Oregon Wine Country Half - Linda's Thoughts

This was my first DR race, back in 2012. I saw the ad somewhere and talked Bruce into an Oregon Wine Country Half/Coast vacation. Even though we live fairly close (Park City, UT), we had never visited the Oregon Coast and I had never been to Crater Lake. Seemed like the perfect run/vacation and it was! Little did I know at the time that I would become hooked on DR races and become one of their most faithful runners! We signed up for the Welcome Reception and the Pre-Race dinner. I think it is an important part of the DR experience to enjoy these events. You get to know the staff (family now), fellow runners and elite runners. The start at Stroller was beyond amazing – a full moon and Mount Hood! That inspiration took you through the countryside race almost effortlessly. Then the finishing wine party in Carlton is to die for! Wine, music and friends after a great run – what could be better! I have now run 3 of these and can’t wait for this year. Last year, we rented a cottage in Carlton and I ran along the country road near the finish by myself the day before the race. Just me and the farmers! If you are in the area, please join me this year in my pre-race run!

Fun, Fast, Flat Race

This race is a must if you haven’t ran it. The atmosphere is really great and the area where the race takes place is beautiful. The course is pancake flat so you can run fast at this race. It can get hot so it is nice they start the race early. There are lots of porta-potties around before hand and the strawberry shortcake after is really nice! I did hear that they ran out of water for the marathon one year but i don’t ever remember having an issue with a water shortage. Parking has been an issue in the past so i just made sure to get to the race REALLY early. I haven’t ran this race in the past few years so parking may have changed.

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A small, inexpensive race that's certainly worth your time

The price is right, the atmosphere pleasant, the people friendly, and you get a tasty bag of hazelnuts at the finish line. The course is a bit of a challenge — there’s a climb at the start but then a fast downhill and some flat streets to the finish. Good race for a winter racing tune-up, and when you’re done running you can enjoy the nice vendors at the Hazelnut Festival. There’s a decent-sized, multi-ability crowd, and plenty of speedy competition if you’re up for some hustle. Indoor bathrooms and warmth at the start, plenty of roadside parking near the start/finish. Race Northwest always does a nice job, I’ve found.

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Challenging but so worth it!

I run the half marathon every year, and it’s become one of my very favorites. The expo is great — good selection of vendors, guest speakers, and booths for races that will give you great discounts if you sign up at the expo. The participant shirt is a nice, long-sleeved tech shirt. Packet pickup is organized and painless. You start down by the EMP and the Space Needle and go out by some of Seattle’s most beautiful buildings — architecture buffs will enjoy this race. The course has some climbs, but nothing that will ruin your life if you’ve trained for them. There are plenty of port-o-potties and aid stations along the course, with great traffic control and volunteer support. Last year it was freezing so the spaces around the aid stations were icy — if the weather is cold be prepared. After you leave the city, you’ll go through some beautiful neighborhoods, so you get a nice mix of urban and residential, with some lovely views of the lake. There’s a peaceful climb through the arboretum, and a super cool run through a tunnel. You’ll finish on the turf at the Memorial Stadium, which is always fun. The medal is quality, and in previous years they were being handed out by some most excellent military folks. This race has one of the best post-race situations out there — you’ll go inside and thaw out, get some tasty soup, plenty of hydration, another chance to pick up more swag from vendors, and relax with all the other happy finishers.

Pick Your Poison ROCKS!
  • Eric reviewed 1 year ago
  • last edited 1 year ago

Go Beyond Racing puts on a variety of races of different distances in Oregon. I’ve participated in too many to get online and rate them all, and they are all top notch. However, PYP is special. You get to camp in a park that is traditionally limited to day use. You get to choose your surface type, your distance, and how many people you want on a team. The trails are beautiful single track, and there is probably only about 5% road if you choose to run the trail option. It’s a beautiful area, and beautiful time of year to be outside racing in Oregon. Did I mention beer, movies, chocolate fountains, an incredible volunteer staff, and well stocked aid stations? If you are coming from out of state and thinking about a destination race, or if you are a local just looking for a great community race, THIS IS IT! I don’t have any photos to share, but I know there is a Facebook site specifically for this race (as well as most if not all the Go Beyond Racing events).

I LOVE this race

Super organized, with the participant’s needs at the forefront. Great energy, nice course through some lovely parts of historic Vancouver. Great shirts, great medals (which seem to get bigger every year, I think they’re the size of a teacup saucer now,) excellent course support with water, electrolyte drink (bring your own gels) and cheerful folks at every stop. Parking can be a bit of a hassle, so get there early. Brewfest is nice and wasn’t super crowded. Can usually get a deal on next year’s race if you sign up after the run. Great value for what you get — other races could learn from these guys for sure.

the BEST

The best series I have ever been a part of! A wonderful price for five well run races. I cannot speak highly enough about the Portland Trail Series. It is a low-key race experience, that is extremely well run. The intimate atmosphere encourages finding new running buddies as well as fostering the competitive spirit! Although every course is tough, it allows anyone from newbie to elite to finish feeling accomplished. An added bonus, if you return your bib number post race, they donate money to the Forest Park Conservancy. Sign up quick, the best kept secret in trail racing fills up FAST.

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

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.


Luckython has become a St Patrick’s Day tradition for me. The course is scenic and green, with just a few small hills to make it a challenge. The race director, Uberthons, runs a top-notch event. Races start on time, big mile marker banners throughout the course, plenty of aid stations and volunteers and instant results. Special touches include age group recognitions, a generous baked potato bar, and ginormous finshers medals. Luckython is a great way to participate a fun St Patrick’s themed race without battling the big city crowds.

So well run and helpful to boot!
  • Jonathan hawes reviewed 10 months ago
  • last edited 8 months ago

This race started years ago as an idea to help those in need is Sherwood. While still the case, this race now boasts 2000+ Runners and walkers… each year the organization has been improving. DJs pumping up the crowd, raffles, free coffee and snacks, fun turkey headwear… this event is a Sherwood (and more) party!

Walkers head out early on their own course… then the 5 and 10k’s head out loosely segmented by time. Courses split after ~2.5k…. the 10k heads off on a great rolling backroad… beautiful! The 5k heads back on awesome wooded trails… neither is hard core hilly…. but you will work if you want it.

Running this race makes you feel part of a community with so many families around…. and with chip timing (and INSTANT results in email)… a great race for the avid runner too. ’16 was the worst weather EVER! But it didn’t matter… what a blast!

Marathons can be fun!!!

2015 was the second time I had the pleasure of running the New York City Marathon. I first ran it in 2010 and treated it more as a race. I was in the first wave, which meant it was still crowded yet I felt like it thinned out enough to have my own space and to run my own race. I loved every minute of the race that year and it quickly made its way to the top of my list. This year, I went back to New York to run with my husband and a few friends. Based on past injuries and just where I was mentally, I made the decision early on not to “race” this event. Instead, I moved back to wave 2 and started with my husband. It was definitely more crowded and we had to weave through people most of the time. I would say this would not be a PR or “race” course if you are in the later waves…wave one is possible. The marathon starts on Staten Island and crosses into Brooklyn for the first 1/2. The streets are lined with people the entire time…it only thins out when you start the climb to the bridge that will take you into Queens. The race continues through Queens and then you cross the Queensborough Bridge into Manhattan. First Avenue is CRAZY!! The crowds are incredible…but then you come into the Bronx and in my opinion this was hands down the best borough in terms of crowd support, energy and enthusiasm. Finally, you cross back into Manhattan and finish in Central Park. The course is relatively flat…except for the bridges that take you from borough to borough. Crowds are incredible. Both years I ran the weather was pretty perfect, but it can be windy. Bottom line, I think everyone that runs marathons needs to experience New York…at least once :)

Great as a first race!
  • Krisi Quayle reviewed 2 years ago
  • last edited 2 years ago

Super low key but really well organized! Only downside is the 10k is a two-time loop. Oh well, it’s a pretty one anyway :) Put on by a great group of mom runners. It’s a fun one!

Well-organized, fun race with a great course!
  • NW Runner reviewed 8 months ago

I ran the 10K in 2016 and 2017. I was so impressed with the 2016 race I convinced 5 others to join me in 2017. The course takes you through historic Fort Vancouver, along the Columbia River, and through a slightly industrial part (though it is actually really nice) of Vancouver. This year there were about 950 people, most of whom were 5K-ers & walkers. I never felt crowded, but I was never alone. The swag you get for this race is absolutely incredible for the price. I love that this is a fundraiser, all the money goes towards providing utilities for the needy. I will definitely return in 2018. I love the immediate race results too.

Wonderful marathon
  • Amy reviewed 2 years ago

I ran the California International Marathon in 2015 and thought it was a great race. CIM is a point-to-point course that starts out in Folsom and ends near the Capitol building in Sacramento. My friend and I stayed in a hotel in Folsom so we could sleep a little later race morning without having to catch ultra-early race shuttles to the start. Folsom was a great place to stay, we were across the street from Whole Foods and nice outdoor mall. The expo was nice, it was super easy to get in and out to pick up our race packets, and there were plenty of vendors if you enjoy browsing and shopping. Race morning, the race started right on time, and I remember it being a slight downhill start. CIM is lauded as a fast course, and it is, but I was surprised with how rolling the course was – more uphill than I anticipated. I just tried to keep my effort consistent whether I was on flat, uphill, or downhill, and my splits stayed fairly consistent. On the course map, you’ll notice a reference to some free-range chickens around mile 10-11. My friend and I literally almost tripped over a chicken, one of the funniest race moments ever, so keep an eye out for those chickens. :) The aid stations were great, and I remember the mile markers being accurate. It was a nice size of marathon, not too big or too small. There were always people around me I could run with, but I never really felt crowded after the first 1/2 mile or so. I thought running into Sacramento the last few miles was really pretty, and there was tons of crowd support down there. Overall, this marathon was very well-done, and people post lots of quick times out there.

The best 5k ever!
  • Jay Ricker reviewed 6 months ago

This 5k is the best! I took my young children and they had a blast! The staff and volunteers are extremely friendly and they go the extra mile to make everyone feel welcome and appreciated. We will definitely be signing up for this race every year from here on out!

Indoor racing available to Portland!!

For a 6 week stretch in the darkness of Tuesday winter evenings, a light comes to town in the form of the Tuesday Night at the Races indoor track series. The series has been developed and run by renowned Portland race director Jon Marcus, providing a great opportunity for the inner track lover of all ages and abilities. If you are a runner feeling the need for speed, but not quite confident enough to test yourself against the ranks of collegiate runners at the UW indoor meets in Seattle, this is the place for you. No need to commit months or weeks in advance. You register just before the fun begins at only $5 per race! Ages 10-90 in all shapes and speeds make for great company. Whether you are seeking a personal best or just seeing how far off you are from your high school times in events from the 150m up to the 3000m, you will feel welcomed and unashamed – even if you happen to be lapped.

You will never have to run the same race 2 weekends in a row, although the 800 is the most popularly offered distance. Distance runners familiar with their usual speed workout track sessions get a break from the known 4 laps per mile and enter the unusual oblong shaped track with blind turns which takes 6.7 laps per mile. The short 240m laps makes the race fly by and if you’re running fast enough ~a minute give or take per lap is something that can easily be swallowed. The unique venue on the 2nd floor overlooking a basketball court at the Chiles Center Dome of University of Portland has a great spectating atmosphere. Although you won’t see the entire race unfold, you can catch runners constantly flying by a few times each lap. There is plenty of noise to propel you to finish strong and great comradery as you warm up or cool down from your event/s. Splits are offered to the top runners by meet officials going for fast times, with signs marking specific distances on the wall and accurate lap counters providing a guide for the dizzy and confused. Results are available immediately after each event and posted in a timely fashion that evening online to allow bragging or shaming to be official.

Quality event I hope to do again!

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!

Fun, Well-Organized Race with Beautiful Course
  • sheri reviewed 2 years ago

I’ve run the Seattle half a few times, and it’s always been a great experience. Packet pickup is held downtown over two days and is painless enough. The shirt is long-sleeved and technical and is accurately sized. The race itself is always held the Sunday after Thanksgiving, which is either awesome (it’s a great fitness goal in a pretty gluttonous time of year, having 13 miles in your near future helps you say no to that third slice of pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving) or not so awesome (it’s an early Sunday wakeup after a long and relaxing weekend, having 13 miles in your near future makes you say no to that third slice of pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving), depending on your perspective. Also, have you been to Seattle in late November? The weather is extremely iffy. I’ve run this race with clear skies and in sideways sleet both. Luckily, this year was great – dry and cold.

Race morning this year was very well organized. The run started almost exactly on time, and the beginning of the race, through the downtown streets, is a great way to start – a huge sea of people filling up 5th Ave all the way through downtown. From there, the course goes over the freeway, through a gorgeous waterfront neighborhood, through the leafy arboretum, and then back through another neighborhood to re-cross the freeway and end in Memorial Stadium. There were plenty of well-stocked and not-too-busy aid stations, and lots of places for supporters to stand and cheer us on. The course is fairly hilly, but none of the inclines are both steep and long. The finish was well thought out, too, with quick access to water and space blankets. Overall, a great race, and one I’ll do again.

100% proceeds support the Clark County Food Bank!

I have run this family friendly Turkey Trot the past 3 Thanksgivings in a row. They do a fantastic job from registration online through post race clean up! Ample food, snacks, bathrooms, parking attendants, volunteers, photos, you name it. They make it very clear this is NOT the one to attempt a PR. The Salmon Creek Trail is beautiful this time of year, but shared with the community. The number of runners is capped, but still wayyy toooo many for this to really be a race. It is a time to enjoy and get a run in before Turkey Day starts, while supporting a worthy cause in our local community. The Clark County Food Bank does tremendous work year round and putting on this charity race is a small part of what they do, but they still do it top notch every year!

MY favorite
  • Krisi Quayle reviewed 2 years ago
  • last edited 2 years ago

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

Great cause. Great race
  • Brock M. reviewed 6 months ago

Perfectly organized. Some of the great things about the race is there are very generous donors that offer great prizes to win and there have been tons of (actually really nice) goodies that came with the registration on race day. The course is new asphalt trail. Lots of families racing.

Beat half ever

Loved the inaugural Bend Marathon & Half! The course was gorgeous, the packet pickup times were accommodating, and race day was flawless.
My only suggestion would be to not hand runners crossing the finish line so many things. I was crying as I crossed the line as I typically do (all those weeks of training are exhausting), then I’m handed a medal, medal screws, a beer token and water. Seemed a bit much especially since I dropped half of it (but it’s definitely appreciated). Other than that small complaint I would definitely do it again next year. Who knows maybe I’ll make it my first full 😉
Great job Kerry & Blair!

i love PDX!!

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

My First Half

The Bend Marathon and Half, was my FIRST Half, and I couldn’t have asked for more.
Granted I didn’t know what to expect but, the course was well managed, easy to navigate and
So Beautiful! It was really great seeing Bend Residents come out of the homes to bang drums,
Whistle, applaud and cheer us on! Helped keep the Motivation up!
The packet pick up was organized and with several date options, you would have to try really hard,
To NOT get your packet before the day of the race.
I Look forward to next year and many more to come!
Thank you Kerry and Blair for putting together another Amazing Race!

Great first 10k!

This was my first 10k and I had so much fun. Plenty of snacks and water when we got there. Easy to register. Everyone was super excited and friendly. The route was flat and fun, as long as you don’t mind a little dust! :) The burgers and beer after the race were delicious. There was a band playing and everyone had a lot of fun. Thank you Paula!

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