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.
- Jay Ricker reviewed 11 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!
- juliawebb reviewed 3 years ago
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.
- SqueakMatteson reviewed 3 years ago
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!
- 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.
- Tyler1447 reviewed 2 years ago
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!
- 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!
- Brock M. reviewed 11 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.
- pbaby21 reviewed 3 years ago
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!
- Mzannen2 reviewed 3 years ago
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!
- MelissaLeah reviewed 3 years ago
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!
- SqueakMatteson reviewed 2 years ago
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!
- Sarah Gamble reviewed 2 years ago
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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 2 years ago
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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.
- elaine knipe reviewed 3 years ago
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!
- Aurora Taylor reviewed 3 years ago
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!
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.
- Larry Merrifield reviewed 3 years ago
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.
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.
- David Anderson reviewed 2 years ago
- last edited 2 years ago
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!
- jtwilliams reviewed 3 years ago
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!
- 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!
- Larry Merrifield reviewed 3 years ago
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.
- running favorites reviewed 3 years ago
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!