Ride, Row, Run : A New Racing Adventure in Maupin Oregon!

By Tanya

As you learned from my last year of posting, I have developed a passion for exercise in the water. Whether it is swimming in the pool for fitness, or in the open water for my first triathlon, riding the waves on a surf board, or rowing the rapids in my kayak, I love the water!

This has also become a family affair as all of my family has taken to the water this past year. In fact for the Fourth of July (which also happens to be my little brother's birthday) we brought a bunch of kayaks, rafts and inner tubes out to Lacamas Lake for a BBQ and a day on the water. It has become a great bonding activity we all enjoy. In fact my mom, who struggles with chronic pain from Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia, found that kayaking was a form of exercise she could really enjoy.

Family 4th of July on the water
A couple of years ago I went on a river rafting trip on the Deschutes river in Maupin Oregon, with some women from my church and it was AMAZING! Not only did we ride some sweet rapids but I also got to go body surfing through them, as well as jump from a twenty foot cliff into the river!

While I was in Maupin I learned about a race that X-DOG Events hosts every September called the RIDE-ROW-RUN (R-R-R). In the R-R-R individuals or teams of two to five people start in a Grand Prix race running one mile downhill to their bikes. One team member jumps on his or her bike and rides a 26 mile loop along the river and back.

In the second portion, one (or up to all five) team member(s) hustles into a kayak or raft and row/paddles three miles downstream on the Deschutes River. If you don't own a kayak or a raft, you can rent one for a small fee.

Finally, all teammates scramble out of the raft and one team member runs four miles along the river bank while the others get shuttled back to the start/finish area. Once the runner comes into the finisher chute the entire team reunites to enjoy a finisher party.

The moment I heard about this event I knew I would have to try it. This seemed to be the perfect marriage of my training for a triathlon as well as my love for kayaking! When I mentioned my intentions to my family and the possibility of participating together as a team, they were enthusiastically in. Even better, the event was going to be held on my mom's birthday.  It was a done deal!

I went online and registered our team of five: me, my mom, my husband, and my two sons. I knew my ten-year-old son could handle the race, but I was a little concerned about whether or not my four-year-old son would be allowed to join us. I emailed Kevin, the race director at X-DOG, with my concern.  He was very prompt in his reply and thought it was a great idea.

Since Maupin is a good two-and-a-half hour drive away and the race started pretty early in the morning we decided to get a room at the The Imperial Hotel where the race started and finished. Once we arrived we discovered that X-DOG teams up with the Maupin Area Chamber of Commerce to host a fun family party the night before the race.  Complete with river raft tours, music, tricycle races, a scavenger hunt, and piñatas for the kids, there was something for everyone.  My whole family was stoked.

The town of Maupin itself is very small, quaint and low key, and all of the events took on the same feel. People were really friendly and laid back.  We felt like a part of the community from the start! We picked up our race packets and enjoyed the festivities.  My family even won the scavenger hunt through town!

The Imperial Hotel was just as quaint  as the town and an extension of the community. The staff was laid back and friendly, making us feel like part of the family. There was even a big outdoor fire pit where many of the hotel guests hung out together the night before the race enjoying beverages and each other's company.

My family outside our room the morning of the race
On race morning the race director Kevin kept things moving steadily along with his calm and laid back demeanor. Once we had all of our questions answered and our gear all in position we were ready to go.

First my husband and my ten-year-old son headed up to the park to begin the race with the one mile downhill dash. This was the perfect part of the race for a child to complete to be a part of the team. I even think my four-year-old could have done it!
My 10-year-old before his one mile dash
Once they came speeding back down to the hotel, my son passed the racing bib to me and I jumped onto my bike for the 26 mile bike ride. The first half of the ride was a beautiful ride up and down rolling hills passing by fields and farm lands. The second half of the race turned and followed the roaring river back to the hotel. This race is so laid back that there was a Temptation Station at the halfway point offering participants a chance to rest and even partake in some adult beverages mid-ride! Since I was on a family team, I kept on going. The ride was a little on the challenging side, but I was well prepared from competing in the Olympic Triathlon six weeks before, so I really enjoyed it even without the stop.

I arrived back at the hotel to my awaiting family. All five of us climbed into our raft and set out on the Deschutes River. This part was so fun! My youngest son climbed onto the front of the raft and my husband and I paddled our way, intentionally spinning 360's downsteam. My older son engaged in some major water gun warfare with passing rafts and my mom happily snapped pictures while attempting not to get the camera or herself drenched by falling overboard!
Us at the start of the "Row"
We arrived safely - soaked and happy - at the take out point. My husband scrambled out of the boat with our race bib and set off up the road to run the final four miles back to the hotel. The rest of the family put our boat into a trailer and were shuttled back to the hotel. We even got to cheer on the runners as we passed by them on the road.

Back at the hotel we changed just in time to watch my husband run into the finish. The rest of the day we all enjoyed a BBQ lunch, award ceremony, and time spent hanging out by the river. We even all got an X-DOG Ride, Row, Run dog tag necklace as our finisher medal!

The R-R-R is not your typical race or relay.  Most people are in it for the experience and adventure and don't care about their finishing times. For my family the race was as promised: a wonderful adventure and an amazing experience!

I typically only compete in the same race one time because I would rather spend my racing money on a new adventure the next year. However, my family had such a good time that they are asking to do the Ride, Row, Run again.

Overall it really was a great value for the wonderful experience we had and with so many ways to mix up the racers in a team relay, I'm sure we can have a new adventure every year.

Thanks Kevin at X-DOG and the city of Maupin for such a wonderful event. We will see you again in September!

1 comment:

  1. This looks like such a fun family event!! Off to figure out where Maupin is. :)