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!

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Flat, Fast, and Very Well Executed

I really look forward to this run; I started three years ago and now I am hooked. The price is super cheap considering you get a quality, long-sleeved Brooks tech shirt, fluid race execution, and nice post-race amenities. The misery of running in Oregon in January is ameliorated by the extremely forgiving course — this sucker is flat and fast. There are a few dips in the road, but other than that you can really get your speed going, you don’t need to conserve for climbs. This can make for some monotony, but the scenery is lovely (rural roads, fallow fields, confused horses wondering what’s going on) and with the exception of dodging the occasional roadkill, you can really focus on “your groove” and have a great run. It’s an out-and-back, so you get to see the speedsters fly by, which is always inspiring. There were a few port-o-potties on the course, but not as many as you’d see in a monster-sized run. There were adequate water stations, but bring your own gel. The run starts at a school, so you get to stay warm and dry inside before the run, and then after you can thaw out with a cup of soup and sit in the cafeteria to watch the awards. Parking at the school is plentiful, which is always a nice treat. Last year I won a raffle prize, which made my day. They have an early start for Half runners who expect to take longer than 2:30, which is a really nice feature, as those of us who aren’t super fast still get to finish with a big crowd and see the awards ceremony. Finishers get a medal, it’s not a monster-sized piece of bling but it’s got the WVRR Roadrunner on it, and has the race date, which makes it awesome. My only tiny gripe — the soup looks delish, but it’s chicken soup, so if you’re a veggie like me, NO SOUP FOR YOU! :)

Great way to start off your Thanksgiving morning!
  • Sarah Gamble reviewed 1 year ago
  • last edited 1 year ago

This is a very well organized event & a super fun way to kick off a day typically filled with overindulgence. This starts & ends at Bridgeport Village, offering a ton of free, available parking as the mall is closed. Our team earned a VIP tent for having a lot of people sign up, we got a nice warm place to stand, heaters, hot coffee, fruit & pastries. It was great! It was also super cold outside so this was a nice touch. There were plenty of porta potties, raffle prizes, a toy drive, and of course great big heavy medals at the end! Uberthons really knows how to throw race! The coarse had a few hills and the 10k was 2 loops. There was more pastries, fruit, coffee & hot chocolate at the end. I will likely do this one again next year!

  • Erica Endicott reviewed 1 year ago
  • last edited 1 year ago

This was my favorite race to date! Amazing course, beautiful scenery, very well organized and bananas on the course(BRILLIANT. Finishing on Hayward Field on the Jumbo Tron was amazing. The after part was so well organized, no lines, lots of water and food and no lines. Would receommend this race to anyone wanting to run a half or full marathon.

Bend Marathon exceeded my expectations.

The Bend marathon & half was an amazing race to partcipate in.I appreciated the multiple opportunities for packet pick up and coming from out of town that was extremely helpful.Scenic sights were amazing and the course was very well supported by volunteers and aid stations also the volunteers were in great spirits, which helped with motivation to the runners.I thoroughly enjoy myself in this event including the challenges that the course had presented with some hills.The finish line was exciting as well with many there to cheer on the runners that were finishing.I liked where the after party was located it was near by the finishline & the park.Will be definitely doing it again next year! Great job to Kerry & Blair and their families!

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

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!

Flawless inaugural year
  • Amy reviewed 2 years ago

I ran the High Street Hustle 8k in its inaugural year, 2015. The organizers, Gallagher Fitness, pulled off a well-organized race and fun environment. The course was well-marked and there were plenty of facilities for everyone. I enjoyed running past the Capitol and getting a tour through a pretty Salem neighborhood. The course was somewhat hilly/rolly which I enjoyed. I loved all the 70’s music and seeing people next to me at the start with retro racing outfits – wigs, cut-off jean shorts, fake facial hair, and retro socks. I had to leave before awards to get to my daughter’s soccer game, and one of the organizers gave me my lava lamp (my first!) and a big hug. The only suggestion I would give the race for next year is to direct slower 5k runners and walkers to create a path for the quicker 8k runners on the way back. We had to run past crowds of people. Luckily I was able to tuck behind a guy who cleared a path for me, so it wasn’t too much of a problem. I would definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a fun, well-organized, low-key summer race.

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 2 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 1 year ago
  • last edited 1 year 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.

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