Ambition, Experience and New Faces at Expedition Oregon
Author : Rob Howard
Bend Racing’s Expedition Oregon is about to start and it’s the first ever ARWS Demonstration Race.
The course is around 200 miles and open for 3.5 days, though the winners should be in within 48 hours, and it’s going to be a tough and technical race with 8 stages on the course.
The teams can be 2, 3 or 4 person (though only the 4 person co-ed can gain ARWS points and prize money). There is a good international spread too with racers from 8 different nations among the 21 teams.
There is a who’s who of US racers about to start and some of the top US teams as well, including Bones, who are probably the pre-race favourites. There are also some young teams, some new teams, and some strong racers from other sports trying out a long adventure race for the first time.
All of which is encouraging for the Demonstration Race idea, which will hopefully encourage more racers and teams to move up to Expedition racing, making it a little more accessible and a little less intimidating.
There are three supported teams on Bend Racing scholarship entries and it will be interesting to see how they get on.
The Leki/Merrell team are from Denmark and Sweden are the ‘Young Guns’, and Lars Bukkehave will use his ARWS experience to lead 3 strong Swedish athletes, who are all novice adventure racers. The other scholarship team are Prana/Zona 3 from Uruguay and Argentina and they won the Masters scholarship. Between them they have a vast range of race skills including Ironman, multisport and trail racing. Both are given as dark horse contenders for the top 5 by the race organisers.
There is definitely going to be some intense racing for the top places and many of the teams say they are going for the podium or the win. These include the strong Canadian team, Paleo Eats who have two very experienced racers in Alexandre Provost and James Gallipeau and two relative newcomers. Still, they say they are after a podium place.
So too are Quest AR, a team who’ve cracked the top 10 at GODzone ... and very few teams from outside New Zealand can say that! The up and coming and ambitious NW Sufferfest team want the top 3 too, and they have been in the AR top 20 rankings before. Adventure Racing Addicts have over 100 AR races behind them too, and many will be rooting for the Tannery team which has 3 brothers on it!
All in all the race entry is a great mix of experience and enthusiasm, age and youthful ambition, and it’s going to be a fun race to follow the dots and see how they all get on.
You can find out all you need, including much more detailed team profiles, at https://www.bendracing.com/expedition-oregon
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Expedition Oregon in the USA has started and 21 teams are racing over an eight leg course through the wilderness surrounding the town of