Race Preview: 2019 River 2 Ridge Relay (Salem to Silverton) + a NEW Run 4 Silver 10k at Silver Falls State Park!

One of the relays that has become a family staple in the past few years is the River 2 Ridge Relay, now entering it’s third year. This race is a both a unique take on a relay AND a unique take on a triathlon, as it involves river navigation (via kayak, SUP, or other means), cycling, and running. Participants will head north on the Willamette River, take bikes out amongst fertile farmland, and then get the crown jewel of running behind waterfalls at Silver Creek Falls.

There are a few minor changes this year – the most significant of which being moving the date of the event from the fall to the spring . The 2019 event will take place on Sunday, May 5th. I am wondering if this is scheduling thing or weather issue, as I know that the previous two years have seen some pretty stormy, wet, and windy race days. The other change is also pretty big, but still awesome. Added to this relay is the new Run 4 Silver, a 10k race at Silver Falls State Park that features a loop around the Trail of Ten Falls and behind multiple waterfalls. This thing is sure to fill up, so don’t delay.

Here’s a little recap of the running portion of the 2018 event, which will also be the Run 4 Silver course:

Even though I have race the trails at Silver Falls numerous times, it really never gets old. There is just something magical about the serenity of the area and the backdrop. I mean, when does running behind waterfalls ever get old. Given that we were near the top of the leaderboard, there wasn’t a whole lot of interaction with other racers. I ended up passing two participants along the way – one in the first 2 miles and the other after the climb out of the valley near mile 5. The rest of the time was lonely and allowed me to get a little out of racing mode and slip into peaceful running mind frame.

And yeah – that climb. It wasn’t super long, all things considered, but after 4.5 miles of running mostly downhill, any uphill was gonna be a challenge. There was definitely walking going on, for me at least.

After the race, we missed most of the rain and got to refuel with a pretty solid full-meal spread, as well as with a surprisingly solid bottle beer selection. A fantastic live band from Portland was killing it, and the vibe was very positive.

If you are wanting to tackle the full course by yourself, or want to toss together a team, make sure you check out the details on each leg here. And after the race, stick around and relax with live music, beer, and food from a local food cart. Last year, we were pleasantly surprised by their beer selection and solid full-meal spread.


River 2 Ridge Relay (Salem to Silverton)

When: Sunday, May 5th, 2019 at 9a

  • Both the start of the Relay AND the start of the 10k at Silver Falls will begin at 9a

Other Key Times:

Packet Pick Up – 5/4/19

  • Travel Salem Office
  • 12pm till 4pm

Packet Pick Up – 5/5/19

  • Riverfront City Park
  • 630-830am

Drop Offs – 5/5/19

  • Bike Drop Off – Spongs Landing Park
    • 6:30am – 8:30am
  • Kayak Drop Off – Wallace Marine Park
    • 6:30am – 9am
  • Run Drop Off – Silver Falls State Park
    • 6am – 8am
      • **If you do not want to travel out to setup your bike to run transition, you can check a gear bag in that they will deliver to Silver Falls State Park for you and hand you at the transition zone.**

Shuttle Times back to Riverfront Park (you and your bike)

  • 3pm
  • 5pm
  • 6pm


  • Start at Riverfront Park in Salem
  • Kayak entry – Wallace Marine Park in West Salem
  • Kayak to Bike Transition – Spongs Landing in Keizer
  • Bike to Run Transition – Silver Creek State Park
  • Finish at Silver Creek State Park

Register: Online here;

  • $100/individual, $180/team (through April 1, 2019)
  • $120/individual, $200/team (after April 1, 2019)
  • Run 4 Silver = $50 (through 3/15), $55 through 4/25, $65 after 4/26

All registrations include medal, race tech shirt, post-race lunch and beverage

About Author

Matt Rasmussen lives in Keizer, Ore. with his wife and three daughters. He enjoys watching hockey, going to as many breweries (618) and wineries (152) as he can, and all things Canada (he was born there). Matt was raised as a baseball player and officially transitioned over to running in 2010.

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