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X-Dog's Mt. Hood Scramble: The race that keeps on giving
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X-Dog's Mt. Hood Scramble: The race that keeps on giving

X-Dog's Mt. Hood Scramble: The race that keeps on giving

If you've never competed in an adventure race, this would be a great place to start. Each year X-Dog Events puts together an impressive scramble that tests the endurance, speed, and stability of the finest athletes while still entertaining and challenging even the occasional jogger. This year Elias Stucky and I participated in the event as Next Adventure representatives and we both left with scratches on our legs, sand in our shoes, and huge smiles on our faces.

Elias and Rochelle at the start of the Mt. Hood Scramble
Rochelle Comeaux and Elias Stucky at X-Dog's Mt. Hood Scramble

The start of the race

The race begins near the entrance to the picturesque and expansive White River canyon just South of Mt. Hood. Racers run on sand and loose gravel toward the mountain before veering left and scrambling up a steep sandy hill. From there the race twists and turns through forest, boulder field, and snow field. Athletes find themselves bushwhacking, jumping (or climbing) over fallen trees, slipping through melted snow fields, and crossing the very cold and very full White River multiple times. (This was one of my favorite parts of the race. It turns out numb feet and legs are less stable, but also don't feel pain!) After Racers gathering before the startrunning up-river for a couple miles, the route turns South and the geography changes a bit as racers run under Oregon Route 35 and weave their way through dry, hot, sandy expanses criss-crossed with stagnant, muddy ponds. The race comes full circle and ends right where it began with a final river crossing, a quick uphill climb, and a sprint toward the parking lot. It is a challenging, beautiful, and unforgettable 6.9 miles.

The final White River crossing

This year 338 runners completed the race. As the event grows, so does the numberof devout followers. Many of the racers I spoke with were already making plans to compete next year and most were comparing stats (and battle wounds) to last year's race. After finishing, Elias and I were met with refreshing watermelon and cold beer. Awards were given out to fathers of multiple children (it was Father's Day after all), ex-virgins (if this was a person's very first race...Elias got one!), best battle wounds, and of course top finishers (I won for my disivion!).
If you think this race sounds awesome and you want to get in on the action, sign up for X-Dog Event's next adventure race, the McCubbin's Gulch Scramble on July 15th. Sign up soon as they are limited to 300 racers and last year they filled up. Hope to see you there!
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