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The weather’s been mildly warm, but the calendar says it’s summer, which means it’s time for the latest in race organizer Uberthons’ seasonal half marathon series. The Oregon Summer Marathon will take place on July 20 in Banks, which is where the Oregon Marathon started back in 2015. Unlike the other seasonal events, this one is the only one that includes a full marathon distance option on a USATF-certified course. The course is point-to-point and follows the Banks-Vernonia State Trail and ends in Greenville City Park in Banks. Runners will park at the finish area and take buses to the starting line. Large portions of the course are in a forest, so there should be some decent shade, though the end part can get a sunny, especially later in the morning. If the marathon isn’t to your liking, there are also half and quarter marathon options. The half marathon starts at the middle of the marathon course, and a nice bonus about that is that the middle of the marathon also corresponds to the highest point of the course — meaning it’s an overall downhill run for the half marathon. This is also a point-to-point course with busing to the [...]
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Every Alpine Running race is on my to-do list, and having done a couple already, I know they’re guaranteed to be great. The problem: they keep adding races to the lineup and my calendar can’t keep up! They took over directing the Elkhorn Crest 50 (and marathon) from Crux Ridge Running but the details are nearly identical. If you’re not trained and ready for it this summer, put it on the list for 2020 (I know I will be). It looks incredible. It is a serious challenge in the Elkhorn Mountains outside of Sumpter, and though you’ll be working hard for them, the views will be worth it! Neither an out-and-back nor a loop, each course has a unique profile, both featuring a mix of smooth single track as well as rocky, technical sections. The 50M+ (actual distance is ~53 miles), run at an average elevation of over 7,200 ft, features around 11,000 ft of climbing and about 11,700 ft of descending with panoramic views of Baker Valley, the Wallowas, and the Blue Mountains. The marathon packs in around 5,700 ft of climbing and 6,300 ft of descending. This is proper mountain running so for safety, there are mandatory gear [...]
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The marathon and half marathon will both be run along the Burnt Bridge Creek Trail in Vancouver, Washington. This is the third event in a four-day long race series running from July 4th to July 7th. The Firecracker Quadzilla/Quadzuki is a challenging way to celebrate and honor the 4th of July holiday week. The course will begin and end along the north side of David Douglas Park. Both distances will complete out-and-back courses on the Burnt Bridge Creek Trail, where the marathon will complete the half marathon course, two times. Although the courses will be marked, it is always helpful to familiarize yourself with race routes before the “gun” goes off. The course runs along a paved trial that will be available for public use during the event so runners are required to be aware and yield to other users. The race coordinators suggest to run no more than two abreast to aid in keeping all users safe, participants and public, alike. This is not a Boston Qualifier, so fun and safety are the main goal. Along the course, runners can expect a stocked and manned aid station at the start/finish area. There will be water and Gatorade with chips, [...]
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The 4th of July weekend means plenty of holiday races, but did you know the Cook Park Marathon/Half is on the 5th of July? This is the 2nd in a series of 4 races over the 4th of July weekend called the Firecracker Quadzilla/Quadzuki.   It can be run as part of the series or as an independent event. The Cook Park Marathon and Half Marathon is 4.37 mile loop in that is in both Cook Park and Durham City Park. Marathon runners will complete the loop 6 times, while half marathon runners will complete 3 loops. The course runs along the scenic Tualatin River for a portion of the race and is a combination of paved trails and a few dirt trails. There will be a fully stocked aid station at the start/finish area that runners will pass by on each loop with water, Gatorade, and a variety of sweet and salty snacks. The loop course gives participants the option of leaving their own choice of hydration/nutrition in this area, as well. If participants need longer than 5 hours to finish the full marathon, there is an early start option. Details regarding this option are on the website. The race [...]
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The REVEL Mount Hood Marathon and Half will take place this year on Saturday, June 29th. REVEL race series events distinguish themselves from other races by being held in gorgeous nature spaces, like forests and canyons, and by being USATF certified, Boston Qualifier downhill races, giving a great opportunity for a new PR and a BQ time. REVEL organizes races in nine beautiful locations in America’s western states (and British Columbia), and this is the second year for the Mount Hood race. To give both the marathon and the half a nice downhill course, this is a point to point race with shuttle buses to the start and parking near the end. Runners and walkers (with a minimum average pace of 16min/mile) will gather at Sandy High School to board their buses bright and early on the morning of June 29th. Marathon busing will run from 3am-4:15am, while the half marathon buses are 4am-4:45am. The marathon starts in waves from 5am-6:15am, the half marathon starts at 6am. There is no parking at the finish area, so everybody parks at Sandy High School and takes the shuttle to the start or finish line. The marathon starts at Timberline Lodge, down Timberline [...]
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  I’ve done well over a hundred races over the last 15 or so years, but I’ve yet to do the Foot Traffic Flat. It’s on my list to do someday, when the timing is right, and I’ve heard more and more about it every year. What I hear about it is that it’s on 4th of july and therefore generally hot (though the average high is 76 with a low of 56)) but it’s as beautiful as it is flat (as the title would suggest.) I also hear a lot about the strawberry shortcake, and who can resist that on a warm summer day after a race? You have options for this race, which is at Sauvie Island, a “farm land paradise” only about 20 minutes north of downtown Portland You can do the 5k, the 10k, the Half Marathon, or the whole enchilada, the Full Marathon. It’s all about how much you want to sweat. Whichever distance you choose, you’ll have a great time and some new bling (aka the finisher’s medal.) There’s also the Kids 1k Farm Course that will start and finish at the same location as the other distances at the pumpkin patch. There will [...]
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May 19th, 2019 was a beautiful Oregon morning. I had decided to run the Willamette Valley Half Marathon a few weeks before and was excited to run on a course so close to home. I live a mere 20 minutes away and it’s always nice to not have a significant drive on race morning. This was the 2nd year of the Willamette Valley Marathon and half, and first year with an added 10k. It was my first time at this event. I arrived downtown Salem about 45 minutes early. Directions were clear on where parking would be available and I walked a few short blocks to the starting area right next to our Oregon State Capital. The road was blocked off from traffic and there was tons of room to stretch, meet with friends and such before lining up to race. There was packet-pick up race day morning but I had stopped by Gallagher Fitness the day before, to save some time on race morning. I always know if packet-pick-up is at Gallagher, it will be a quick pick up as they are always very organized and I can grab anything I may need extra for running while I’m at [...]
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One of the first ever running events I ever participated in was the Silver Falls Half Marathon. At that point, it was essentially solely a 13.1 that had a loyal, and growing, participatory group. Fast forward to 2019 and this November will showcase the 10th anniversary event of the now-branded Silver Falls Marathon, which sells out super fast, spans three days, and features 5 distances from  a 5k up to a 50. What a difference a decade makes! Even with the addition of days and races, this race still manages to have a local feel to it. They haven’t gone the way of national race company management, and have instead showcased just how awesome a race can be. Here is the schedule for 2019: For those in the know, the race courses follow some of the most amazing trails in Oregon, if not the entire PNW. Each distance will get the experience of running near, and behind, some spectacular waterfalls – even the new 5k this year.   Do yourself a favor and mark your calendars for August 1st, the date that registration opens for this year’s event. The events are all capped and I can state that the half [...]
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It’s been close to two decades since I ran the Pacific Crest Half Marathon, and it still stands out in my mind as a memorable event. As I struggled through the heat and questioned my abilities that day, I looked around at several others and remembered that we were the lucky ones to have the strength to do it. There was so much going on for that sports festival weekend, and it was inspiring to see so many great athletes out there doing what they do best. Since then, the 2019 Pacific Crest Triathlon & Weekend Sports Festival has many more events to choose from. Whether you run, swim, bike, or do all of the above, you should be able to find something to challenge you the weekend of June 28th – 30th. It’s the 23rd year of the annual Pacific Crest Endurance Sports Festival, and it’s become quite an event in Sunriver, OR. Considered “jewel of multisport events in the Northwest,” people travel from all over to participate in this weekend event. Pick your passion and do the 72.3 BEASTMAN, a triathlon, a duathlon, or the AquaBike adventure. If you “just” want to run, you can pick between the [...]
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The time was about 930pm on the day before race day of the 2nd annual Willamette Valley Half Marathon. I was out with my wife at our third spot for drinks on a long-overdue date night when a clouded mind asked her, “what would you say about me running a half marathon tomorrow?” And thus, my 56th half marathon was off and running. This event is obviously new-ish to the Salem area, but in just two short years it has really become a favorite of mine. Salem is late to the party when it comes to closing down city streets for races  (and perhaps, nowadays, ahead of the game), but this race really does a fantastic way to showcase the best parts of my current hometown. The pre-race kicks off right in the shadow of the state capitol building and provides a wonderful backdrop to warm-up in. There is a ridiculous amount of space to stretch out, get some running in, or just relax. This year there were a few changes, and all for the better I think: Race starts were moved to 8am for all distances. The inaugural event started at 9am and it got a little warm near [...]

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