Expedition Oregon was a demonstration race for the 2018 season of the AR World Series and if the comments of athletes in attendance are anything to measure by, it was a smashing success. Smashing whitewater, smashing scenery and the smashing pace of the top teams!
Lars Bukkehave of the winning team Merrell Leki from Sweden said “Expedition Oregon was a great adventure race. All stages were hard with a lot of technical aspects. Scrambling, bush walking, rock climbing, class 2-3 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.”
It was a close race throughout and Lars said “The first 4 teams were with in 1 hour most of race so no one dared to stop and sleep. So in the end all teams were falling apart.” Merrell Leki, containing team members Lars Bukkehave, Sanna El Kott, Lina El Kott and Mikael Nilsson, finished in 58 hours 11 minutes.
Second place team was Paleo Eats/ Bend Racing of Canada finishing in 59 hours 30 minutes. Team Captain Alex Provost said “Our team formed when Jason [Race Director] asked me to lead a Bend Team with new adventure racers Mark Sky and Karine Korbiel. Joined by the experienced James Galipeau we had a clear objective to make it to the podium. We knew there would be fast teams and our strategy was to start hard but not redline and be able to keep a steady pace all along. Stage 1 pretty much set the tone for the rest of the race with the 4 lead teams pulling away in the mist and battling for every minutes. We often saw each other on the course and TAs so it kept the pressure high. The river sections were certainly a highlight with tons of rapids and no flat section at all! Views of the surrounding mountains were amazing! Oregon has some of the most spectacular terrain we’ve seen! We are very satisfied with our race as we raced hard and efficiently. I can confirm that Karine and Mark caught the AR bug!”
Rounding out the podium was Quest AR of Emily Caseria, Mari Chandler, Dusty Caseria and Mitchell Harter, finishing in third place in a time of 60 hours 5 minutes.
The race included 7 legs finishing in Bend, Oregon with beer, tacos and a hot tub! In the final results 7 teams finished the full course, 7 teams the short course, and the final 7 teams were either unranked or withdrew.
Race director Jason Magness said, “I just want to give a huge thank you to all of the expedition race directors of the 75+ long races I’ve done as a competitor. And an apology to any that I was ever a “difficult” captain for. Racing is awesome and hard and takes a great team. Directing is harder I think and takes an even more amazing team. So thanks to my team of Expedition Oregon staff and volunteers and to every single race director out there that makes this crazy sport a reality.”
AR World Series Director Craig Bycroft said “I think Jason [Magness], Chelsey Magness, Daniel Staudigel and the rest of the Bend Racing organising team have put on a world class event and shown everyone the huge potential for adventure racing in Oregon USA.”
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Released 6 June 2018 by Craig Bycroft, Adventure Racing World Series
Photo Bend Racing