2017 Cheat Race Results (revised 5/19/17)


Thanks to Cheat Canyon Adventures for the great video!


Cheat Canyon Downriver Race scheduled for Friday, May 5, 2017!


2017 Announcements:

  • Cheat Fest is now two days!  Festival wristbands will be provided to racers for both nights. Registration and race start will be held at Laurel Highlands as in years past, but the awards and after party are moving to the festival grounds!
  • Because of last years t-shirt surplus, we will be ordering less shirts. Register early to ensure you get the size you want.
  • Festival wrist bands will be provided upon return of race bibs.
  • As before, shuttle will not be provided.  Please plan ahead and carpool.
  • Only water will be provided at the take-out.
  • Prizes and beer will be available at the post-race party at the Cheat Fest Site.  We will NOT be providing disposable cups.  Please bring your own cup or purchase a Cheat Fest steel pint cup for $12. 


Race Overview

The Cheat River Festival weekend kicks off with one of the largest, if not the largest, mass start downriver races in the country known as the Cheat River “Massacre-ence”. The Race organizes its start about one mile downriver of the town of Albright, West Virginia, at the meeting booth for Laurel Highlands Outfitters. The race course traverses about 10 miles through the Cheat Canyon, dropping at a maximum gradient of 40 feet per mile. All the famous (and infamous) rapids are paddled, including Decision, Big Nasty, High Falls and Coliseum. The front of the pack usually reaches the finish line, Jenkinsburg Bridge, in about 1 hour, depending on water levels while the back of the pack, the slower boats, usually finish up around 1 hour 45 mins.



ONLINE early registration is open now until Wednesday May 3 @ midnight.  You are able to register using an online form and donate using Paypal just like past years.  Early registration is cheaper, and we set your selected T-shirt size aside for you.  Save even more time by printing and filling out your race waiver before you arrive.  Advanced registration is $25.

Online registration is now closed. See you at day-of registration:

Race Day Registration ($30 per racer) will be open from 1pm – 4:30pm at the meeting booth for Laurel Highlands Outfitters – same turn as you would make for the Cheat River festival public parking (marked by a banner across Rt. 26).  The booth will be to your left as you proceed down the hill.  At registration you will receive a race bib, a T-shirt (as long as they last).  Festival wrist bands will be provided upon return of the race bib.

The race registration fee includes the ACA event fee indicated on the waiver.  Please include your ACA membership number if you have one!

ACA Event Waivers

ACA Waiver Adult

ACA Waiver Minor

Mass Start

The mandatory pre-race meeting and safety talk will start on the bank of the river at 4:40pm.

After the meeting, all racers will have 10 minutes to get in the water and set up behind the old railroad trestle.  A 1 minute warning horn will sound.   All  paddlers join in a mass start signified by one long horn around 5:00pm.


Unfortunately, shuttle is NOT provided for racers (See notice from 2013 for details: Attention Cheat Canyon Racers Re Shuttle).  Racers are encouraged to car pool because parking is limited.  Race organizers will help direct parking in the afternoon at Jenkinsburg.  Please use caution while driving on Bull Run Road.  To learn more about 2014’s effort to improve the road: CLICK HERE .

After Party

Cheat Fest is now two nights!  The race after party will now be held in the cheat fest grounds.  Stay tuned for more info.



2017 Cheat Race Results (revised 5/19/17)

2016 Cheat Race Results

2015 Cheat Race Results 

2014 Race Recap

2013 Race Recap

2012 Race Recap


Down River Race Sponsors:

Appalachian Clay Works


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Kokatat black wave

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Gusic WebLogo

Wilderness Voy

Laurel Highlands