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It’s FIBArk (First in Boating the Arkansas) time. Starting at 4 p.m. August 6, FIBArk 2020 will kick off with the Hill Climb as a staggered start.

This year’s events, which are normally held in June during high water, will look slightly different than in prior years, as the event adjusts to the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Land Races

The 5K, 10K and Trail Run will be held virtually. Participants will track their times with their devices, and all collected times will be recorded then used to determine the winners. Participants of the 5K, 10K and Trail Race will receive a 2020 FIBArk t-shirt for their involvement in the race.

Times will be posted for each event, however, prizes will not be awarded to the fastest participants. Participants have had from July 4 to August 7 to complete and upload their times for the 5K, 10K, and Trail Run events. Due to inaccuracies of GPS timing, the Triple Crown will not be held this year. For more information about the running events click here.

FIBArk has been an international event since the very beginning. Photo of the Salida Whitewater Park courtesy of the Salida Regional Library System

Like the running events, Mountain Bike Challenges will also be held online. The registration categories include beginner, sport, and expert. Races take place on the Arkansas Hill Trail system with length and difficulty depending on the challenge category. FIBArk has renamed the events as a Challenge because there will be no winners this year.

The team hopes participants will enjoy Salida’s Mountain Biking Trails while also social distancing. Participants were given from July 4 to August 7 to complete the trails. Since they are unable to close down trails for over a month, participants who have completed the trail will receive FIBArk t-shirts as a reward. Times will not be recorded this year. For more information click here.

River Races

At 2 p.m. on August 7 the Pine Creek Race meeting will start at Pine Creek Rapid by the railroad tracks at the bottom of the access road. The race will begin at 2:30 p.m. and start times will be assigned. The racers take two laps down the rapid and the fastest of the two times will determine a winner. All participants will receive a 2020 FIBArk t-shirt. For more information on the Pine Creek Race click here.

At 8:15 a.m. on Saturday August 8 the Whitewater Slalom Race will begin its racer meeting. At 9 p.m. the event will begin. Staggered start times will be the following:

  • Cadet (14 and under)
  • Junior (15-18)
  • U23 (19-23)
  • Open (any age)
  • Senior (31-40)
  • Master (41 and older)

The community is encouraged to watch the events from home as Livestream via the camera at Whitewater Park. For more information click here.

FIBArk’s signature event, The Downriver Race, with the Marathon, Heavy Half, Intermediate and Novice categories will begin with a racer meeting at 8:15 a.m. on Sunday August 9.

The Novice race will end the day with a start time of 10:30 a.m. For a full schedule of each category click here. Spectators may watch from the Ruby Mountain AHRA site, Seidel’s Suck hole, the Stone Bride AHRA site, Big Bend AHRA site or online via the Salida Whitewater Park’s livestream.