To get to the start, you’ll go to Banks High School to pick up your race bib and, if you purchased one, your race shirt. Then you’ll hope on one of the shuttle buses which leave starting at 7a up until 8:30a. While there is parking at the actual start, please do park at BHS and leave the parking at the start for the volunteers and spectators. (You’d need to find a ride to get back there after the race, too – the shuttles only run for the start.)
The race starts out with a pretty solid downhill for the first few miles, then it flattens out as the course hops on the rails-to-trail Vernonia Banks Trail. There is one section of a very, very gradual uphill, which you probably won’t even notice, fro miles 9 to 13. Just before the half marathon finish line there is one short, steep hill, aptly named “Tophill” (which makes me think of Lord of the Rings every time I hear it) but after the half marathon finish – flat. From there, the half marathoners are bused back to Banks High School.
There are ample aid stations and porta-potties along the course: miles 2, 4, 7, 10, 12, 13, 15.5, 19, 21.5 and 23 are all stocked for your running enjoyment and race support.
After the half marathon finish, the marathoners continue of the Trail, and get to enjoy a pretty solid downhill – you’ll lose over 600 feet of elevation over miles 13-22. The last 2.5-ish miles run into and through the town of Banks, finishing at Banks High School after a full lap on the track. Volunteers are at every intersection to control traffic and keep runners safe and moving, and I’ve found they provide an extra boost of motivation that makes a huge difference at that point in the marathon.
This race is put on by Oregon Road Runners Club, and organized by volunteer Mark Barrett – the same mastermind that organizes the Barrel to Keg Relay. All in all, it’s a great spring marathon and half marathon for a great price. Shirts are available, too – they’ve been really nice the past few years. They’re tech shirts, and available for $20 each. They come in men’s and women’s sizing.
Here’s what you need to know:
When: Sunday, April 13, 2014
What time: Walkers start at 8:30a; runners at 9:30a
Where: Park at Banks High School to get your bib and shuttle to the start
Register: Online here for the full for $65 or the half for $32. ORRC members save $5 if you pre-register. You can also register DOR for $80/$40.
This race is the RRCA State Marathon Championship and the RRCA Western Division Half Marathon Championship. Want more info? Here’s a great recap from the 2012 race by a runner from Tahoe that the race links to from their website.