For such a young event, the Sandy River Showdown certainly had its act together. It could have been the perfect weather, or the Mt Hood Community College film crew following the competitors around everywhere; either way, the event was a success.
Downriver races on Saturday attracted both World Champions from as far away as Seattle and local Cataraft boaters looking to prove their stamina.
However, Sunday's Dash and Burn Relay mixed a long, paddle down the Sandy River with a 4 mile trail run. Most competitors entered as a team, however several opted for the ironman class (some due to flaky teammates, others due to excess adrenaline).
Appealing to the endurance paddlers, Heather Herbeck and I joined forces. Both fairly competitive by nature, it was a great experience being part of a team. Using my Green Boat, Heather endured the long river stretch, while I did a warm-up lap around trails.
Oxbow Park's trails kept me on my toes, as did the eager film crew positioned throughout the run. GoPro cameras everywhere, lenses the size of my femur and zip-lines through the trees. Best of all, the camera crew got exposed to a wide variety of water crafts, with wildwater boats, catarafts, stand-up paddle boards and creek boats all entering competitions.
The event wasn't all races and games. This event had even more weight behind it.
Organizer Sam Drevo has started the annual Sandy River Showdown to raise money for the Sandy River clean-up later in the summer. While I'm all for promoting river travel, the lower stretch of this river holds the perfect combination of mellow rapids, easy access and close proximity to a Wal-Mart. In other words, it gets trashed.
I can imagine next year's showdown will be a pretty big deal. I'm excited about the talk of adding a biking leg to the biathlon....West Coast Badlun?