On April 14, 2019, Jack, Timber, Vilas, and Riggins teamed up with their humans to run the dog-friendly Peterson Ridge Rumble trail race in Sisters, Oregon. Jack and Timber’s humans, Jeff and Jenn, work for Trail Butter, a Portland-based company that makes nut butter blends to fuel trail adventures. Vilas’ and Riggins’ humans, Dani and Alli, work for Ruffwear and regularly share trail miles together on their lunch breaks. Both Trail Butter and Ruffwear provided product support for this year’s Rumble, and the companies’ shared ambassadors, Graham, Shannon, and Pebble came out to cheer and provide race-day coverage on social media.

A few minutes before 9 o’clock on a chilly, gray Sunday morning, 347 runners and 95 dogs lined up for the 20-mile trail race. Jenn, who was running the 40-miler, was already out on the trails and would end up finishing second in the female division and 17th overall. Dogs are not invited to run the 40-mile race, but the course overlaps with the 20-miler, so there’s no shortage of dog company for all runners throughout the day.

A sea of runners at the start.
Photo: Graham Zimmerman
Vilas’ cheer squad, Kaia and Dixie, with their humans at the finish area.
Photo: Jeff Fisher

The Rumble is a laid back, grassroots race that began in 2003. It’s a favorite among the trail running community, particularly in Oregon — and for good reason. The race starts near Sisters Middle School (and raises money for the school’s track & field program) and covers many miles of rolling singletrack before finishing with a lap around the school track. The tacky dirt trail has plenty of rocks to hop over as it winds and weaves through pine forest and along ridges that provide views of Central Oregon’s Cascade mountains. Along the course, aid stations provide water and snacks for both dogs and humans. After crossing the finish line, dogs are rewarded with a pig ear and humans are treated to a burrito buffet.

Photos from the day by Jeff Fisher:

It’s a great way to kick off the trail running season and the high number of canine participants makes the Peterson Ridge Rumble a classic.

Here’s what the Trail Butter/Ruffwear crew had to say about the race:


Result: Second Female/17th Overall 40-mile Finisher

“I’ve been running the Rumble since 2012 and it is the season kickoff race I look forward to every year! Since Jeff started running the 20 miler with Jack-dog back in 2014, it has become our fur family’s annual tradition to make the trek out every April. It was so much fun knowing that Jeff was on course with both Jack and the newest addition to our family Timber, while I was out trying my best just to get back to them all as quickly as possible! Not only were they not tired by the time I was finishing, both Jack and Timber followed me all the way around the track to get me across my own finish line! Can’t wait to return for more years of Team TimberJack!”

Timber joined Jenn on her finishing lap around the Sisters Middle School track.
Photo: Rachel Drake

Jeff & Team TimberJack

Gear Used: Omnijore™ Harness and Roamer™ Leash (Timber), Knot-a-Collar™ (Jack-Dog) Result: Second Overall Human/Dog team

“Fill up the water bowl, crack the windows, and right before you close the canopy door, you bury your face in their scruff and say, ‘Be a good dog, don’t rip anything up and we’ll see you in a bit. Dad and Mom are going for a run and will be back in a few hours!’ – All too often this is the pre-race ritual that plays out for our dogs Jack-Dog and Timber, as my wife Jenn and I make our way to the start line of our respective races and it breaks our heart.  But for one magical day out of the year those rituals are kicked to the side, because it’s Peterson Ridge Rumble time! I am ever-grateful for having such a race so close to home that fully welcomes, and pays homage to our loyal four-legged adventure buddies who, without trepidation, follow us in pursuit of our passion for trail running.”

Jeff and Timber
Photo: Graham Zimmerman
Jack-Dog show his post-race smile.
Photo: Jeff Fisher

Dani & Vilas

Gear Used: Hi & Light™ Harness, Ridgeline™ Leash, and Trail Runner™ Bowl Result: Second Female Human/Dog team

“Vilas and I have shared many things. We’ve shared food, a bed and many miles in the car together. But by far, my favorite thing to share is the finish line. Watching Vilas carry her pinecone across the finish line brought so much joy, happiness and laughter not only to me but to those around her.”

Vilas hydrating after the race.
Photo: Jeff Fisher

Alli & Riggins

Gear Used: Front Range® Harness, Quick Draw™ Leash Result: Fourth Female Human/Dog team

“Riggins and I run trails all the time, but racing together was extra special. I loved watching Riggs interact with other runners on the trail and at the start/finish. We had a blast! I am grateful for this dog-centric race and our trail running community — as well as our friends who came out to support. We’ll be making the Rumble our new tradition!”

Alli, Riggins, Dani, and Vilas. Riggins’ and Vilas’ fatigue on a scale of 1-10 was a 1.
Photo: Graham Zimmerman

Graham, Shannon, & Pebble

Gear Used: Stumptown™ Jacket Result: Best support crew on the course!

Big thanks, hugs, high fives, and tail wags to our ambassadors & friends, Graham, Shannon, and Pebble.

Shannon, Graham, and Pebble

Do you have questions about running with dogs or a favorite dog-friendly trail race to share? Let us know in the comments!

3 thoughts

  1. Just neat…we don’t have anything remotely similar in AZ. Why Oregon is just an awesome place for this.

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