Race Preview: 2015 Willamette River Relay

Willamette River Relay I have to be honest here. I don't believe I have ever written about a this kind of event before, and I know I have never done one. After a quick glance through this event page, I'm ready to sign up...even though I do not own a bike nor a boat. Reality check aside, the Willamette River Relay on August 15th sounds like a lot of fun for the novice and the seasoned athlete. With a short and long distance option, and open rules on the type of boat (motors are banned, unfortunately) it seems to be a good way to try out this kind of adventure.

It is possible to do the whole thing as an individual, or sign up as a team for either distance. The short course involves a 2.4 mile paddle (downriver), 15.2 mile bike and 3.1 mile run, The long course is 11.5 miles in the water, 30 miles on the bike and a 6.2 mile run. In addition to that, there is also the 2.4 mile Paddle Me Plunge, a low-key float down the river with fun awards. They include Best Costume, Best Flotation Device, and Most Innovative Paddle. This starts after the race awards, so it is possible to do the race and use the float as a cool down.

View of the 2014 event (courtesy of photographer William Abbott)

The race starts with the paddle portion, at Hyak County Park. Bryant Park is the take out point, after which it will be time to pedal. Touted as being flat and fast, it is an out and back course on an open but sparsely traveled road. The final portion is the run, of course, on the Dave Clark Trail. It all wraps up at Monteith River Park.

Registration: 7/1-8/12

    $85 Individual
$85 Open Individual
$120 2 Person Team
$160 3 Person Team
$190 4 Person Team

Race Weekend Registration: 8/14
$100 Individual
$130 2 Person Team
$170 3 Person Team
$200 4 Person Team

Long Course Pricing:
Late Registration: 7/1-8/12
$105 Individual
$105 Open Individual
$140 2 Person Team
$180 3 Person Team
$210 4 Person Team

Race Weekend Registration: 8/14
$120 Individual
$120 Open Individual
$150 2 Person Team
$190 3 Person Team
$220 4 Person Team

Proceeds are going towards a nonprofit watershed council whose mission is to make the Calapooia Watershed healthier. It is an interesting concept to allow people to enjoy the very thing they are trying to protect. It all begins at 10 am on August 15th as they release small waves of participants to undertake this challenge.

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