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

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.

Look forward to Stumptown Cross every year
  • Amy reviewed 2 years ago

After high school and college, I never thought I would have the opportunity to lace up my spikes and race cross country again. Fortunately, Team Red Lizard puts on this amazing, well-organized cross country series in Portland! I love racing through grass, dirt, hills, and trees in the crisp, fall air. The field is nicely competitive, too. The price for the whole series is pretty amazing; chip-timing is provided; and there is even food and awards provided after each race. Win Goodbody provides really nice race photos. Last year Nike dri-fit shirts were provided. Cross country just doesn’t get any better than this.

Excellent course, excellent challenge, just excellent

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!

Great Race - Fun Party

i’ve run this race most years since i first ran it back in 2006 – it’s gotten a lot more popular over the years, and deservedly so. the course is great: there’s a short, steep uphill at the start but the rest of the race is gentle ups and downs, generally a pretty quick course. also beautiful, as you’re running through vineyards practically the entire race. the race is always well-organized, occasionally the mile markers are a little bit off, but not by too much, and there are plenty of water/electrolyte stations along the way. everything in the sonoma town square at the end is always great too – good recovery food/drink, plenty of free samples, and everybody loves all the wine (and lagunitas). last year was especially fun, as they got some american elites to come out and run (lauren fleshman, ryan and sara hall), and meb as the lead bike. highly recommended, and i’ll be back again this summer!

A fun run in front of thousands
  • Guest reviewed 3 years ago

I can’t accurately assess this as a “running” event because it’s a fun run, that is actually quite fun! Packet pickup is a breeze, and you get to stretch out on the school track and see what great costumes people are wearing. If you’re into shirts, buy one ahead of time, because they often don’t have extras for sale. Running in front of the crowds lined up for the parade route is a BLAST! The volunteers are very friendly, and they have water afterwards. Parking is a nightmare, but it’s a PDX event, so that’s to be expected. Not enough porta potties, so get there early and get in line!

Series Review

Let’s get the bad news out of the way right now – the Spring, Summer and Fall Trail Series races for 2015 are sold out. Check out the Go Beyond Racing website to register for notifications so you don’t miss out when registration opens in about 6 months for next year. The fall series sold out in less than a day last month. The series is limited to 100 runners, so don’t delay if you are even thinking of running.

Now for the good news. This is a really great bang for your buck racing series. You get 5 races for less than $70. The 5 races a challenging. There is no way to emphasize how challenging until you do one, but if you have ever wondered about the life of a mountain goat, well these races will give you an idea of how they climb. Every race has at least one good (think big) climb and usually they have more than one big climb.

The races start at the Thurman entrance to Leif Erickson Drive in NW Portland at 6:15 p.m. sharp. For a majority of the races you run just over a 1/4 of a mile and then jump on Wild Cherry Trail where you then branch out from either by running on Wildwood or going up Wild Cherry to the top and dropping onto Dogwood. Very little of the series uses Leif Erickson.

As an example, last night (May 6, 2015) was the first race of the Spring 2015 series and the course was Leif Erickson Drive-Wild Cherry-Wildwood-Holman Lane-53rd Drive-Birch-Wildwood-Wild Cherry-Leif Erickson. A total distance of 5.2 miles and over 1,200′ of elevation gain and loss.

In the start area exhibitors are present to hand out samples such as Trail Nut Butter, while a weekly random drawing for everything from socks, to shirts to nutritional products is held. At the end of the series everyone is invited to the Lucky Lab Brewpub in NW Portland for the series awards ceremony where the top 3 overall, top 3 masters and top 3 in each age group get prizes ranging from shoes to headlamps to other smaller prizes.

At the end of each race runners turn in their race bibs and for every bib turned in $1 is donated to the Forest Park Conservancy, so at the end of the series nearly $500 is donated. So while you are having a blast racing the trails, you are also helping raise money to further projects in Forest Park.

The Portland Trail Series harkens back to the days before races were big productions. This is a no frills series which will test your running ability on challenging courses. Even if you have never run the trails don’t be scared off by this event. The trails are not that difficult. The climbs may test you, but as the old adage goes – what goes up must come down – and there are plenty of downhill as well.

Since 2015 is sold out, make 2016 your year to hit the trails.

Napa to Sonoma Half-Marathon

The one thing wrong with this race is that it’s too good! You’ll need to sign up quickly once registration opens. The course is fast with a few rolling hills. It’s exceptionally well organized, plenty of porta-potties at the start, along the course and at the finish. The wine festival after the race is really great in the lovely Sonoma City park. Although run in July, the morning starts are almost cool, if not even chilly.

The Race Director has done a great job in attracting top running celebrities (Ryan & Sara Hall, Dick Beardsley, Meb Keflezighi, Bart Yasso, Tesfaye Alemayehu, Sergio Reyes, Lauren Fleshman and many others) to run the race and/or speak at the Expo.

This is one of the top half’s in the country – don’t miss it!

Love This Race!

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!

Beautiful Course
  • beaver2000 reviewed 2 years ago
  • last edited 2 years ago

My wife and I ran the Bay To Brews Half Marathon this past weekend. We drove down Friday afternoon, finding accommodations was super easy. Packet Pickup in a brewery? Now we’re talking. We were greeted by Paul and Dave along with their team, all sporting wonderful smiles and energy.

Race morning was well organized and promptly at 8am we were on our way. The course was a real pleasant surprise. Flat for the first couple miles along the Yaquina Bay. Then a nice uphill jaunt through the woods on trail. After that you’re rewarded with a nice down hill, which then flows onto a beautiful, smooth pathway that leads you out to the Bay again. The last mile again takes you along the Yaquina Bay, with the Rogue Brewery in the background and the hopes of a good finish time and a frosty beverage await. Going out on your second loop for the 1/2 just means you get to see the beauty twice.

Post Race did not disappoint. Beer, chowder and a great band! That along with hanging out with familiar faces and friends made for a wonderful event.

Thanks PRC for another fantastic race!

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A unique race, NOT just for Moms!

First, I must admit that I may be slightly biased because I am the race director for this event. However, I will try to make my review as unbiased as possible.

The race starts at Liberty High School in Hillsboro. One of the benefits of this is having plenty of real restrooms, not porto potties, to use prior to the race. I don’t think I waited more than 2 minutes.

Admittedly, last year’s race course was a bit awkward. The entry point to the DEQ resulted in a backup of traffic. Also, doing a 180 degree turnaround on the track to start the second lap of the 10K was not ideal. That’s why we changed the race course to a faster and flatter out and back course for 2016.

One of the unique things about this race is that it offers a series of optional fitness challenges after the 5K or 10K run. Last years challenges included burpees, push-ups, planks, box jumps and jump ropes. The participants earned points for scoring in the top 5 by gender. Massive trophies were awarded for the fitness challenge winner and the male and female winners of the 5K and 10K.

The race also offered lots of great food and some amazing prizes in the raffle.

New for 2016, Play.Fit.Fun will be sponsoring a kids’ obstacle course. This is completely free for the kids and they even get a free ice cream coupon for participating.

Please join us on February 27, 2016!

BMO Vancouver Marathon Review
  • Richard Brittin reviewed 2 years ago
  • last edited 2 years ago

This was my second marathon. Very well organized event. Didn’t plan to, but latched on to the 3:15 pace bunny, who was awesome. Full disclosure: I was a few minutes behind him at the finish! Wonderful volunteers who were really appreciated on a hot day handing out water and UL sports drink at the plentiful aid stations. Gear check was fantastic. Picked up stuff right near the finish. I’m not a veteran of marathoning, but I hope they all are run this well. Course has about 300 m of gain/descent based on my Garmin GPS watch.

Santa Barbara Wine Country Half - Linda's Thoughts

The first time I ran Santa Barbara Wine Country Race was my 2nd Destination Race event. I loved the first one in Oregon so much that I thought – why not go to Santa Barbara? We (Bruce, Koko & I) stayed in Solvang, just blocks from the finish. The area is so beautiful – full of incredible oak trees, Danish building, the Solvang Brewery and wineries. Even though it was only my second DR race, the staff remembered us! Destination Races doesn’t just put on a great half marathon – they give you an experience you will never forget! The pre-race dinners are incredible and this was no exception! We had dinner with a local photographer/runner and other runners from all over. The course is beautiful – going past vineyards, through Los Olivos and up that lovely hill! Last year, there was a couple who stopped off in Los Olivos and got married! Like all DR races, the organization, race support and post race wine tasting party was spectacular!

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Half Marathon

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.

Exploding onto the Scene: A Run Oregon review of the 2015 Volcano Half Marathon

In my second weekend of back-to-back races, the inaugural 2015 Volcano Half Marathon exploded onto the scene and into my heart on Sunday, May 3, 2015. This race, put on by Run With Paula, was everything a new race should be: well-organized, unique, measured, and fun. And Paula knocked it out of the park.

After competing in the Sisters Better Half Marathon and Bend Marathon and Half in late April, and the Willamette Mission Trail Challenge on May 2, this race was the culmination of 4 races, 8 days, and 45 racing miles. I wasn’t necessarily tired, but I was just a bit sluggish. The perfect temperatures and blue skies were a natural remedy and elixir for a weary morning – and it didn’t hurt that the race was in my hometown as well.

The finish of both distances (half and 5k) were at Volcanoes Stadium, the home of the Single-A Minor League affiliate of the San Francisco Giants. Volunteers were extremely helpful through the quick registration and packet-pick up lines – a theme that was very prevalent throughout the course of the event.

Following the quick shuttle ride to Willamette Mission State Park, we all took off into the quiet and peaceful rural streets of unincorporated Keizer. This is an area I am very familiar with, as I have done many a training bike rides out on these roads. We got to pass hop farms (including a farm owned by Hood River’s Full Sail Brewery), red clover fields, and farmland as far as the eye could see.

While the course was not closed to traffic, there wasn’t much motorized traffic at all. In fact, there seemed to be more race personnel and local fire/police assistance than anything else. I never felt unsafe at all. The hill around mile 4 was a bit of a challenge, but we quickly headed downhill shortly thereafter and continued with a steady straight course. This portion of the course, I was also very familiar with, as it is a running route AND the reverse direction of the Keizer Iris Festival Half Marathon loop that has been around for a handful of years. The last few miles spit us back out into civilization for a straight stretch on Lockhaven Dr. and some neighborhood streets before the stadium came into sight.

As I mentioned initially, the organization and support were fantastic.The aid stations were never an issue and they appeared with great frequency. Additionally, the volunteers were amazing. Everyone was paying attention, smiling, and some were even blowing bubbles. obviously Paula’s happy demeanour had rubbed off on everyone!

After the race, we were treated to a free hamburger (hotdog or garden burger), drink, chips, and cookies – as well as standard post-race faire. Live music by the Ben Rice Band was providing a great auditory background as we waited for results soaking up the mid-morning sunshine.

If you haven’t run in Keizer before, I highly recommend this race. If you haven’t run a Run With Paula event before, I highly recommend this race. If you like quiet, rural runs to lose yourself in the serenity of, I highly recommend this race.


View full results here.

The next Run With Paula event is the Independence Day 10k, which takes place in the city of Independence and the famous Rogue Brewery hopyards.

PRC Winter 5K Series

At the suggestion of a running coach late in 2014 I looked to add some 5K’s to my training. The PRC Winter 5K Series was coming up so I decided to run all 3 of them. The entire race is really fun. You get to the store greeted by the smiles of Dave and Paula and many of their long time volunteers. Grab a water or coffee and head out to warm up. At several of races they’ve had Nike and Saucony displaying shoes, and if you’d like you can run the race in a pair.

The course is really run. It starts out fairly flat, then dips down a hill into a park where you complete the out and back section (with the heavy rains this year, we deviated up a small grassy hill, which gives you a fun cross country feel :)). Coming home at mile 2 you have about a .5 mile slight uphill to get the blood flowing and then .5 mile back to the finish with a slight downhill the last few hundred yards.

Upon returning to the store you’re greeted by Paula and her crew cooking pancakes. You’ll find a couple tables of vendors like Swiftsock, Garmin, Active Edge Wellness to name a few. Dave reads the results, during which there are lots of prizes and giveaways!!!

It’s been a really fun series with great support for everyone from the “fasties” to the walkers. I’ve run 5 of these now and each one keeps getting better. I plan on running the next race in February. The predict-a-mile.

Great way to start your Thanksgiving Day!
  • Melanie reviewed 2 years ago
  • last edited 2 years 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!

N2S - Linda's Thoughts

It just seemed like one of the races one should do – running through wine country that we have visited for over 20 years – what could be better! Getting into the race is quite the adventure! The first year, I tried the lottery with no luck. The next year was even more entertaining. The signup just happened to be on the same day we were driving from Park City Utah (home) to Moab for the Winter Sun 10K. Bruce drove as I tried to enter on my iPad as we drove by the Bookcliffs in Southern Utah – not very good reception through there! Needless to say, I didn’t get in. But, I made it in 2014! I am so glad I did. By then it was my 7th DR race – not bad for a girl from Utah! The weekend started with the Welcome Reception at Cuvaison Winery – the race start! Saw our DR friends and met new ones – the racers you meet are all so inspiring! Then, the big event – meeting Meb att the pre-race dinner! He is a treasure! So humble and so inspiring! The race exceeded my expectations! We ran through beautiful, rural Carneros Valley. It was stunning! Rolling hills (little ones) and beautiful vineyards. It was a perfect, foggy morning to run! I was inspired by all of the Team Challenge runners! And then there was the Guinness stop and the wine stop along the way! But, nothing prepared me for the finish – our flag flying high in front of the Sonoma Plaza!! This has to be on everyone’s bucket list of “Not to Miss” Half Marathons!

Great PR Course

I have ran the Eugene Half Marathon twice now and had a great experience both times. The course is great, mostly flat with some hills to break up the monotony. I love that it starts with the marathoners and runs the marathon course for the majority of the race. This allows for lots of runners around to pace off of as well as plenty of water stops and crowds of people cheering. They do an excellent job putting such a large race on. Definitely a favorite!!

Wine, running and song. I can't ask for anything more.

By far, the Destination Race in Santa Ynez/Solvang has been my favorite half. The scenery is beautiful and includes bison, cows, horses, sheep, goats, llamas, alpacas, longhorn, and my favorite, a turkey at mile one…just right on the street, hanging out. Only in Santa Ynez. The race IS hilly but was fast for me. Last year I PR’d in this race and this year I was right at the same time. I didn’t use the porta potties, but there are TONS. Also, plenty of water stations-every 1.5 miles or so. Last year was hot so they came in handy. The miles are well-marked and the race is easy to follow.

I love this race because it’s small. It doesn’t take long to get started at all. I’ve been in races that took easily 20 minutes for my wave to get started. I didn’t run with a pacer but they have them for just about every 15 minute interval up to 3 hours. The organizers are great and friendly. They remembered my crazy husband from LAST year! We did the finisher’s party at Lavender Oak and it was a lot of fun. Beautiful out there. If there is a wine tour post race, do it! We did it last year and had too much fun.

There is a post race wine and music event, which is great but we did find it too crowded so we didn’t do it this year. Post race, we typically need to rest a bit and we found the area too small for the number of people who were participating but it’s a great deal. I highly recommend it to runners who don’t really need to recover after the race. It’s a good price for all the beer or wine you can drink. I plan to sign up for the one in Oregon when we run that one.

Santa Ynez Valley is great for wine tasting. Even if you don’t tour the area (which you REALLY should), there are tasting rooms in Solvang, SY and Los Olivos every 10 feet. You can’t go wrong.

Also, if you are a single guy, this is YOUR race. Tons of chicks out having a good time and drinking lots of wine. My husband tells every single male runner he knows that he should really be coming out to these races to meet cool chicks who like to run. It’s a great run for groups of girls or couples (like me and my guy). We are trying to talk two friends from Alberta, Canada into joining us next August in Oregon. It makes for a great long weekend.

Mommathon has something for everyone!
  • arsellers reviewed 2 years ago
  • last edited 2 years ago

I am very fond of this race for a number of reasons. First and foremost is that it is put on by Moms Run This Town, a free running club geared toward getting moms of all fitness levels together for the sake of fitness and friendship. MRTT gave a portion of the Mommathon proceeds to a charity, Girls on the Run, that empowers girls to stay active and fit. I also really liked that MRTT partnered with Uberthons to run the chip timing and other technical logistics. My results were instantly available after I crossed the finish line. The Mommathon course was familiar, being the same route used for the Falcon Relay I had run previously. I enjoyed the fitness challenges post race. And let me tell you, tire jumps are NOT easy after running 6.2 miles!! Mommathon is not just for moms! Men can compete and win prizes too. Kids got their own free race on the high school track as well. What this means is that Mommathon is an event that the whole family can attend and enjoy. There truly is something for everybody.

Great race!!
  • Allison reviewed 2 years ago
  • last edited 2 years ago

What a well-organized race for a first time race director! The morning was seamless: from packet pickup, to a cluster-free start line, to the multitude of refreshments on the course, to the wide open finish. Not a PR course because of the hill at the beginning, but a fun time for all nonetheless!

I’ve included a link to my blog and personal race report if that’s helpful: :)

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.

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