Postponed Events

Wildfires and smoke across Oregon have wreaked havoc on the September race and outdoors calendars, forcing the cancellation of large events like the Gorgeous Relay, originally scheduled to be run in the Columbia River Gorge on Sunday, and Cycle Oregon, a weeklong ride that was supposed to start in Tumalo on Sept. 9 and conclude in the same place Saturday. But the good news is that many Central Oregon athletic events have been rescheduled — and registration is still open if you missed out the first time around.

Whitewater and Surf Festival

Original Date: Aug. 30

New Date: Sept. 27; registration opens at noon, competitors meeting starts at 1:15 p.m.

What it is: Surf and trick competition held in conjunction with the annual Pickin’ & Paddlin’ festival hosted by Tumalo Creek Kayak & Canoe; demos will run from 4 to 7 p.m. and a concert will follow from 5 to 9:30 p.m.

Where: Bend Whitewater Park (Mckay Park on Colorado Street)

Cost: Tickets for the event are $5, children 12 and under are free; proceeds benefit Bend Paddle Trail Alliance

More information: Visit https://tumalocreek.com/pickin-paddlin-2016/ for event details or to buy tickets.

Sunriver Half Marathon

Original Date: Sept. 2-3

New Date: Oct. 14; Half Marathon early walker start at 7:45 a.m., regular half marathon start at 8:15 a.m., 5K start at 8:30 a.m., kids race starts at 11 a.m.

What it is: A half marathon, 5K and kids race

Where: Sunriver Resort Lodge

Cost: $80 for the half marathon, $45 for the 5K and $15 for kids race; proceeds benefit St. Charles Cancer Services; participants who registered for the original race date but cannot race on Oct. 14 should email raceinfo@destinationhotels.com by Monday indicated whether they wish to receive a 50 percent refund of their registration fee or donate the full registration fee to St. Charles Cancer Services.

More information: Online registration is available at www.sunrivermarathon.com.

Oregon 12/24 Mountain Bike Race

Original Date: Sept. 9-10

New Date: race starts at Oct. 14 at 10 a.m. and concludes Oct. 15 at 10 a.m.

What it is: A 12- or 24-hour mountain bike relay race; participants may enter as a solo rider or team of two, four or more riders

Where: Race is held on a 11.2-mile loop at Wanoga Sno-park

Cost: $60-$595, depending on length of race and competition category entered

More information: Register online at http://oregonmtb24.com.

Bigfoot Races

Original Date: Sept. 10

New Date: Oct. 8, races start at 9 a.m.

What it is: A 10K road race (the Bigfoot) and 10K(ish) trail race (the Dirtyfoot), both of which start at Seventh Mountain Resort and finish at the Old Mill District. The Kids Littlefoot races start at the finish line at 10 a.m.

Where: Seventh Mountain Resort to the Old Mill District

Cost: $37 for Bigfoot and Dirtyfoot races, $10 for the Littlefoot; proceeds benefit the cross-country teams at the four Bend-La Pine high schools

More information: Sign up at http://centraloregonrunningklub.org/cork-events/bigfoot-races/.

The day Mike Ripley decided he needed to postpone the Oregon 12/24 Mountain Bike Race, the annual 24-hour bike relay held at Wanoga Sno-park, his to-do list suddenly included 200 extra phone calls.

“There’s a litany of thing: The light tower rentals. Cancel that. If they deliver it, I get charged 600 bucks,” said Ripley, who moved the overnight race from Sept. 9 to Oct. 14 due to heavy smoke throughout Oregon this month.

“Port-a-potties. Garbage. Medics. All the rescheduling. It took me three days to get ahold of all the participants. There’s a ton of stuff. I just hope to God I don’t get a bill for something I didn’t cancel.”

As wildfires and poor air quality made race after race unsafe for runners and bikers — and even volunteers out on the course — organizers were tasked with rescheduling events they had spent months planning.

Melanie Mangin, the president of the Central Oregon Running Klub, said she could not think of a similar situation in 40 years of the Bigfoot races, which have always been held in October or September.

In the week before the original race day on Sept. 10, CORK board members heard news of other cancellations, including the weeklong Cycle Oregon ride and the Sisters Folk Festival, and started fielding phone calls from runners who were curious if the race was still on.

“It was unprecedented, and a big decision. We certainly didn’t take it lightly, we put it to a board vote to make the decision,” to move the race to Oct. 8, Mangin said. “I feel pretty fortunate, considering it was a big bummer to have to postpone it. I’ve had a few emails saying, we were coming from Portland to do the race, and now we can’t do the new date. And that’s unfortunate. We really do appreciate that people would plan their weekend in Bend around our race, and now they can’t do it, but there just wasn’t a choice.”

As events go, the Bigfoot races — a road 10K and “Dirtyfoot” trail 10K — are relatively simple. The races, which serve as a fundraiser for the four Bend-La Pine high school cross-country teams, start at Seventh Mountain Resort and finish at Bend’s Old Mill District. Many of the runners are locals, and high school runners and coaches volunteer along the route. But even the most stripped-down of events can be a challenge to move to a new date.

“We had to contact the City of Bend, Parks & Rec, and the Old Mill, because the race runs through all of those properties, and make sure that they were OK with us postponing our permitting,” Mangin said. “We had to reassign the insurance policy to make sure they cover us on a new date. And then it was a matter of calling all of our donors for food for the day. There are maybe a dozen places that I called, and none of them were surprised at all.”

Mangin said many of the original Bigfoot entrants will be able to make the new race day, and pushing the race back a month could even attract new runners who could not attend the original race. But the picture is a little more complicated for longer and more challenging events like the Oregon 12/24 and the Sunriver Half Marathon for a Cause, which was postponed from Labor Day weekend to Oct. 14.

Runners who are not able to make the new Sunriver Half date have until Monday to contact race officials and indicate whether they would like to have 50 percent of their race fee refunded or donate the full cost to St. Charles Cancer Services, the race beneficiary. Even so, Tom O’Shea, managing director of Sunriver Resort, said he thinks the event can raise between $20,000 and $30,000, as it has in past years.

“It’s hard to tell,” how many people will race, O’Shea said. “We like to have somewhere between 900 and 1,100 participants, and that generally allows us to donate something significant. Quite frankly, a lot of the money that we were able to donate is really through sponsorships. If we can keep our sponsors in place, we should have an effective event.”

Ripley said about a third of the Oregon 12/24 cyclists have decided to attend next year’s race instead, while about a dozen new bikers have signed up since the original race date. Ripley said he plans to move the event to the last weekend of September in 2018, when the risk of fire should be lower, but in the meantime he just hopes everyone comes to this year’s race ready for a good time.

“Especially after that kind of depressing thing, we want to rock it out with end-of-the-season fun,” Ripley said. “Ride your bike, enjoy Bend, get back to some semblance of normal.”

—Reporter: 541-383-0305, vjacobsen@bendbulletin.com

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