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2013 Bend WinterFest races to finish line

By Joe Burns
Published On: Feb 17 2013 10:22:35 PM CST

The Bend WinterFest wrapped up Sunday after a very successful weekend. One of the last events: an obstacle course race.

BEND, Ore. -

Sunday was the last day of the 2013 Bend WinterFest. About 30,000 people were expected to attend the three-day festival.
 
And while the numbers won't officially come out until later this week, organizers told NewsChannel 21 Sunday they're right on target to meet that number again.

Every year, Lay It Out events, which produces WinterFest, has given thousands of dollars to local charities from the proceeds raised.

This year, Saving Grace was the beneficiary.

"It's a big deal," said Christina Echternach, volunteer coordinator for Saving Grace. "It provides a lot of services to all our clients, so it's a huge help to us and to the community."

Saving Grace provides comprehensive family violence and sexual assault services and promotes the value of living life free from violence.

Last year, the event gave more than $10,000 to the organization.

Superman, Smurfs and a penguin -- those were just some of the costume participants in one of the final events at WinterFest.

The event is called the OSU-Cascades Snow Warriors race.

It's a crazy obstacle course consisting of mud, snow and ice. Close to 200 runners dressed in some crazy costumes tackled the course.

The obstacles: steep hills, inner tubes, a rock climb, barbed wire, mud and ice pits -- and to finish it all off, the last leg of the race included the famous steep hill slide down the Big Air snow tower.

"The hardest part was probably the mud wall -- us Rastafarians do not go through mud or climb walls in Jamaica," said race participant Ian Zatarain who dressed as a Bob Marley character.

Extra credit went to those in costume.

OSU-Cascades paid for several students to participate.

And believe it or not, the nice weather didn't make it any easier for the warriors.

The ice still was slick, and there was plenty of snow and mud to make it a very messy event.

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