Reviews

Quality event I hope to do again!
5.0

I have been looking forward to doing this run for a few years now, and I’m glad I finally got the chance to. A nagging injury kept me out of the half, but I was able to do the 10k and I’m very glad I did. Packet pickup was smooth, the shirt was decent quality, and there were coupons in the swag bag that I will actually use! Race morning had plenty of parking and people directing so it wasn’t a free-for-all in the Intel parking lot. There were TONS of port-o-potties — I have never had such a short wait in line before a race as big as this one is.

The half and the 10k started together, which I was worried would be a human crush pile but they did have pace markings, and people were in a cheerful mood and were happy to not squash each other. I stayed near the back due to my reduced ability, so I can’t comment if there were people lined up incorrectly, but the pack spread out pretty quickly and I didn’t feel jammed in at any point. The course was well-marked, with plenty of direction. There was Nuun and water — it seemed to me like they had extra stations due to the chance of it getting pretty toasty. I was familiar with part of the course (I think the Heartbreaker Half uses part of it? Maybe?) so it had some hills in the 10k but nothing that will ruin your life and make you curse the day you were born. Overall it was indeed scenic and pretty, with pleasant volunteers helping out at aid stations.

You finish on the sportsfield and that is fun — spectators can watch their favorites cross the finish line on the stadium’s jumbotron. We got an attractive, quality medal upon finishing, and were treated to a vast array of snacks, drinks, and opportunities to score a little more swag from the decent vendors that had set up displays. After cooling off a bit we got our yummy Helvetia Tavern burgers (garden! yay for plant-based athletes! I usually am able to only get a banana after a run) and watched the speedy halfers come in on the jumbotron. There was plenty of seating and shade to relax in after the race, so this is a good event to make into an afternoon of enjoying your friends and your achievement.

I definitely plan on giving the half marathon a shot next year, but the 10k is a great workout and again I am very happy I got to try it out and get hooked!

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Half Marathon
5.0

This was a terrific race! I did this in 2013 with two of my girlfriends and will do it again. I’ll admit this was an incredibly hilly course and if you’ve not been hill training it will trash your legs. The race was very well organized from packet pick up, tons of volunteers on the course and at aid stations, to the awards ceremony, to the wine tasting. YES, wine tasting after the race from about 20 local wineries. And the pours are quite generous!! My favorite take away was the race shirt though. I’ve done hundreds of races, but this is a shirt I wear regularly. I cannot recommend this race enough.

Great way to start your Thanksgiving Day!
5.0
  • Melanie reviewed 1 year ago
  • last edited 1 year ago

My friend Sarah told me about the race just a few days before hand, and I decided to join her! I was very pleasently surprised with the price of the race, especially since I was registering so late! The morning was COLD, probably the coldest race for me so far, and I was so thankful for the hot coffee at the start of the race. The 10K was two loops, clearly marked, and separated the 10K and 5K runners so that we could easily keep running. I actually enjoyed the loop so that I could plan and conserve my energy for the hill in the middle of the course. Overall, I was very pleased with the race and definitely want to do it next year! Oh, and I loved the medal!

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Bank of America Chicago Marathon
5.0

At least once in a lifetime runners should compete in a World Marathon Major. It’s an incredible, unforgettable experience, regardless of the outcome of the race. I chose to run the 2015 Bank of Chicago Marathon as a last attempt at an Olympic Trials Qualifying Standard. I didn’t hit my goal, but I still completely enjoyed running in such a huge, high energy marathon.

The best thing about running a race like the Bank of America Chicago Marathon is the intense energy of the experience. I was so motivated by the company of 45,000 runners, all with their own goals and reasons for running the race. You can’t help but feel inspired on race morning, standing in the corral, waiting for the gun. I love the positive energy brought by a crowd of dream chasers.

With 45,000 runners, It is important for a race to be well-organized. The Chicago Marathon was exceptional in this regard. They thought of every detail. Packet pickup was relatively short and painless. The race provided shuttles to and from the expo. We were in and out in no time. I will say, give yourself extra time on race morning. Even with supreme organization, it takes awhile to get 45,000 runners through the security checkpoints and on to the starting line.

I was impressed with the amount of fluids and fuels available on the course. I had no trouble getting enough Gatorade and water from the volunteers. Stations were placed at least every two miles. One running tip: Don’t go for the first cup you see. Run a little further down the line. This prevents collisions and backup on the course.

The course is billed as flat and fast. There is a small incline at the 26 mile mark. It is placed perfectly to feel like Mt Everest at the end of the race. The course is definitely fast, but the repetitive pounding takes it’s toll. There are also many turns through the neighborhoods. Failing to run the tangents will add time and distance to your race. There is a blue line that indicates the shortest distance through the course. Stick to that line.

As with all marathons, weather can be a total crap shoot. This year, the weather was a bit warm for marathoning, with temps in the 50s-60’s. However, it was pretty breezy, with winds in the 15-20 mph range. It wasn’t too noticeable during the first half, but definitely hindered the second half of the race. Just be prepared for anything, and adjust your race plan accordingly.

A couple of tips for a great Chicago Marathon experience: First, fly in at least two days before the race. It takes extra time and energy to get from the airport to downtown Chicago, get familiar with the start and finish areas, and pick up packets. Give yourself time for error, and to relax. Secondly: Do not wear a Garmin in the race. Wear a basic watch, and learn your splits. With the underpass, the many turns, and all the buildings, I guarantee that your GPS will be off. It’s best not to rely on it’s accuracy. Third, write your name down your arms or display it prominently on your body. The crowds are amazingly supportive. If they can see your name, they will cheer for you, which provides a much needed energy boost to the struggling marathoner.
Finally, don’t let the crazy energy pull you out too quickly. It’s easy to give in to adrenaline, nerves, and thousands of screaming spectators. Rein it in early.

I enjoyed the Chicago Marathon immensely. I wish I had scheduled a couple more days in the city for sightseeing. Chicago is a beautiful, tourist friendly city. Turn the running trip into a mini-vacation. There is so much to do and see. I missed out by being a little too focused and business minded in my approach to the race. In addition, make sure to take it all in. I remember nothing from the course except an Elvis impersonator. The course showcases 29 Chicago neighborhoods, so look up occasionally. A marathon of this size and magnitude should be about much more than the outcome. It should be about creating lasting running memories. Enjoy the experience.

Excellent Series Race!
4.0
  • Amanda S reviewed 1 year ago
  • last edited 1 year ago

What a fantastic race! I strongly recommend this series to all levels of runners and can’t wait to sign up again next year.

PROS:
-Super affordable (3 races for under $50!) and the nature of a series does wonders for my motivation.
-Very well organized! RunwithPaula does a fantastic job organizing races – runners are well taken care of (water, food, sports drinks, coffee and MORE). I’ve been running for a couple years now and have never bothered repeating a race. Her events always leave me ecstatic and grateful to have spent the money.
-Excellent series for hitting your PR! I shaved a ton of time off over the three races.
-Easy course with no delays from traffic. Good views through a grassy area next to a pond and no pavement problems.
-Great energy from all involved. I’ve never enjoyed a post race party so much (great awards and raffle)
-Beginner friendly with lots of speed walkers.
-Starts a bit later in the day than other winter races, making it so much easier to get there.

CONS:
-It’s a bit of a hard run to start. The first 1/4 mile is through a road passing several office buildings. On the flip side, on your way back it certainly makes the finish line look like gold in the distance.
-Due to flooding (a 2″ thick puddle) you are asked to run up a VERY small but VERY muddy hill, which caused one or two people to slip.
-The course is public so there were a couple slow moving older couples and zippy bicycles to circumnavigate.
-I took the no phones/timing devices rule very seriously on the third race and was left a bit sad to not have music to listen to.

Shamrock
3.0

The Shamrock is a great cause, for the Children’s Hospital, but it has gotten so crowded! This year was so rainy and obviously that is no one’s fault, but I was pretty miserable. The past few years I haven’t even bothered getting the food and beer, because of lines. I think I will stick to smaller races. But the 15 K is a great run!

Disappointed 10k runner
1.0

I don’t know what happened from last year to this year, but we were very disappointed with this race today.

1.Traffic control was nonexistent for the amount of cars trying to park. Traffic was very backed up.
2.There weren’t enough shuttles to get the 10k runners to the start line. We had a 2 hour wait to just get to the start line.
3.We had to weave around the people leaving the event in order to get to the finish line because of the enormous delay of shuttling people to the start line.
4.We used to get a coupon for a future meal at Spaghetti Factory but this year it was only a coupon for an order of garlic bread.
5.I don’t like the new course because of the length of the hills, but that’s more opinion than fact.

If this is the future of Pints to Pasta, I’m not going to be a part of it and I guarantee I’m not the only one that feels this way!

MY favorite
5.0
  • Krisi Quayle reviewed 1 year ago
  • last edited 1 year ago

Love this one for so many reasons! Only downside is the cost. Great atmosphere!

i love PDX!!
5.0

great race and great course. I love running in the metro area

Shamrock 8k
3.0

This year (2015) I ran the 8k but in other years I raced the 15k and 5k. For being such a big race it is well organized in regards to the start and finish area and support areas but the races always seem to be difficult to navigate with the crowds. This year I was in the lead pack of women in the 8k and after the turnaround on Naito we were in traffic and all the way up Broadway. We had a path on the left side of the road but racers from other distances end up taking up much of the road not realizing we are coming through much faster. There is usually great competition at Shamrock though, a lot of the local sub elites come out and it makes for an exciting race. The hill up Broadway was longer and harder than I knew about! Overall a good positive experience. I was easily able to get a porta-pottie before the race and after I did a workout so didn’t imbibe but I hear there are lots of good post race treats. I almost forgot, they give you your photos for FREE! Who does that?!!! So nice.

Pleasantly Surprised by the Good Vibes!
4.5

I usually try to stick to smaller or “homegrown” races, but when I saw that the finisher’s medal for the half incorporated the famous PDX airport carpet, I had to sign up. I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the event. The organizers didn’t miss a beat – it must be a nightmare to shut down PDX for the morning, but they did it and made it look effortless. On race day I got there early and got a spot in one of the downtown parking garages — easy, close, and only $6.00. I liked the course; there was a killer hill in the first 4 miles, but it was better than having to climb Hawthorne at the end on exhausted legs. You do get a mini-tour of things that makes PDX so very PDX-y — downtown architectural mishmash, NW Industrial, NE funkiness, grand fancy homes of Laurelhurst, the Boho-trying-to-be-SOHO of Hawthorne, plus the party-ready waterfront park and two great bridges to run over. Finishing on a stretch of PDX airport carpet was GENIUS. Plenty of course support, with ample water, and GU gels at the 9-ish mark (and they warned you which gels had caffeine in them.) There were tons of cheerleaders lining the course and they did a fantastic job keeping up the positive energy. I would almost say I loved the course, but it does go by an underpass that is frequented by the homeless so the smell of urine almost knocked us over — an issue with every downtown PDX run, and always heartbreaking. It was unbelievably awesome to run DOWN Hawthorne. I didn’t stay for the afterparty, but as I dragged my exhausted corpse past the stage I could tell it was a helluva party and the band sounded fantastic.

The expo was decent, but it was super-corporate. They also trick you into buying their spendy Brooks RnR apparel by giving you a crappy event shirt and then shuttling you through the glorious merchandise area (the stuff is really, really nice) to get to the rest of the expo. Another gripe: no race day packet pickup. I hope they made exceptions for people, it really is hard for those of us who work and live out of town to get to an expo that ends at 6:00. The last gripe: Michelob was the beer available. In Oregon!?!

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Beautiful course, perfect destination marathon
5.0

Not only was this the inaugural year for this race, it was also my first full marathon. I’ve had an illogical fear of 26.2 since my stress fracture three years ago, and this race seemed like the perfect mix of trail, hills, elevation, etc., to keep me focused more on finishing and less on time. Plus I love Bend and was excited to be a part of something in such a beautiful area! So when a friend mentioned I consider Bend, I jumped at the opportunity.

The race is all as it’s advertised: Beautiful scenery, hilly, challenging, but not impossibly so. Kerry and Blair did an excellent job at organizing the race and with the exception of a few minor hiccups, the race was well-marked and well-supported. Plenty of porta-potties, aid stations every two miles or so (less on the first half of the race), accurate pace group leaders, awesome custom medals, etc. You would not have been able to tell it was an inaugural race if they hadn’t said it many times :)

It was also a good race for spectators. The start was cold but I was able easily drop off clothing with my friends at the end of mile 2. They caught me again at miles 13/20 (the out and back on the Cascade Scenic Highway) and it was nice having them to look forward to. They could have easily caught me in more places but decided instead to grab coffee. A person could easily jump in and pace on the back half of the course, or ride alongside a marathoner via bicycle.

As for the course goes, it was challenging, and not just because it was my first full. I had done five long runs over 20 miles, with one at 23 miles, and several on trail, so I felt adequately prepared for the hills, occasional gravel, and elevation. But this full is not for the faint of heart, and does require some extra preparation than Portland or Eugene. If you are from the Willamette Valley, you will feel the altitude at about miles 8-10, and will need to drink more water than usual and probably slow your pace down just slightly. But the views and the challenge makes this a great destination race, and the sense of accomplishment afterward makes the challenge worth it!

Fun family race, and plenty of chocolate for everyone
4.0

I was very excited to try out this race, as I’d heard that Uberthons puts on a really nice event, and also because this particular race combined two of my favorite-est things ever, running and chocolate! It was held in Cook Park, which was surprising easy to find. Parking was plentiful and a short walk to the start line. The park was lovely, and the event had been set up next to a spiffy child’s play area, which was already seeing heavy use at 8 a.m. I didn’t see any Porta-Potties, but the park had clean flush toilets, so that wasn’t an issue. I had planned on running the 10k, but a health issue forced me to switch to the 5k on race day. When I inquired about switching, the person whom handed me my bib responded with a firm “you can’t.” I took my bib, made sure the medals were uniform so I wouldn’t be handed one for a distance I didn’t do, and then carefully peeled off the timing chip, as I knew that I wanted to enjoy the day, get a short run in, and not worry about messing up scoring systems. I then noticed that the bibs were colored differently for the 5, 10, and 1k runs, so I approached a friendly Ubertons Ambassador and explained to her what I was doing, and how I didn’t want to make it look like I was a fast 10k runner. She was SO WONDERFUL and immediately sprang into action. She took me to the timing person, who met the request to switch me to the 5k with some frost — I get it. It’s a pain to switch events the day of, and I profusely apologized. But things happen, sometimes the day of a race even. I have done a ton of events all over the country, and most of them have had a system in place (and many charge a fee to recoup part of the hassle.) The Ambassador Angel really saved my day, as I was feeling like I should have not run at all, and she went out of her way to make sure I enjoyed the event. And it was enjoyable — the path through the park was lovely, and people were really having fun. A word of caution to the speedsters — if you plan to run this, get to the front of the line. The paths are narrow, there were a lot of kids running with their parents, and there were lots of newbies. All of these are enjoyable if you’re not out to get a decent time, but can be a serious hazard if you’re flying and a wee one stops right in front of you. I had to weave in and out so much that I eventually gave up a time goal and focused on not squashing folks. The gentleman they had announcing the event was really fun, and combined with booming music, made the finish line experience a real treat. Luckily, the event was set up in a shaded area, as the day was already getting steamy. The finisher’s medal was large and cute, and doubled as a belt buckle — neato! They were handing out big, heavy Hershey’s Kisses necklaces to all the ladies as an extra treat. The chocolate buffet was seriously no joke — two chocolate fountains with treats for dipping, chocolate chip pancakes, and a glorious assortment of cheesecakes. GLORIOUS! Despite the switching snafu, it was a really well done event, and that aforementioned Ambassador ran into me after the run and gave me YET ANOTHER necklace to celebrate my first time as an Ubertoner. I will most definitely try some of their other events. However, I probably won’t do the Chocolatathon next year — it was heavy on the “mother’s day” emphasis, and as I’m not a mom I felt kind of out of place. If they could have a separate chocolate-themed run I’d be all over that!

Nearly lost...
3.5

The busy start was well organized and the course was lovely! Unfortunately the 8k course was not as clearly marked after the split with the 10k group. Great atmosphere for a fun race experience, especially with the live music along the course. Would love to see some improvements with course markings to make it a faster race in the future.

A giant green party!
4.5

I don’t know how they do it, but the organizers manage to have a smooth event for 35,000 people. The 5 and 8k runs are fast and flat, but very crowded — PRs may be challenging, but you’ll be having such a good time you won’t care. The 15k goes uphill, and then has some more uphill, so it’s not for the faint of heart, but as with the rest of the runs it’s well supported with water, electrolyte drink, and on the 15k/half they had Clif gels) and the crowds are cheerful. Plenty of porta-potties at start, but not sure if I saw any on the course. Half-marathoners get to tackle the hills in some of the hardest miles of a half marathon, so if you’re into self-punishment, sign up for that distance. Only complaint — the fast halfers and the 15k folks merged at one point, and the 15kers didn’t get over out of the way of the speedy half runners. I don’t know how to fix that kind of stupid, so maybe roping off the parts of the course that merge would be helpful.

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Great Flat Race w/Awesome Pacers!
4.5

My husband and I ran this race in 2015 when Uberthons was hosting it at Forest Grove High School. We trained for 4.5 months and raced our perfect race thanks to the awesome group of Pacers. The course was an out and back, which at first, I was not thrilled about but once I ran it, I was so glad it was. It was nice to run past the same place again and know where the aid stations were. Aid stations…there seemed to be one every mile to mile and a half. This was nice since early September in Oregon can still get hot. The race swag was great! A nice shirt and a great heavy medal complete with my bib number and name on the back. My one an only complaint is that they closed the aid station at mile 12 EARLY! I am not talking just a little before the last runners came through but rather closed right at the start of the middle of the packers were coming through.

Crowd support is second to none
4.5

This is a great half marathon that I have done every year since the inaugural year, and plan to do so until my joints are replaced with titanium (and then maybe I’ll get out the walker and still give it a try.) It is very well-organized, starts on time, and has the essentials at the start — easy parking and porta-potties! This year they moved packet pickup into a health and fitness expo that was one of the better expos I’ve seen — great selection of new and interesting vendors. There was less pre-race communication this year than there has been in the past, but the website is easy to navigate and has the essentials. This race is getting bigger every year, so there should be plenty of people in your pace group to keep you company. The course is well-marked, has one moderately long climb and plenty of downhill, and as I stated in the title, is absolutely lined with happy, cheering people (and a rocking ska band!) from start to finish. This year the crowds came in very handy, as it was toasty at the start and downright hot later on, and there were people setting out lawn sprinklers for those of us who were overheating. There was support every two-ish miles, with water and Ultima (I really liked the mix this year!) They had to move the finish line off the football field at Reser stadium, but when the construction work on the stadium is done, it will be back to the thrill of running down a finishing chute and onto the astroturf. The medal was a well-designed reward at the end of a hot run, and there looked to be a pretty good after party going, with brews on tap, and cider for a few $$, as well as a nice table full of post-race staples (and some tasty soup and bread that they have had every year.) It was crowded, though, and I was ready to find some shade and die quietly with my medal gripped tightly into my fist. This was a the first year I overheated, which is why I’m taking off 1/2 a star — I am sure there’s some logistical reason as to why the race starts later, but it gets hotter every year, and I really hope they reconsider and move it back by at least an hour. The convenience of getting to a later start has been replaced by fear of getting heat stroke.

Love This Race!
5.0

This is a great race! I have run it every year since 2010! The course is mostly flat (mile 8 to 9 is my least favorite) it’s a decent hill to get to the top of! Gorgeous views of both Eugene and Springfield…running along the river is beautiful! This year I did the full for the first time! Eclectic Edge Racing provides the timing/announcing for this race and many of them in town and nearby cities…they are amazing!!! I highly recommend this race if you’ve never done it!

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Low-key trail running fun, and bring your dog!
4.5

We almost missed this, as we got lost trying to find the park (note to self: your GPS unit isn’t technicallycapable of lying to you, so please learn to trust it.) But once we arrived, check-in went smooth and we were ready to roll. It’s a low-key, no frills race which is extremely affordable and the people running it are very friendly and helpful. Bring cash or check for race day registrations. The trail was more challenging than we expected, with some mud pits and some rough terrain — after shredding my ankle on a mud run I’ve been nervous about trail runs and thought this would be a good intro, I think maybe I was a little paranoid but I am not taking any chances! My friend brought her big, happy running dog and he had a BLAST! There were a few big dogs and a few little dogs, just enough to keep our companion pup happy and headed towards the finish line to sniff and wag with his new friends. The park is lovely, and not super busy, so there are nice spots to stretch out in the sun and enjoy the post-race food and drink. Plenty of parking, but it’s in a field, so leave your Lamborghini at home. The only complaint was that the trail can get backed up in spots, especially if you’re behind someone who is determined to not wreck their brand new kicks in a slop pit. My friend is looking forward to this year, and plans to try out the 10k. I highly recommend this to people who are looking to try out trail running and need a friendly, challenging but not miserable race to get started with.

Awesome
4.0
  • Greg reviewed 1 year ago

Highly reccommend this race!!!

Scenic, challenging course
3.5
  • Veronica reviewed 1 month ago

I just completed the marathon distance and wanted to leave a review before I forget the details. To my knowledge, the course for the marathon was different this year, so it is perhaps even more important to leave a note. First, thank you to the organizers and volunteers (including pacers!) for a well-run event! Second, Bend is a fantastic town to run in and the marathon course easily showcases this. Third, the marathon and entire race (plus other distances) have a small intimate race feel, which I personally like.

Packet pick up was a breeze at the Foot Zone downtown. I was surprised at the lack of marathon merchandise outside of the included shirt (gender specific, although a bit clunky with huge screen print on the chest). I wish there were at least running caps or even more substantial running shirts that could be purchased. I noticed that the 2016 race had some and this was one of the things that attracted me to the race. The race still uses plastic cups and bottles, which really should be done away with. Apart from this, the aid stations were fantastic. No gels, however, so if you eat those, bring your own. There is no police involved with the race, which made for problematic traffic situations, especially at the many roundabouts throughout Bend. Sadly, it seemed that the communities along the course were not alerted of this race happening and there was a ton of traffic and aggravated drivers on the road. As a runner, this made me feel unsafe. Not to mention that we, the runners, had to wait out traffic on a few occasions (obviously affecting time, but also, at mile 20 the last thing I want to do is hang out at a traffic stop for the simple reason that I may not start up again ?!)

The course was surprisingly difficult. I knew that it is challenging, but it felt even more so yesterday. My watch showed just under 1,300 ft of elevation gain. While on a trail running course I wouldn’t bat an eye at this number, on the road, it felt much different. I was toast at the end. Also, the course was about 1/3 mile too long, causing even the pacers to fall out of time. I am not sure that the marathon needed the extra (to the half marathon course) loop around the high school at mile 22.

The finishers line was amazing! Compact, friendly, loud, and chock full of drinks and food. Also, beer. Beer is the best, so don’t let Deschutes Brewery go. ?

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
I went to a 5k and ended up in a parade!
4.5

I signed up for the 5k this year due to a date conflict with running the half (which I hate to miss because it’s a very pretty run) and was pleasantly surprised with the fun atmosphere and big crowd turnout for the 5k. Packet pickup for any of the Iris runs is very smooth if you do it before the race; the Keizer Chamber of Commerce stays open way late and makes it easy to get your gear, but I can’t comment on race day pickup as I have never had to use it. This year we got a nice cotton shirt (which I was thrilled with — I’m a little tired of tech shirts.) The 5k is an out-and-back along the parade route, and I was not expecting such a big crowd to already be in place for the parade and cheering on the runners — that was a real treat and made it a very festive (albeit overcast and chilly) morning. There was a nice cross-section of running abilities in the race, and tons of families getting out together to run. Which is sort of a mixed blessing; this was the most kid-populated 5k I’ve ever done outside of the Girls on the Run events, so be prepared for a ton of little ones who haven’t learned the race etiquette intricacies of things like not stopping in front of people. It was fun to see kids everywhere, but it wasn’t really fun to try and not fall over them when they dart in front of you and stop to verbally harass their slower siblings! Luckily there was space to get around the wee ones and stretch out to enjoy the flat course. There were plenty of porta-potties at the start, and I was surprised to receive a medal at the finish, which was in addition to a lovely cut iris bloom. Chip timing readouts were available in the tent at the finish with minimal wait. About that tent — it’s got pancakes and breakfast snacks in it! Everyone’s a winner when pancakes are involved!

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Bloomsday 2015 Review
5.0

With the exception of 2011, when I was in Eugene coaching an athlete to an Olympic Trials berth in the marathon, I’ve run Bloomsday every year since 1991, which also happens to be my fastest year.

Bloomsday is a true celebration of running. It offers international competition at the front, several start waves which accommodate all participants, and a challenging course for everyone. It is a race which the entire city of Spokane comes out to celebrate and cheer on every participant and at the end there is a giant party in Riverfront Park. For those who aren’t looking to run a 12K you can still walk as the final wave is the walker/stroller wave. There isn’t a time-limit to get off the course, so people are free to move at their own pace over the entire distance.

What is it that draws 50,000 runners every year to the streets of Spokane? First off the entry fee. It costs just $18 to run the 12K ($35 on race day weekend) and for that you get a tee-shirt at the finish and results card mailed to you post-race. You get a well-organized packet pickup with a virtual goodie bag so you can pick and choose those offerings you would like. The race course is closed to traffic and has 4 aid stations and porta-potties every mile. The result? A well-supported race which brings people back year after year.

The course is one of the more challenging courses around, but don’t let that mislead you. The women’s world record for 12K was set on this course just a few years ago. The first mile is flat, while the second mile features a 800m downhill followed by an 800m climb. The third mile is flat for the first half and the climbs past a cemetary before a flat fourth mile. The fifth mile starts downhill but then has the largest climb on the course up the famed “Doomsday” Hill, which is an 800m climb leading to a flat final two and one-half miles.

Bloomsday is held the first Sunday in May, so mark your calendar and make arrangements to experience this world-class race. You won’t be disappointed.

Excellent course, excellent challenge, just excellent
5.0

This is a race to behold. Words and images won’t do it justice, you just have to experience it for yourself. Breathtaking views of the Central Oregon high desert, ample variety of terrain — paved and trail — and winding courses past rivers, lakes, through parks and forests… I can’t recommend it enough.

It was well supported, with 11 aid stations along the way, and signs, markings, and volunteers at nearly every single turn and shift in the course. Very well organized. I will be back.

I blogged about my experience and hope it helps encourage you to sign up!

http://run.david.run/blog/2016-bend-marathon

Fun race with some recent dissapointments
3.0
  • carmonaj reviewed 2 years ago
  • last edited 2 years ago

I have ran this race a few times and have always really enjoyed it. For one, it is very close to where i live which is convenient and secondly, the fun festival and friendly environment makes it a very low stress race yet still competitive to get a fast workout/race in. This past year however had some changes that i didn’t love which is why i gave the lower rating. It started in a different location, right on the running path making for a very narrow start and lots of bottleneck areas. I was in the 5K so didn’t run into too many people but heard the other distances had a lot of issues with this. It also started very late (10ish am) which is such a late start for such a hot time of year (and it was HOT). Finally, the organization of the prizes was a bit frustrating. Top prizes were advertised as gift cards but ended up being shirts which took months to get in the mail. In fact, i didn’t receive the shirt until after first receiving a medal from a race i never ran?? (Had to call the race organizers about it)
All this said, i would still probably do the race again hoping it was earlier in the day:)

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