The Rumble is very much a grassroots event with modest beginnings. It started as an idea to invite people and dogs over to Sisters to run some of Sean and Sascha’s favorite trails. So on May 3, 2003, 31 people and 6 dogs met at his house for the first official Peterson Ridge Rumble. After a little less than 2 hours, speedster Andy Martin had finished the 17 miler and the post-race party commenced! It had a BBQ, a keg of Beer, and some homemade goodies. The entry fee was only $10. The event ended up losing $250 that year, but it’s popularity stuck and Sean knew he had to keep it going. 6 months after that first event, Sean decided to put the wheels in motion to expand it to include an Ultra, hopefully be included in the Oregon Trail Series, with the idea to donate all proceeds to the Sisters High School Cross Country team. This was well received by the other OTS Race Directors, who openly welcomed the Rumble into the series. It was also very much welcomed by Cross Country Coaches Charlie Kanzig and Rima Givot. Also, Jeff Sims at the Sisters Ranger District was very instrumental in helping to secure the necessary permits.
Sean comments “From the beginning, I’ve leaned very heavily on friends for the Rumble. The two friends who have done the most for the Rumble are Gene Trahern and Jeff Browning. Gene is a Sisters resident and great training buddy of mine. He has helped with course design, trail marking, trail maintenance, race day logistics, and other random stuff that just comes up. Jeff has been the Rumble’s behind-the-scenes logo and website guy. He designed the super-cool Rumble logo (Sascha dancing), always gives great advice for the cool finisher’s socks colors, and has worked many countless hours on all website-related things. There are also many, many, many other friends who have donated many hours to the Rumble, to whom I am forever greatful (and will never forget). In this 10th year, there are only 2 people who will have run all 10 Rumbles; Sisters residents Gene Trahern and Don Hildebrand (Don will be 80 for this year’s event!). I am honored to have them both support the Rumble for so many consecutive years. There are also now about 15-20 runners every year who get their 5-year award, custom Rumble arm sleeves. They’re pretty cool.”
The Rumble course has changed almost every year. To some runners, this is kind of a pain because it’s inconsistent. However, for the RD, the main reason to change the course each year is because Sisters has an excellent trails committee (http://sisterstrails.com/) that keeps building and adding more and more miles of singletrack each year. So every year, a little more of the course is moved off of forest service roads and onto singletrack. The hard work of the trails committee helps make it possible for the Rumble to exist, so a small percentage of the profits are also donated to Sisters Trails, which the Cross Country Team supports. Of course, in addition to runners and volunteers, the Rumble’s sponsors are key to its success. The Rumble is proud to say that FootZone Bend is the one sponsor who has been with the race for all 10 editions. A few other long standing sponsors include CORK (Central Oregon Running Klub), Montrail, Mountain Hardwear, Gu, Clif Bar, and Nuun. Sisters Dental, a local sponsor, is helping out again for the second year in a row.
Space is still available to get in on the 2nd race in the 2012 Oregon Trail Series. Also, check out a nice article on the Rumble from The Nugget. See you next Sunday!