Less than two months ago, the Sports Backers announced that Dominion Riverrock would grow to three days, add events and have an expanded footprint that would include the parking lot of the American Civil War Center. Since then, they’ve released the events to be added as well as the lineup of bands that will play on all three days.
Riverrock doesn’t start until May 18, but preparations are well underway for what the group hopes will grow into the largest festival of its kind, one “that celebrates Richmond’s vibrant and active river life with a series of sporting events with highly anticipated musical performances from national and regional acts, food vendors, exhibits and much more.”
One of the additions that piqued my interest was the adventure race that will be a part of Riverrock for the first time. Megan Schultz, the event director, said a local group called Richmond Adventure Sports Racing (ASR) approached the Sports Backers with the idea. “ASR came to us and said they’d love to do an adventure race, and if we could combine it with Riverrock, how cool would that be? We think it’s going to be a great addition to the overall event.”
She added that because of the nature of adventure races, the way they tend to cover huge swaths of terrain, ASR, not the Sports Backers, will handle the logistics. Schultz said the start point and course will be a closely-guarded secret up until race race day, but that “the idea is that it will finish at Riverrock.”
The adventure race is one of a few new events added this year to the regular lineup of mountain biking, bouldering, kayaking, standup paddleboarding, trail running, dog jumping, etc. “To expand the footprint and the number of days, we obviously needed to add sports to participate in and also watch,” Schultz said. “We did that with the adventure race, we did that with the dirt crit, we’re also adding slackline.”
In case you’re wondering, Wikipedia describes slacklining as “a practice in balance that typically uses 1-inch nylon webbing tensioned between two anchor points. Slacklining is distinct from tightrope walking in that the line is not held rigidly taut (although it is still under some tension); it is instead dynamic, stretching and bouncing like a long and narrow trampoline. The line’s tension can be adjusted to suit the user and different types of webbing can be used to achieve a variety of feats. The line itself is flat, due to the nature of webbing, thus keeping the slacker’s footing from rolling as would be the case with an ordinary rope. The dynamic nature of the line allows for impressive tricks and stunts.”
Sounds cool to me.
Schultz said, barring thunderstorms like last year’s, which shut down the Saturday night concert, “we think we could see 30,000-35,000 people down there.”