate along Cascade Lakes Highway, followed by another canoe segment of 12.2 miles into Wickiup Reservoir.

The stage race continued with a 19.4-mile mountain bike around Wickiup Reservoir from North Davis Creek to North Twin Lake Road. From there, the teams made a trek on foot to Fall River Airstrip, where they are camped for the night.

Most teams are made up of three males and one female, with three athletes competing at a time and one competitor sitting out of each stage.

As of 7 p.m. Saturday (with a mountain bike stage and a running stage remaining) Team Salomon Suisse of Switzerland held the lead, followed by Nike ACG/Balance Bar of the United States, Ertips Salomon of France, Les Arcs-Quechua of France and Spie-The North Face of France. Team Montrail-Revo was sixth, and FootZone Bend was 22nd.

"Wadsworth is one to watch," said Michael Tobin of Team Nike ACG/Balance Bar. "Knowing the area is a big help. Physically, our teams are pretty close. So much could happen."

Pete Swenson of Team Go Lite/Timberland, was just happy to be competing in Bend. Swenson, who lives in Boulder, Colo., was raised in Corvallis, but moved away when he was 12.

"I'd come here every weekend when I was growing up, so for me, it's kind of like coming home," Swenson said. "We're definitely lucky to be here. I've got to hand it to the organizers. They could have picked anywhere in the U.S. and they picked Bend. This is a world-class venue."

Angelina Salerno of Team Go Heavily was also thrilled to compete in her home town of Bend, although she did suffer a mishap while trekking down Kwolh Butte during the second stage of the race.

"We were going down the butte on our butts and I couldn't stop," Salerno said. "I eventually did stop with the help of a tree. My teammates said they were laughing at me. I was really glad when that section was over with.

"But after the first two sections I kind of got in a rhythm. You just have to keep going, and keep thinking, 'I gotta get through this, and then I'll get to rest.'"

With that same attitude, Team Montrail-Revo was able to forget about its shaky start and come through with a solid performance in the in-line skating stage.

Wadsworth — connected by a line to his teammates — literally pulled his team members to a higher spot in the standings during the stage.

"We got on a good pace right from the get-go," Wadsworth said. "I don't think a word was said the whole 40 minutes between any of us."

In-line skating is a strong event for Wadsworth, a former Olympian in cross-country skiing.

"Justin was a stud on the skating," Jacoby said. "He just pulled us all along. I was doing about half the amount of work."

Team Montrail-Revo hopes to continue on a fast pace as the Raid event gets back underway today at 5 a.m. Teams will start with a 17.5-mile mountain bike north from Fall River Airstrip to Wanoga Car Park, where they will strap on their in-line skates and head to Mount Bachelor.

From there, teams will head out on foot to Skyliners Sno-Park. Along this stage, teams will stop at Tumalo Falls (around 10 or 11 a.m.) for some rope rappelling down cliffs. From Skyliners Sno-Park, teams will mountain bike on single track trails and down to to the finish line at Bend's Les Schwab Amphitheater. The first teams are expected to finish around 3 p.m.

The Raid event here in Central Oregon — which features 45 teams from 14 countries — is the North American qualifier for the X-adventure Raid Series World Championship, scheduled for November and December in Argentina.



The Bulletin
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TraditionalMountaineering folks thank the X-Adventure Raid folks for the opportunity to assist this fine weekend of world class aerobic sport. --Webmeister.




Read more . . .
  Race events in Bend, OR
Photos of the 2004 Pole Pedal Paddle race transitions
Pole Pedal Paddle 2004 results by age group
Pole Pedal Paddle race changes in 2004
Pole Pedal Paddle 2003 race results
Pole Pedal Paddle 2002
Snowshoe Shuffle comes to Bend, Oregon

Atta Boy 300 dog sled race start and finish from Mt. Bachelor
Bend Adventure Racing Klub - The Wild Juniper Berry Race 
Annual race to the top of Pilot Butte
Pilot Butte - hike and run to the summit  
Cascade Cycling Classic 2002

Bouldering gets a handhold at Smith Rock
ABS Contest night at InClimb Gym
Five Sisters Marathon
CORK, Central Oregon Running Klub plays in The Badlands 

  Traditional Mountaineering R & R in Central Oregon
Rafting class 3 on the Deschutes River

Winterfest in Bend, Oregon    sound icon
Bend's Tower Theater restored to 1940s elegance
A snowshoe adventure with Bend Parks and Recreation

Bend's Wednesday market near the Deschutes River in Drake Park 
Central Oregon's High Desert Museum in Bend 
sound icon    Wolves seen at the Museum!
Bend Log Jam celebrates the opening of the Deschutes southern crossing bridge   sound icon
Bend's southern crossing bridge
The Beach Boys concert in Bend Oregon, Summer 2003   sound icon
Cascade Music Festival in Drake Park, Bend Oregon  
sound icon
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  
Sunriver Resort exotic car rally  
Munch-n-Music R & R in Bend 
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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.