Rowers prepped for annual CPR

Notorius race travels 115 miles
By Mike Donovan,

Every sport has its own toughest challenge. For triathletes, it’s the IronMan. For climbers, it’s K2. And for Oregon rowers, it’s CPR.

The Corvallis to Portland Regatta (CPR) is a 115-mile, two-day rowing race that is taking place on June 5 and 6. In its 12th-year, the CPR is the most notorious and longest rowing race in the country.

Unlike most large rowing events, there are no parties the night before and no vendors line the entrance. Instead, there are just some rowers who decided to put their bodies through the most extreme rowing event imaginable.

The CPR was the brainchild of Tiff Wood. Wood is a legend among both rowers and pain addicts alike. Wood was showcased in David Halberstram’s book, The Amateurs, and was portrayed by Colin Ferguson in the 1996 movie, "Rowing Through."

On the first day of the race, rowers take on 85 miles of the Willamette River on the way to Champoeg State Park, where the spent the night in tents. The second day includes 30 miles of rowing, separated by a 45-foot drop in the locks of the Willamette.

The CPR is one of two annual events hosted by New World Rowing, which was founded by Wood. The other is an indoor endurance event, Tough Love, which takes place in February at the Chiles Center.

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