Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Snowboarding [Print without images]

Thursday, July 5, 2012
A Hood Rat Race

By Liam Gallagher
ESPN Action Sports

Austin Smith
Drink Water's Austin Smith, purveyor of summer shred fun, knows how to throw a snowboard race party.

Things Bryan Fox and Austin Smith love: summertime snowboarding, hanging with their buddies, drinking water and doing good. The inaugural Rat Race is their excuse to it all in one day: July 8 is that day, and it will all be happening up on Mt. Hood at High Cascade Snowboard Camp.

This will be the first event these two have ever organized and Smith's the first to admit it could be "pretty loose." But, with the all proceeds from the event going to help build a water well for a community in need, there's no doubt that, loosely run or not, it's bound to be a success. We caught up with Smith to find out more about it.

ESPN: How'd you guys come up with this event? What was your inspiration?
Austin Smith:
Curtis [Ciszek], Bryan and I have all been doing these contests together, like the Baker Banked Slalom and the Dirksen Derby, for the past few years. And those events gather all my favorite people from snowboarding, and always makes me really psyched on snowboarding because everyone is really just there for good times. So we just wanted to create something like that for the summer, because we love snowboarding in the summer, and just wanted to get all our friends together and have a great time.

Austin Smith, rat race
The Rat Race goes down July 8 at Mt. Hood -- don't miss it.

And what's "Hell Track" all about? Who is designing this course?
We got inspiration from when Bryan and Curtis and I all used to be diggers at High Cascade. We'd get bored and we'd built these little courses that you basically just tried to get through without dying. They were inspired by the old BMX movie "Rad." So it's going to be like that just a crazy BMX-style course with things going on everywhere.

We'll have big berms and doubles, rollers and maybe some weird big wallride thing. Anything goes, really. It's going to test every aspect of your snowboarding. You're going to have to do your best to stay on your feet.

And it's an invite-only contest, but the public is encouraged to come watch?
Yeah, come one, come all. Come check it out. Come support this new event and support drinking water. The whole thing is just a fundraiser. We're trying to raise money to drill a well for water in a place of need. We're not sure exactly where yet, because it depends on how much money we raise.

And can you offer any insight as to what it's going to take to win this event?
Balls of fury and a good attitude.

And maybe being well hydrated?
Yeah, proper hydration is key.